I didn’t grow up with the internet or even computers. Well, I kind of did. Not computers like we have today, though. They didn’t affect nearly every aspect of our lives.
The first computer I dealt with was the TI-99/4A. Both my mom and my aunt worked for Texas Instruments at various points in my childhood, so we were a TI family. We mostly used it to play video games–and those were knock-offs of Atari games but with better graphics. I did use it in a science fair project in 5th grade though. I used TI-BASIC programing to get the thing to play “Hot Cross Buns” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. I had to save the program on a cassette tape.
Now kids don’t know what its like not to be connected by millions of miles of cable and Gates-knows-how-many whatever is used to measure wireless signals (I can’t be bothered to research it right now…). My first encounter with anything remotely close to the internet was in college, on the old “bulletin boards” or BBS. A few years after that, the World Wide Web exploded and things have never been the same.
Now I spend about 90% of my waking hours online in one capacity or another–both at work and at play. I’m connected to people like never before. I’ve had conversations with folks around the world.
I’ve also gotten to feel like my words matter a bit. I still get a thrill in that I can put my name into Google and pull up my website, things I’ve posted elsewhere, my reviews in other venues. To me, it’s not scary–it’s incredibly cool.
So this one goes out to Der Interwebz. Thanks for helping me feel like a citizen of the world.