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Digital Media: My Autobiography

I’m not sure how old I was. I did not understand the implications at the time. All I’m sure of is that when I first laid eyes upon a photo of a sea turtle in vibrant color on a sheet of white paper, I knew the technology that had made such a miracle happen was something I wanted. Something I needed. The old, boxy, clunky white machine that produced it was a foreign object to me. At such a young age the word computer meant nothing to me. Essentially my first interaction with what has become arguably the most important piece of technology in my young adult life was an elderly woman blowing my mind with her “magical miracle turtle machine”. This kid knows what I mean. If only I had known what was to come…

I like Turtles...

I like Turtles…

Fast forward a couple years and my parents purchase our first household computer, a Dell. A reputable brand accompanied by Dial-Up Internet, (also known as the slowest, most frustrating service any human being on planet Earth has ever paid for), got my computing life started. Initially, as you might have guessed from my account above, this simply meant animals on animals. Three simple actions were all I needed; how to search pictures of animals, how to print pictures of animals and how to make pictures of animals the background on the screen. Once my Father taught me these menial tasks, it was game over. Soon enough however, unfortunately, I grew up. AOL Instant Messager, or AIM, apparently soon became the topic of conversation in fourth grade classrooms throughout the country, and I was not one to be left out of the conversation to say the least. Thus Pillsburydoughboy92 was born. Yes, my first screen name ever was named for this guy. No I can not tell you why, but when Justin VanGlan suggested the moniker it simply seemed right. My fourth grade sense of humor prevailed. Slowly but surely this social tool began to draw me in, much like the millions of people throughout the globe today deeply immersed in Twitter and Facebook. By the time the sixth grade hit I had moved on to my new badass moniker, SkateTilLate27. Sadly this one is not a joke either. By this point I had undergone a transformation at the hands of the Internet. No longer did my mother have to walk out onto the street and drag me by my arm to get me inside for dinner. I was typically already seated at the computer desk right outside the kitchen, typing away to whoever my little girlfriend was at the time. It came to the point that my mother would often pull the plug on the computer, unleashing a furious attack from me of course, lasting until the forced me out the door in a state of disarray to join the other children on the block.

"omg Mom so annoying gtg l8er"

“omg Mom so annoying gtg l8er”

The biggest moment in regards to my digital media experience thus far is indubitably my switch from PC to Mac. Christmas of 2004 brought into my possession a brand new iMac. Initially I was extremely frustrated as I did not yet understand the flow of the operating system, but as time went on I began to appreciate the device more for it’s simplicity and efficiency rather than simply for it’s futuristic, contemporary design. By the time my freshman year of High School came around, I considered myself a connoisseur in terms of Mac. Using the PC’s in my school library had become synonymous with torture in my eyes. Even my phone had to go. Those familiar with the MotoQ should understand my frustration. This phone, as wonderful as it looks, literally did not work. Motorola was selling a cellular device that did not function as a cellular device. If I needed a small red and black brick with a frozen screen running on poorly developed Microsoft technology, I would have been in business. Unfortunately I was thinking more along the lines of my newly adopted and heavily cherished computing system, so I took the jump and purchased my first iPhone.

Upgrade

Upgrade

Two computers and 11/12/13? iPhones later (I’m a clumsy guy with a bad memory and a knack for losing important things) I’m a fully converted Macophile. I literally can no longer use a PC on any advanced level and to be honest I struggle with the simplest of tasks on Microsoft operating systems. In my opinion those who do not embrace Apple products over Microsoft are those who need features on a PC that Mac does not have, which I find to be rare, much like a unicorn, or those who simply have never tested the waters. This journey, from turtles to dial-up to all Apple everything, has led me to where I stand today. Perhaps the reason I appreciate my MacBook so is because I remember the days where I would listen to the screeching, animalistic sounds coming from the router as our old Dell fired up the “Internet”, if you can even call it that at this point. I remember the anguish when my mother would make a phone call and I would lose connection in the middle of the most important conversation of my week (typically consisting of when me and my “girlfriend” would actually hang out and not live through AIM). As a student of Communications and Media here at FU, I feel as though I understand Digital Media quite well in a contemporary context, yet it is these past experiences and the transformation of the technology that I have witnessed for the past seventeen years or so that truly give me an appreciation for how far we have come. Or how far we have left to go…

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