My First Time
When I was young, we used to go to my grandparents’ house every weekend. I had lots of fun because four of my mom’s siblings were still living at home. During the day we would spent our time outside, but late in the evenings on Saturday, we used to gather around in the living room, each taking his/her spot on the sofa and watch a movie my uncle had rented. Back then, the only digital medium we had was the television. But it all changed when I was thirteen! What I did not mention before is that my youngest aunt is the same age as I am. While she still is the youngest at home, I am the oldest. She had the privilege to experience everything new to us before I did, so it should not be a surprise that one day her older siblings bought her a computer. I remember the day I visited and they brought the computer home. It was pretty exciting because we did not know much about it, but the general idea was that we were going to need it for high school. The only thing we did on the computer back then was therefore use Microsoft Office. Probably about two years later, we learned all about MSN Messenger, O how exciting it was to us. It was a thrill because we would be able to stay up late and chat with our friends online.
I however was sixteen when my parents bought me a PC. I remember it just being in the corner of my room, because I was already used to doing things ‘offline’. After school, I would spend my time with friends and in the evenings I would prefer drawing while listening to music or reading a book. Back then music was my jam. I would listen to the radio and even make my own recordings on tape of the songs I liked. The computer back then was just a tool to use when needed and the internet an unknown and undiscovered source.
I was eighteen when I started listening and downloading music online. 8 Tracks was were you found new music and some other websites I discovered. I also learned that you could watch series online which was very exciting for me because there were some series I wanted to see or had heard about from friends. Still my spare time spent online was limited, because there was a whole new world I had to discover outside my house. And time spent with friends is more fun than staying home and doing things all by yourself.
Like all human beings, however, I am also prone to getting addicted to what we call internet. Now with the unlimited access to our smartphones and therefore internet, I have discovered that I spent a lot of time on my phone. I used to find myself watching videos on YouTube for hours or reading and looking at post on Instagram for a long period. When I realized this problem and yes it is a problem to me, I decided to be more conscious about the way I use these platforms and limit my time spent online, but it is still a working progress.
When I compare my upbringing around digital media to those children born now in a world where digital media is a constant since birth, I am honestly very thankful to have been born in a period where it was all about having fun outside with friends or at home with your parents and siblings without the presence of social media. For nowadays digital media is not only present and constant in the lives of children, but also in the lives of adults.