It’s difficult for me to clearly remember the first time I used a PC and the Internet. I was very young I remember that much. My dad came home one day all excited about a new computer he bought. At the time I thought it was the coolest thing ever. But thinking about it in comparison to today’s computers is quite comical. It was so large, and I don’t mean the screen. The back of the monitor almost extended the length of the desk we had it on. My earliest memory of the Internet involved email. My mom went away on a trip and I was missing her so my dad came up with the brilliant idea that I email her. We set up my own account and everything. My mind was blown that we could communicate this way. It made me feel so grown up and smart, definitely qualifying it as my first major accomplishment, being able to type letters to my mom and send them to her in a matter of seconds (may have been minutes at the time; I don’t recall how fast the Internet was then). With this situation, the displacement theory plays a role. Although I liked hearing my mom’s voice on the phone, email was just so much “cooler”. Therefore, I began to email her more than call her. I can’t quite recall my first mistake using the Internet. I think I may have brought a drink into the computer room while writing emails and my dad freaked out. Other than that, my mind just can’t go back that far.
These experiences stick in my mind because of how incredible the technology seemed at the time, especially to a child. I wasn’t able to fully grasp the technicalities of it all, and therefore was even more amazed than my parents. It affected my outlook on computer integrated learning skills taught at school. For example, in the third grade we learned to type. Since I had my own computer at home (shared with the entire family), I already had some practice and it made me even more determined and excited to learn. I wanted to show my parents that I could type like an adult, so I took that section of the class seriously. I ended up being one of the fastest typers in the class. Now computers and other technology mediums such as iPads and Kindles are regularly integrated into schooling systems. I constantly use my computer in college for scholastic purposes, whereas in high school and below it was mostly just play/leisure time. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend time online shopping and using social media, but it’s declined since high school. Having grown up with the new technologies of the Internet and PC’s, my mindset on technology was positive, even though I didn’t understand it completely.
Overall, the Internet and the medium to which we utilize it have strongly influenced my decisions and practices in life. I’ve always used Google, at least from what I can remember. I’m definitely dependent on both for new information/scholastic purposes, leisure time, and everything in between. This coincides with the media system dependency theory. Although, it’s an asymmetrical relationship, I depend on my computer and the Internet on a daily basis, whereas they don’t depend on me to survive. I honestly can’t imagine life without the Internet and the computers that allow us to utilize it.