It’s really hard to pinpoint the memory of my first experience with a PC or the Internet. I can think of a time when I was in 3rd grade where I would go over to my friend’s house and watch her play on her PC. We weren’t allowed to be on it for long. This trend continued, where I would be in contact with PCs through friends but we had limited amounts of time that we could be on it.
The internet was slow and so were the graphics but it was the most fascinating thing.
It wasn’t until fifth grade that we got an old desktop computer. It was big and clunky with no Internet access. I could only play Minesweeper or the pinball machine game or try and entertain myself with Microsoft paint. I didn’t spend too much time on it.
It wasn’t until sixth grade that my family bought a laptop which was nice for its time. It had a webcam and DVD player. Initially, I still didn’t have internet access but soon my begging paid off and my parents got WiFi.
Once able to connect to the Internet, I was amazed. I was able to watch YouTube videos and access hundreds of games. To my parents’ chagrin, I went from being a heavy TV watcher to a heavy Internet user – a perfect example of displacement theory. Since the laptop was portable, I was able to stay up late at night and read or watch movies.
My parents had gotten the laptop so that I could use it in middle school for projects and homework. Having internet access at home truly helped. I didn’t have to walk to the library anymore or pay to print. I was able to do it all at home.
The Internet and PC have definitely made my life easier. Once we purchased smart TVs, I was able to access Netflix and Twitter on my TV. My parent’s decided to “satellite shave” and cut back on our Dish package. They even fancied the idea of cancelling our TV package altogether but the cons outweighed the pros so we kept our subscription.
We have talked in class about sports being a major benefit to TV service providers. This was a major factor when we debated whether or not to cancel our subscription. My dad wanted to be able to watch soccer and boxing in real time. My mom wanted to be able to watch the news when it aired. So we slimmed down our bundle instead and kept Internet.
Since then, the Internet has diversified my entertainment options. It’s impossible to really communicate the full scope of the Internet’s impact on my life. For one, it has made communication much easier with people from different countries. I can talk to my family from Mexico way easier than in the past. My parents also cut the international talk option from our phone plan as WhatsApp lets you text and call through the Internet. (An example of the theory of relative constancy, we pay for internet using the money we saved by cutting international talk.) We are better able to share memories and keep in touch which is really important to us.
In summary, the PC and Internet have really improved my lifestyle. However, it has also been a test of my self-control since it is very easy to procrastinate with all the information and entertainment at our hands. It’s hard to remember life before computers and the internet and it’s even harder to think about them going away in the future. These are here to stay for certain but how we use and regulate them will continue to change.