My excitement about starting another blog ~ for as I discovered on Monday in class, I am a serial ‘dotsam and netsam’ offender ~ was exciting and terrifying at the same time. I used to consider myself techno-literate. My generation were the first to have access to computers in our school library. Huge boxy things with little green rectangles flashing along as we typed. All terribly exciting but I’d just received THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER! My first electric typewriter, and nothing was ever going to replace the exaltation of placing a clean crisp sheet of paper into the reel and the satisfying clickety clack of tip tap typing away to fill that page with words. Nope, not ever. Until 1998.
Cue 1998. I can’t remember what made me start nagging my husband that we needed a computer. I can clearly recall the “I must have”-ness of it though. I talked non-stop about it for months until, once again, THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER! My first computer, and nothing was ever going to….blah blah blah.
It’s been a world of THE BEST [insert new tech related whatever here] EVER since then. My much longed for beauty was as huge and boxy as they were when I was in Primary school- the desk it sat on took pride of place in our kitchen, taking up half of one wall – but it didn’t matter. My girlfriends and I (all full time Mamas back then) would spend hours everyday surfing the net. And it really was surfing, we’d cruise the waves from one site to the next, paddling from innocent cartoon-ish sites to astrology and fortune telling sites (“your future looks bleak and you seem restless”, um, d’uh, it’s full of poo-y nappies and baby spew oh wise one) and then racing the waves out of sites like rotten.com (ghoulish- you couldn’t look, but then couldn’t look away) SO MUCH FUN! New stuff to explore, new friends to make from all around the world. And all in my kitchen, surrounded by little ones who were more than happy to sit at our feet and munch on a plate of Vegemite Saos and sliced apples while they took a break from pulling apart my saucepan and Tupperware cupboards.
I used my darling ‘puter hourly, daily. My world grew bigger every time I pressed that ‘on’ button. So much to learn, so much to experience, that I would never have known was out there year or two before. How bloody brilliant. Back then my favourite search engine was the internet! I’d trawl through page after page, usually never finding any relevant information to what I’d started searching for, but it didn’t really matter. The pages took ages to load, and as exasperating as that was, it all worked out well in hindsight as it gave me time to change nappies, make cuppas, peg out washing, organise dinner, you know, all that other stuff stopping me from exploring the ‘net, as we old timers called it 😉
It was a natural progression from trawling and haphazardly floating around the ‘net to ‘hanging’ in chat rooms. While it’s often said the internet is just pages and pages of porn, I’m pretty sure it’s chock to the brimful of music sites, and that’s where I headed. I discovered a world full of people who loved the same quirky vibes as me. I believe that’s what Heaven will be like. I no longer felt like a weirdo, I felt at home. Unfortunately for my computer, these chat rooms led us to our first blue screen of death. My conspiracy loving husband still insists that viruses are made by the companies that sell anti-virus. I don’t argue, I’m still too busy playing with technology, though for the last few years it hasn’t been my computer that’s kept me entertained, it’s been my iPhone. Which is why the first unit we did with Bonnie this term was such an eye opener for me; “whadaya mean people STILL use excel?!” Big thanks Miss Bonnie!
Social media has made me a ‘net surfer again. I was a little bit reluctant at first – I was one of the last of my friends to join Facebook, about six years ago – and I deactivate regularly, just to keep me and it interesting 😉 I adored Instagram until this year, I feel too busy this year to be on the look out for the perfect snap to share. I’ve dabbled a few times with Twitter, though as you can tell if you’ve read this far, 140 words is about 800 too little for me, though I do like the interaction with my favourite Australian news shows and writers that Twitter gives me. I had myspace back in the day, as a music lover it was the place to be. Funny how fast it became irrelevant to me and everyone else. I wonder if in ten years we’ll look back and think Facebook and Twitter the same?