23 January 2010

Just When I Thought I Wasn't (Comparatively) OLD.

There's much to write (and has been written) about how the exponential growth and expansion of technologies (and the internet) is creating micro-generations and expanding generation gaps between those.  As someone who my peers acknowledge as tech "being my thing," I've largely ignored and dismissed the idea as being applicable to myself.  Yes, being 27, my age group is on the edge of "growing up on the internet," but I've always been an early adopter.  Since I've grown right along with the internet, I did not fully remember the stark contrast of computing without it.

"Were there even computers before the internet?"

"Of course!  Don't you know they were invented in the 40s?  All kinds of computing was being done on computers before the internet.  People published papers and wrote books..."

"That's what typewriters are for..."

"Yeah, but what if you need more than one copy?  You'd have to type it all over again!"

"No, people would go get it Xeroxed."

Of course, I knew that business and then personal computers had revolutionized the way that people conducted business, designed, and published, but this student had already gotten me thinking.  When we went to the computer lab in elementary school, there was not much offered us beyond word processing, Oregon Trail, and (for gifted program kids) LOGO programming (which we didn't really understand).  How much less useful was the personal computer in the 80s?  The 90s?  How much money did individuals and corporations spend on software and utilities that had to be installed on individual machines that is now hosted online?  Just the fact that I even knew a life before being wired(less) was so natural gives me a completely different perspective on the internet and smart devices.

Think about it - do you even touch your computer when your internet connection is down?  Do we use unwired computers less because there is drastically less potential, or because we have been become dependent on web-based apps and file storage that we cannot access when unconnected?  How many lesson-planning resources do you use NOT online?


  1. Digital Natives are usually easy to spot... there generally found with screen in hand and wearing one of these ;) http://bit.ly/diyDEv

  2. Tee hee... my first school 'computer room' was a room of about 20 networked c64s, that all booted of the one floppy drive! My neighbour had a Vic20 and a BBC, and I ran PC while my high school ran Mac, so I've always been adaptable. incidentally, I still create my pixel art in an icon editor ;) keepin' it real!

  3. Not being able to open files saved on my dad's PC at home on the school macs always really confused me as a kid. "Why won't they just work??"


Thanks for sharing!