My first digital steps

Stepping Stones 2 IMG_0228” by clrcmck

“I’m the backpack loaded up with things and knickknacks too
Anything that you might need, I got inside for you”

~ Dora The Explorer

Digital technology caught me young. I think I was about 5 years old and still a big Dora fan. I remember sitting in front of our computer at home with my mother sitting next to me. She was showing me how to play a game about the alphabet. Back then I didn’t have a smartphone and I didn’t have an iPad. So, the only place I could play online games was at the computer at home. Now I have a smartphone, which I can take with me everywhere I go. It is like a bottomless back. There is so much stuff on a smartphone, like there is in Dora’s backpack. You can play games with it, prepare classes or chat with your friends. Last blog I mentioned that maybe I should spend some less time on my phone. Now I wonder: Is that intention realistic?

A picture of Dora on a window in the City Centre, Nicosia, Cyprus, made by Максим Улитин. Found on wikimedia.

Childhood memory 1: Games

My earliest memory of using a computer is playing a game on Minipret. It was a game about the alphabet. I remember having a lot of fun. I don’t think I was very aware of the fact that it was trying to teach me something. My aunt uses a different online platform for my cousins to learn mathematics. It is very handy because it saves her a lot of time. She can sit with one kid reading and let the other play with the iPad. When having completed enough exercises correctly the reward is one piece of a puzzle. For my cousins the game is to complete most puzzles. So, they really try their best on the mathematics. I don’t know for sure, because it’s quiet some time ago, but the alphabet game might have helped me the same way learning to write.

Childhood memory 2: Presentations and Essays

From groep 5 onwards we had to give presentations at school. We had to use a PowerPoint presentation. Making the presentation was a lot of fun, playing with colors and transitions. From groep 6 onwards we had to hand in essays written in word. That was less fun, because it didn’t include as many lay-out features as PowerPoint. It was very useful tough to practice with PowerPoint and Word at a very young age, because when I got older I had to use those apps more and more often. They are very handy after all. Typing on the computer is way faster than writing by hand. Also it is easier to read. And besides, it is a lot of fun scrolling through images and choosing those you want to add to your presentation or essay. Without digital technology you’d have less choice.

Childhood memory 3: Social Media

When I was 12 years old I got my first smartphone. I was very happy, because now I was able to join the class group chat. Before I had to communicate with friends via email. In the beginning I only used WhatsApp. That app is very handy. I used it for school to work together on projects and for family to let them know where I am. After one year I also downloaded Instagram and Snapchat. I soon noticed that those apps are quiet addictive. So, after some time I removed those apps. Now, sometimes I fear that I am missing out, but just by really talking to other people you can get to know one better than by liking each other’s posts.

In conclusion, smartphones are actually quiet handy. They can be loaded with a lot of stuff and knickknacks too like Dora’s backpack. They contain games, books, mail and so much more. Without my phone I’d be packing my backpack with a diary, pencils and games. Now I don’t have to. Before I go outside I just check whether my phone is in the pockets of my coat and if that is the case I know I’ll be fine. Maybe I could spend a little less time on my smartphone, but it’s not realistic to expect from myself to reduce my screentime drastically.