Journal Entry: Thu Jun 11, 2009, 9:46 AM
The current generation's use of technology is radically different from the previous (my) generation. I'm on the precipice of 33 years of age for reference.
I was a senior in high school when my family got our first computer. It was very limited and most certainly was not hooked up to the internet. I had a vague concept of "email" and the web at that point. We used the computer to type up school papers which was a stunning boon to me, having previously used an old rickety typewriter for the task. The revolutionary power of the word-processing abilities, and oh my goodness spell check?!?! Amazing! I do remember occasionally being able to garner favor with one of the teachers who would allow me to stay late in the classroom to use one of the few computers we had in our school. Again, none of these was hooked up to the internet, what the heck was the internet?
I do have fun memories of playing the Space Quest games on the family computer with my brother and sister, we would sit gathered around the computer trying to decide what to make Roger Wilco do next. It also had a really crappy version of MS paint on it and I remember trying to draw in it with a crappy mouse. I managed to draw some rather complex images for a school paper of the anatomy of the dolphin's skull and the mechanism by which they produced sonar. That was my first foray into "digital art," it wasn't until about 9-10 years later after I'd gone to college and graduated vet school that I learned about photoshop and wacom tablets and all my art became digital for the most part.
I didn't have my own computer when I went to college. I went to the computer labs when I needed to write a paper. The college assigned all the students an email address when we enrolled. I had no idea how to use it, it wasn't until I was a sophomore that somebody sat me down and showed me what it was all about. Hah!
It wasn't until my senior year of college that I got my own personal computer in my dorm room. It was used and didn't work very well. I started poking around more on the internet at this stage as they had free internet connections in the dorms. Still didn't get the email thing much and didn't use it.
Today, we have 12 year olds making (illegal) My space accounts, lying about their age to do so and posting inappropriate images of themselves. That's a far cry from anything that was in my though processes at 12 years of age!
And cell phones? I got my first cell phone when I was a senior in vet school. I would have been about 25 years old. It was bought and paid for by myself. Senior year involved a lot of preceptorships and traveling and I needed a way for people to get a hold of me. It was a scary expense at the time and I worried it was an "unnecessary" luxury. It was used, not brand new, when I got it, and was a big clunky piece of junk that would get almost too hot to hold after a few minutes of talking. And text messaging? I think I was 28 years old when I sent my first text message. And don't get me going about that. I hate "net" speak with a passion and insist on writing out messages with proper spelling and grammar. And punctuation.
It's crazy to me that grade school kids are running around with cell phones of their own. It some ways it's a great way to stay in touch with your kids and great in an emergency. But you also hear about kids racking up the text messaging bill and getting in trouble for text messaging their friends in class instead of paying attention. Certainly wasn't something I ever conceived of when I was in school!