Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Definition of Newbie

While I am a relative newbie to the marvelous world of modern technology, in that most 20th-century inventions were not part of my early, formative years, I have been lucky enough to bear witness to the dawning of the computer age. Of course, it was just a glorified typewriter to me until that fateful day in university when I learned that I could chat online with other students, thanks to an early-adopting prof who constantly digressed from his lectures about Milton to evangelize about the emerging world wide web. My friends scoffed at the number of hours I would spend in the library at one of the public computers, endlessly chatting in online forums with other students in the university network. They called it a fad. Who's laughing now, luddites!

So as with TV, I guess you could say that I've tried to make up for lost time by embracing new media as much as I can -- hence my own, personal definition of newbie: someone who is into, or interested in, new media.

For interest's sake, a quick scorecard. Have I embraced new media? I mean, really?

Well, I do have 2 email addresses, 2 blogs, profiles on MySpace, facebook, and LinkedIn, a Second Life, an IM account, a DVR, 2 PCs and a cellphone.

I don't, however, have a BlackBerry or PDA or laptop (yet!), I don't text and I don't twitter. And, truth be told, I partially composed this entry using pen and paper.

And, for the record, I do go back to the commune -- The Farm -- as often as I can every summer. Yes, it's still a going concern, with about 16 active members and 7 permanent residents. Yes, they've since compromised on the initial founding principles and now enjoy the benefits of running water and electricity, even Internet (although it's extremely slow as the only connection is through dial-up). Although my mom's old cabin still has only a propane stove and one electric light, and you have to bring your own water because there's no plumbing, I enjoy visits there very much. Sometimes it's nice to completely unplug and go somewhere that you really can't be reached by phone, cell or otherwise. If only because it really makes you appreciate what you have when you get back!

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