In the early 90’s, when I was around pre-school age, I remember my family had a desktop computer in our basement, that true to the name, took up the entire desk. It had an all black screen and orange type. My first memory of computers was when I was allowed to play Tetris on the computer and that was it, mainly because I think that’s all it did besides having a Microsoft Word-like program.
I then remember later when I was in the beginning years of elementary school we got a new Gateway computer. The monitor was now in color and was compatible with CD-roms which was very exciting because it opened up a whole world of games beyond Tetris. I had all the educational based games but my favorite was KidPix. I would spend much of my computer time on my electronic masterpieces. I also had my first experience with dial-up where you would have to suffer through sometimes five minutes of terrible screeching before the internet would work.
By later elementary school computers had become part of the daily routine. I still played with KidPix but we also had Type-To-Learn exercises and would do “research projects” where I would cite Google or Ask Jeeves.
My first AH HA moment with technology was when I watched “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. If you have not seen the movie, which I still recommend, the premise is the two meet through exchanging emails and fall in love without realizing who each other are until the end. This movie was when I first realized that the internet and computers were more than just a one sided tool to search things or play games, but like Van Dijk describes media can be used as a networking tool to connect to other people virtually.
You’ve Got Mail trailer:
This is funny for me to look back on because while I still play the occasional game of Candy Crush on my phone; my primary use of all media now is to network and share ideas with other people, whether on Facebook, Instagram or this class blog.