Taking From The Internet

When I saw the translucent, orange or blue, oddly squared Macintosh, my immediate thoughts would turn to computer games. Stocked with educational puzzles disguised in an underwater universe or a spy world, computers were not introduced to me as a tool to get homework done. Rather, it was the hour or so within the school day that I actually looked forward to. Computers were exciting. They didn’t feel like real school, with paper and pencils and lists of multiplication tables. The computer games used all of my problem solving, mathematic, literary skills, but in a new digital environment. These were single person games, though, encouraging fights between peers or siblings over who got to control the mouse and who had to look at the screen over a shoulder. Computers didn’t become a community for me until I started using email, AIM, and MySpace later on.

As I grew into the Internet, everything became continuous. It wasn’t only school that spread outside of the classroom, it was my friendships. It was my favorite movies and TV shows. My favorite books. History classes required daily news articles to be brought in, from online, to bring us all up to date on current events. After the school bell rang, I still had access to all of the people I saw in school on email, AIM and MySpace. I could go on FanFiction websites for my favorite movies, where the characters and story continued on where the VHS or DVD left off. Before computers, these kind of connections existed, but in a digital world it was now all at my keyboard and not something I had to wait longer than a dial-up tone for.

In the early stages of Internet, I was a taker. I found websites, articles, games and I took them to become a part of my life. The Internet was personal, because I could take whatever I wanted. It was all right there for me to grab.

I wonder if my habits have shifted to become more of an Internet contributor as I’ve gotten older. Have you all seemed to shift more towards contributing to the Internet in any ways? What can be considered Internet contributions? Posting pictures on Facebook contributes to the Internet, as well as comments on YouTube videos or news articles or BuzzFeed posts, but how can that be measured against a blog post or an article? How does this relate to the personalized aspect of New Media?

I also found this New York Times article about growing up with technology and it’s relationship to distraction and procrastination. How do you feel your relationship to technology first started out as a kid and how have (or haven’t) you changed? Are you disinterested in classes now if the professor does not use some form of technology or new media?

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One comment

  1. I think it’s interesting how you described the internet as making everything “continuous”. I’ve never really thought about it in that way but I agree, the way we go from work to school to recreation is very fluid and sometimes indiscernible. I’d say this is true about consuming and contributing internet content as well—the lines between the two are starting to fade due to the increasing interactivity of the internet.

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