Emelia Oslund Tech Literacy Autobiography The technology that my brothers and I have grown up with might be confusing to some older generations. I can remember having our first computer in the basement of my old house, and having it be a privilege to actually get online. At first we would only use it for playing games on discs and using some learning software, but when the internet became popular in our house it was used for the basic AOL internet. Back then it was a lot different than it is today, first of all we had dial-up which took a while to connect, and second of all it was all one window. The AOL server had the web browser and instant messaging all in one pop up window. My brothers and I hardly ever used the computer for school work, but we were also in grades that didn’t require papers to be typed or information to be searched online. I think that in about seventh grade is when I constructively started using the computer, and internet, to help me finish my work and do other things besides chat and play games. Now, though, I am online at least twice a day. The days that I don’t get online are rare and often forced on me. During my family’s yearly summer vacation, my brother’s and I aren’t allowed to bring computers, video games, movies, or any other sort of technology. We can bring books and board games. The whole point is that we aren’t supposed to be distracted from our “family time” which I can understand for the most part, but technology really has become a part of our everyday life. It’s difficult for us kids to be restricted from these things for even one week! At one point they almost took our phones away too, because we all text and talk on our cell phones so much, but I talked them out of it because when we’re away I need to be able to contact my mom. It really takes that much to keep our cell phone! I think that a lot of parents don’t understand how much their children not only depend on technology but also how they don’t feel comfortable without it. I know that when I’m unable to contact my friends and family I get restless. I use technology in school and at home for some of the same things and some different things. I obviously use computers for writing papers and researching things for class. I also use computers at home, though, for communicating with family and friends. I’m a big facebook user and my mom loves to share pictures with me over MySpace. I use Yahoo messenger to talk to some of my high school friends as well. I also use the internet to research things on my free- time at home, just random things like questions that I wonder about. I also use my phone at home, and sometimes at school even though I shouldn’t, to text and talk to people. It’s a good feeling to be able to easily communicate with the ones that are important to you and technology helps make that possible. A lot of the time I read articles, blogs, and informative sites to help me write papers, answer questions, or just to learn about new things. The internet is really extraordinary when it comes to being able to get answers from many credible sites and a lot of different point of views. Growing up there has been a lot to learn about technology, it’s a never-ending learning process, actually, because new technology is developed constantly. I don’t think I was ever the one to teach anyone younger than me about web pages or computers in general. I have an older brother that always either taught me and the rest of my family what to do, or showed us where to look to learn about it by ourselves. Also, I have a very computer-smart friend that helps me to this day with things that I wouldn’t have even thought to do without her. She gets complete cd’s offline before it’s even out! She can create awesome mixes, she knows the best about creating web pages, and she is always going to be my go-to person when I have any kind of internet help. She knows links and codes that I didn’t even know existed but can make things so much more custom, and simple. The only thing I can recall doing where I felt more tech savvy than someone else is helping my grandparents with their computers, which I’m sure everyone has done at one point in their life. Another thing that prevented me from really learning things on my own was the fact that my dad worked for a computer programming company for over twenty years, and anything that went wrong with my computer he could fix no questions asked and no bill to pay. Overall technology is constantly changing and constantly becoming a greater influence in everyone’s lives. People who aren’t literate in the many technologies that we have are definitely at a disadvantage compared to people who are very skilled with them. I have been fortunate grown up with the convenience of things like the internet and cell phones, but I know that there are people in the world who can survive without it. I think that sometimes people take the technologies that we are given for granted, but then again there are people who think too much of it. We can learn without googling everything, it’s almost taboo to consider going to a library to do all of your research instead of just a portion of it. We can live without our computers and cell phones, but we just don’t want to. It’s understandable because why would anyone want to when they don’t have to? But I think that maybe it would give people a different perspective on how lucky we are and how easy we really have it.
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