After a long day of work and training for my triathlon, I finally have a break…and I thought now would be the perfect time to post my reflection from last night’s class as well as this week’s reading!
First and foremost, I do not enjoy reading about how things are formed or created; I do not enjoy putting furniture together and I do not care how the television works, I like to accept things as they are. When I began to read Chapter 2 and the specifics of the Internet I groaned…but as I read on, I was surprised at how interested I actually was. I always knew that the Internet was created for military purposes but I did not really know how it got to what it is today…I was also extremely impressed that its origin date traces to the 1950s. (When I think of the 1950s I think of poodle skirts, apple pie and a black and white tv, not technology innovators) When the military no longer needed it, I am grateful that there were people that saw its worth and ran with it to eventually create something that the masses could engage with.
During class, I really enjoyed the Break Out Groups coming together and sharing their own observations on the Internet as well as our thoughts on the article. I was in “group 2” and it was observed that we shared a more social and democratic view of the Internet, which I do agree. My thought process for answering the first question was asking myself, “How do I personally use the internet to communicate?” The Internet is such a great tool for communication; it allows people from all over the world talk in real time – our class is a great example!
I was particularly amused by the article from 1995. The author talks a lot about concerns of the Internet at the time. A lot of what I read, I remember personally…specifically hearing my parents talk about ecommerce. It was a scary thought to put your credit card information on a relatively new and unknown website and whether you would actually receive what you ordered was a whole other issue…even as recent as four years ago did I feel uncomfortable using my credit card on the internet.
Another point the author makes is about multimedia learning. I think we have made great and drastic strides since 1995. When I was about 8 years old (1998) I remember receiving a computer game that was math focused and I believe it helped me a lot, and it was fun. Since then there are thousands of fun resources to aid in the learning process.
Finally, the author’s last paragraph about computer isolating us from one another is probably the most true and untrue statement related to today. When you go out to eat, take a look around the restaurant. How many people are on their phones, completely ignoring their dinner party? I, like many others, am guilty of this but because of the ease and accessibility of the Internet it is easy to get caught up in a space that may not be present. On the flipside, the Internet connects people rather than isolates them. As I previously mentioned, you can be connected with people, in real time, all over the world, at that same dinner, you could be chatting with a friend across the country. You can also meet new people you may have never thought you could. It also allows you to attend events you may not be able to. For example, every year I watch live sets from a music festival in another country. Although I am not there, I appreciate the experience and still get the same goosebumps I would get if I were there.
The opportunities that the Internet holds are endless. I think that, rather than devaluing human interactions, the Internet actually celebrates them, just not in the traditional way.
I look forward to next week!