The first computer I ever used was a large desktop that my parents had in their bedroom. My dad used to work in animation so he had it to work on the programs that he needed for work and the classes he attended to improve his digital animation skills. It would take up to 15 minutes to get the big buzzing machine to turn on and there was only a weak internet connection that you needed to plug in every time for use. I rarely went on it because it was so difficult for me to use and my time on the internet was often spent at friends houses who had smaller computers, playing games and chatting online on AIM. My idea of media was very limited and I had no idea what really lay beyond the simple games that I would play with my friends after school.
I remember my mom first helping me create an email address when I was in the fifth grade so that I could email my cousins who lived in San Francisco and learn about the world online. This was what some might call my first time using a form of “social media” even if it was just a simple correspondence with my elementary school cousins. I was thrilled to be able to connect with people outside of my little bubble of a life I had at the time and delighted in any chance to send an email. It’s honestly shocking to me now how little I even think about sending a quick email, when I get upwards of 30 per day now about different topics. I used to be so thrilled to see new messages in my inbox while today I see all of the junk mail piling up as being a nuisance. The world online has transformed my life today and it is astonishing to see where it began all of those years ago in my parents bedroom.