The year was 1981. The concept was a personal computer. The aftermath was entitled the Technology Revolution. In August 1981, IBM released the first personal computer (pc). While many assumed it would make life easier; what they did not anticipate was that it might eventually open a Pandora’s Box of mixed emotions among consumers alike.
According to an article written by Pamela Paul, an American Demographer, the introduction of the IBM PC is one of the first defining moments of the group that is usually called “the Millenials” or “Generation Y”. This generation is the generation born between 1980 and 1994. While your parents, “Generation X” probably viewed this tool of communication as a new way to complete the workweek; we tend to see the computer as a way of life.
I can remember being in the second grade, my teacher Ms. Anderson took my class to the computer lab every week so that we could read, write, even do math on the computer. In our twenties, the computer is a means to an end and a tool we deem completely and utterly necessary; interestingly enough, I know some parents who can’t even work a DVD player. How is one device has lead to such a massive communication crack between two generations?
On the one hand, we can Google the answer to any question we have, on the other; our parents have no idea what we are talking about. Does generation Y speak a different language, one encrypted with gigabytes and understood using only motherboards? Is our generation in the fast lane of the information highway or would we have a flat tire if our computers were taken away?
The computer has shaped everything that we do. For example, it is common for a professor to say, “e-mail me,” instead of, “stop by my office.” Why do we have to enroll in Study Skills to learn how to develop a relationship with our professors, when talking person to person seems so natural and secondary?
I adore the internet and computer just as much as the next computer geek; but I often wonder if I could function if I had to go a few days without my computer. I wouldn’t be able to check Facebook, or e-mail my professors, or even look at my daily horoscope. Not only that, I would have to do my homework using pen and paper, which would be so retro.
Is it possible for our generation to not use a computer for a few days, or would we experience withdrawal symptoms? Even more interesting, how are our kids going to respond to technology? Will they even carry books to school, or will they be able to download the chapter via the internet on the iBook? I suppose only time will tell how much the computer will truly dominate the Technology Revolution.