It is clear that an individual’s social and economic background has a significant and substantial influence on their ability to fully maximize digital technology as an important tool for personal and professional growth. To illustrate this assertion, it would be useful to examine how it is that I came to get acquainted with the computer.
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Since an early age, I have always been fascinated by digital technology especially computers. In my childhood years, I viewed computers as a portal, a gateway as it were to another world. This is because my infantile attention was captivated by the myriad functions that could be executed on a computer. I remember spending hours enthralled by computer applications; I was particularly fond of changing the computer’s wallpapers and screen savers.
At this point in time, computer technology was not as advanced as it is today. The computers of my childhood were to say the least, relics.
Looking back, in retrospect, the computer that I first encountered was incomparable to the computers of today. This is because; the particular computer was extremely slow, had very little memory space and had very few programs. At the time however, that computer seemed to be at the cutting edge of technology.
During those years, the use of the computer, for me, was limited to elementary functions such as typing assignments for school such as book reports. I also used the computer for making simple flyers, notices and posters for a number of events. Back then, the internet was not yet in mainstream use, therefore, my computer at that point did not have an internet connection.
Looking back to those years, it is hard to imagine working with a computer that did not have an internet connection because, nowadays, almost everything, whether be it work or school related, requires online resources.
In comparison to the situation today, computer technology in my childhood years was not advanced. However, the passing years witnessed quantum leaps in the sector of computer technology.
The first computer that I used was an old model that used the now obsolete character based user interface MS-DOS operating system. This complex operating system required the user to utilize a number of text-based commands for the computer to perform basic functions.
Thankfully, the next computer that I used was powered y the upgraded graphical based user interface known as Microsoft windows that are still in use today. The upgraded computer was also significantly faster and had much more memory space. Furthermore, the upgraded computer had many more programs and applications than the older model.
The ultimate advancement in computer technology, for me, was the mainstream use of the internet. The World Wide Web was an unprecedented revolution that fundamentally changed the number of functions that a computer could accomplish. The internet became and still is, for me, an important resource that for all intents and purposes, I cannot do without.
The internet is for me, an invaluable research tool and a primary source of information. The internet is also an important avenue of fast, cheap and reliable communication. Moreover, the entertainment function of the internet cannot be overlooked and in relation to this, the essential function of social networking.
In summation, comparatively, I can say that I have had exposure to computers and other forms of digital technology from an early age. I would attribute this to being the factor responsible for shaping my ability to use the technology for both personal and professional growth.