I’m Only Half A Digital Native

In the late 90s the music industry was booming. Record sales were up. CDs were sold in droves to my friends and I as the local music store anticipated each new release. Even when in high school in the mid 2000s I remember skipping out on class to pick up the latest Tool album. I sat in my car alone, and instead of class I listened to the whole album–twice.

But back in the late 90s music wasn’t bought, mainly because there wasn’t any rules concerning the download of music. Sure, Napster killed Tower Records, as well as a bunch of other record stores, but how many people even remember that Napster was what started the crazy? And for those who know what Napster was, who remembers using it?

I’m not a pure digital native. My generation is a transitory one. Sure, we’re considered Millenials, having grown up into adults during the mid and late 2000s. But the digital native movement (those who have grown up in a digital age) is one we, very nearly missed out on. Many friends I have of the same age did not grow up with a constant connection with the internet–my dad, being who he is, was one of the first people around to have DSL. He always had the newest gadgets. But I still remember my first foray into the digital world. What prompted this was my awaking to music. At the same time I’d talked my dad into getting satellite television and had MTV for the first time. I’d sit a make lists of songs and then download them on Napster after the fact. I always had a song on, always had something in my head. I grew up playing simple computer games like Manhole, and if you know that game you’re feeling pretty old when you see how technology has changed since then.

Now there are new digital natives, however, they use phones and tablets more than they use computers. My girlfriend is a nannie for three high school aged kids and she just informed me that they don’t have Facebook. Facebook is for old people these days. Snapchat apparently, is for the younger crowd. While I grew up using digital tech, I also grew up pretending there were aliens in the woods and pretending the stick I found was a gun and blasting the pretend aliens with my pretend gun.

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