If you need help ‘Googling’ you’re too old

Our entire world revolves around the Internet. It’s hard to imagine being able to go through every day life without it, so much so that we forget there was a time before the Internet even existed.

Kids today are born into the Internet age. It seems as though most know how to use an iPad before they can even properly speak. But do they really understand what the Internet is or where it comes from? The Fine Brothers create YouTube videos of demographics reacting to various topics. In a video titled, ‘TEENS REACT TO 90s INTERNET’, “teens [aged 14-19] watch the 90’s era instructional video, Kids’ Guide to The Internet and discuss how the Internet has evolved over time.” (TheFineBros, 2014).

The participants can’t help but laugh at the video, overwhelmed by how old and corny it is. They roll their eyes when the definition of “e-mail” and “web” are given. When asked about the video, one teen states, “It’s so outdated, I have no need for it, I already know what to do” and another agrees it’s unnecessary, describing the Internet as “self-explanatory”. The teens however found they do not really understand the workings of the Internet. Most agreed that it wasn’t important how the Internet actually works, it only matter that you know to use it.

According to Sterling (1993, p. 5), “The Internet’s pace of growth in the early 1990s [was] spreading faster than cellular phones and faster than fax machines.” At the time, the increasing growth of Internet usage was allowing more people to connect than ever before. Sterling’s idea that the Internet was a form of freedom resonates today. Even now, the fact that there are no “bosses” of the Internet gives people a sense of liberty that is hard to find anywhere else. Therefore does our ability to use the Internet however we want override any need to understand what the Internet really is?

Sterling (1993, p. 5) states, “The real Internet of the future may bear very little resemblance to today’s plans”. As we can already see, it has surpassed expectations from its origin, making me wonder what the internet will be capable of doing in years to come and what future generations will have to say about cyberspace today.

Sources:

Sterling B 1993, ‘A Short History of the Internet’, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, viewed August 5, <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/245647/mod_resource/content/1/Sterling%2C%20B.%20-%20A%20Short%20History%20of%20the%20Internet.pdf&gt;.

The Fine Brothers 2014, TEENS REACT TO 90s INTERNET, online video, June 1, YouTube, viewed 8 August 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0mg9DxvfZE>

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7 thoughts on “If you need help ‘Googling’ you’re too old

  1. What a good take on the week’s topic. I love how you used the video and talked about a specific angle of Sterling’s paper and discussed it form your own point of view. Very original -nice!

  2. Hi, I really enjoyed reading this post! I liked your inclusion of the youtube video, it was very relevant and tied in well with this week’s reading. I also found it interesting that the teens didn’t find it important to know how the network they depend so much on works.

  3. “Most kids know how to use an iPad before they can speak.”

    Know a lot of kids with iPad access? No, what you mean is ‘The iPad is designed so simply a child can learn it.’

    Also, the internet as a system started in 1983. Are you old enough that YOU can actually REMEMBER a time before it? Or are you just pattering out a pat phrase?

    Yes, things change over time. Yes, things in the future are hard to predict. Well done. You wonder about the future, with nothing to say but borrowed words on the topic.

    But hey! Maybe I just don’t follow your point. I am, after all, quite old.

    • Hi Richard, as it stands this comment is on the wrong side of what we consider appropriate academic conduct in the Digital Media and Communications degree. We need to talk asap about this and the rest of your online presence…

      Ted

  4. Hello!
    I really enjoyed reading your post 🙂 I was born in the 90s and yes, the dial-up tone is literally in the back of my head until today! I would say it was a glorious decade (the 90s) with the burst of the Internet, social networking sites, chat rooms and many more.

    I do agree with you on “Kids today are born into the Internet age. It seems as though most know how to use an iPad before they can even properly speak.” It is quite odd to see kids lugging their iPads around in malls and watching videos at the dinner table whereas I was inseparable from my Barbie dolls. Guess times have indeed changed.

  5. That video is gold. Brilliant find!

    A look back in time and that’s enough to provide evidence to highlight how far the internet has come.

    I’m still laughing at that corny video.

  6. This is an interesting topic that Ive always wanted to discuss. i enjoyed the video and you discussion about generations born into the internet age. you tied in academic discussion and evaluation really nicely. the blog flowed really well and your last paragraph about the future of our internet does make me wonder how high-tech we will get.
    Over all it was a good read, and the i love you humorous title

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