DIGITAL AMERICA

From modem screech to Mark Zuckerberg: the evolution of the internet.

// Posted by on 05/15/2015 (11:53 AM)

The internet is an ever-evolving system, bringing people from all over the world and all walks of life together. It serves its purpose as a means of entertainment, ranging from gaming sites such as Pogo and Minecraft, to video sharing pages like Youtube. It brings relatives far and wide together through social media (ie., Facebook, Skype, Facetime) I’ve always been fascinated by the internet and its sheer vastness, dating back to my first AOL account on my Grandmother’s ancient Gateway 2000 computer, waiting with eager anticipation while listening to the modem screech and moan while the animation of the electricity striking the key played on the screen. Following the screech came the robotic man’s voice with a “Welcome!”, though it was more exciting when the greeting was accompanied by “You’ve got mail!” (After all, I may already be a winner of the Publisher’s Clearing House, and I was only 8 years old!)

 

My fascination with all things digital began to expand and branch away from the Kid’s Only games on AOL, as I began to explore fan-sites for things that interested me. It was around this point that I discovered and introduced my mother to eBay, the addictive auction site where you could find anything and everything.

 

The internet is also a cyber-playground, so to speak. Friends, both in the outside world, as well as those whom have never met, can gather and chat or play games together. Games on social media, like Farmville and Mafia Wars, allow interaction with other people, forging new friendships globally.

 

Aside from the social aspect, the internet is also known as the information superhighway. News sources from all over the world are accessible, keeping everyone abreast as to the goings on in practically every country.

 

Since I first touched a keyboard,  I’ve considered myself to be somewhat of a computer geek, always wanting to soak up the latest technology and learn as much as I possibly can. Like society, the internet is always changing and morphing into something new, adding new means of communication, entertainment, shopping sites, and ways to learn new skills or trades. However, the internet also harbors some less than innocent instances as well, with cyber bullying on the rise. It is absolutely imperative while communicating with someone online (whether or not you know him or her in the “real world” as well) that caution is exercised- never give out too much personal information!

 

It’s really difficult to definite the internet, as it can be so many different things. In my opinion, the internet perfectly embodies the definition of noun- a person, place, thing, or idea. While it is not specifically a person, there is constant interaction with other people. It is a place, in a sense that it is somewhere you “go” to look for information or media. It is a thing when you see it as a tool for communication, entertainment, news, etc. Lastly, the internet is a place where ideas are born.

 

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT:

 

The online portion of the class should entail setting specific dates for completing the blogpost, such as Friday at 5pm as with this first posting. Also, a minimum of either a page, or 500 words, whichever occurs first should suffice for getting one’s point across.

I personally prefer learning and reading from my computer, as I can look up things I find confusing or don’t completely understand in another tab, eliminating the risk of losing my place in a book.

I expect my peers to give thoughtful responses to blog posts, but not necessarily agree with everything that is said. It was mentioned in class that with the discussion boards on blackboard that often students feel forced to give positive, almost canned sounding answers of “Oh yes, I agree with you” and “great job”, without actually explaining why they feel in such a way.


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Comments:


Rosatelli said...

Hi Sarah,

I love that you are open to debate on the blogs! The best debates occur when we come from a place of respect, because we actually respect each other enough to push their thinking (and our own). Tough questions are respectful, as are disagreements!

You’ve had the luxury of exploring the Internet before because became fearful–it sounds like you are part of the “first generation” of web users. For new media historians, this is the era when many of the early web adopters began writing books about how the internet could save the world and how children being plugged in could create a new era of community (early Howard Rheingold comes to mind!). You were able to explore the positive aspects of the web without your parents warning you of the negatives–they were unknown, working out over the past fifteen years. So, I wonder: does the fear surrounding the internet influence the fearless innovation that spurred it? And, how do we interpret scholars that once lauded the potential of the internet who now write with grave concern?

// 05/15/2015 at 9:05 pm

David said...

I like your comment “I expect my peers to give thoughtful responses to blog posts, but not necessarily agree with everything that is said.” I think respectful disagreement is essential to facilitating any kind of meaningful and useful online discussion. “Great job” and “I agree” are conversation killers. Instantly. Thank you for bringing this up. I second this potential rule of engagement.

// 05/17/2015 at 1:28 pm