It’s an exciting thing to see. The world wide web brings with it the ability to see, and often interact with, the many other people who care about the causes you care about. What were once isolated groups of individuals are now networks of individuals and groups. I’ve watched the food declaration grow from about 300 endorsements or so to close to 16,000, many of whom are representing a variety of organizations . I’ve seen blog posts with comments from individuals not only across the U.S. but even across the world. This sort of thing still amazes me. I know it is not new, but it still has that effect on me.
I have mainly up to this point been more of a consumer of information, than an active participant or creator. Although I guess I fall within the “digital native” age bracket, I’m of the older set. I didn’t get my first computer until my junior year of high school. Didn’t get full internet access until I got to college. Didn’t discover social networking until my post-undergrad years. I know much of that has since changed. I actually like the fact that I’m a product of both worlds. I don’t see books as quaint; I’ve lived with, consumed, and fell in love with too many of them to ever consider them a lost relic. I like face to face interaction, but do also enjoy being in contact with people I may otherwise not see or interact with. I read both online and offline. Search online and offline. Live online and offline. And value what both spaces have to offer.
Computers were definitely not a part of my k-12 schooling. I remember having to teach myself how to use all the office type software I was mostly expected to know how to use in college, though no one bothered to show me how. Online searching was definitely something I did in college, again I had to teach myself how to find relevant and accurate info. It was very much self-learning, experimentation, and finding others who knew more than I did that got me to where I am today. Of course it was also in college that I realized that not all high schools are created equal. There were those in my college courses who had been exposed to computers earlier on both at home and in school, and they were the ones who became my teachers.
The next step for me is to become a more active member of the online world, but that’s really come in baby steps. I guess having lived without a computer and internet access for so long, it’s still difficult to imagine what’s possible.