I remember the drive to the computer store with my dad when I was about 10 years old (I am young, the year was 1992). We had just moved to North Carolina and my dad decided we were going to get a home computer. I remember him and the store manager loading the computer into the backseat of our car. It took up the entire Mercury Topaz’s backseat. I also remember being so stoked about getting to ride up front because of it (my mother was a safety stickler to the height and weight rule for riding in the front). When we got home my whole family crowded around my dad watching him assemble the great beast. My brother was 3 years old at the time. My dad had bought a sesame street ABC game on floppy disk for my brother to play.
My sister and I had used computers at school to play Oregon Trail and we were familiar with how to use them. My brother picked it up instantly. Within days he was turning it on and loading up his game to play all by himself. My mother on the other hand had a bit more trouble. My 3 year old brother was the one who actually taught her how to use the computer.
Eventually we got AOL and the familiar dial-up sound was constantly filtering through the house (god forbid if someone picked up the phone while you were online and knocked you off. That meant all out war). We all got our own email accounts and began to email our family in Canada and to “search the web”.
Fast forward 20 years and here I sit writing this blog post. I am one of the kids who grew up on the border of the “wired generation“. Technology wasn’t a part of my life when I was younger, but it slowly crept in during my teen years and over took in my early twenties. I became addicted to my cell phone and texting. I checked my MySpace account and then my Facebook at least once a day. Now living overseas, I Skype with my friends and family all the time. I have somehow survived without a cellphone for the past 3 years (shock!) and I have continued to never get bored while surfing the web.
One of my favorite quotes from The Office, Michael Scott says “When I discovered YouTube, I didn’t work for five days. I did nothing.” Anytime I need to “kill time” I just get online. When I come home from school and want to decompress I make myself a snack and browse my Pinterest. Then I check my Facebook to see what my friends from home have been up to. Then I go to my guilty pleasure gossip website to read about the lives of people I do not know. From there I might do a little online browsing of some of my favorite clothing websites and eventually I will end up back on Pinterest or Epicurious to decide what I am making for dinner.
I cannot imagine my life without the web. Anytime I have a question or I need something, I open the browser and get searching for my answer.
This video poses the question: When does loving the internet become an internet addiction? Are YOU addicted?