I was in grade 6 at the time so I am somewhat dating myself. I would say one of the precursors to modern social media would have to be the audio cassette. I would get blank audio cassettes and make mixtapes from songs on the radio. It was a little bit of a challenge to record the introduction of a song right when the DJ stopped speaking in order to have the best version of songs you could get from home recording. The information sharing part came when other kids that also made mixtapes were trading them around school.
My first exposure to computers came around this time. Nowadays, I am a PC guy but the first computer I was using at school was an Apple Macintosh. It was a big deal at the time to be the one who got to use the only computer with the color monitor. I recall playing a lot of The Oregon Trail at this time.
CD’s started to make their way to market. Now we had a better way to make mixtapes. Kids would lend their friends a CD so that mixtapes without the DJ talking at the start of a song could be possible. Also the audio quality was higher. It was a somewhat primitive form of information sharing.
I had finally managed in the early 90’s to convince my parents to buy a computer. I believe it was an Intel 486. It was still early before modern adoption of computers and a bit of a nerdy thing to have at the time in the early 90’s but I got one with a modem and started my journey into the online world. Connecting through dial up bulletin board systems I was able to access Usenet, play games and generally chat with other users on forums. It was mostly text based at the time.
It wasn’t until Windows 95 came out that it seemed that everyone had gotten a computer and was connected online. It had finally become commonplace to see website and email addresses.
It was 2003 when the computer had become more then a machine to play games, chat and surf the internet. I had signed up in the regular force of the Canadian Forces and become an Administrative and Finance Clerk. Computer use for me was now a daily requirement of the job. Clients would come for appointments and I had to navigate online tools, policies and regulations in order to assist them.
I had been prompted by a friend to sign up for Facebook in 2007. It was my first journey into social media. I spent many hours online (and still do) on Facebook. There have been many changes I have seen over time. Easier sharing of things like photos. Different formats to what used to be called your wall and is now a timeline. I went through my contact list excitedly and tried to connect with friends and collegues and any other acquantinces I came into contact with.
During this time I had finally upgraded to a smartphone. Now I was accessing the internet on the go. It also seemed that free Wi-Fi was popping up everywhere. Now nearly every bar, mall or restaurant has free Wi-Fi so I don’t go over my data usage and end up with a large bill at the end of the month. Upgrading phones over time became less of a hassle. I integrated Google apps into my phone so that doing tasks such as managing hundreds of contacts, checking email and updating my calender could be updated in real time.
I had been holding off on signing up for Twitter for awhile but finally decided to give it a try. Many friends were on Twitter and I followed them. Over time I started following many people and brands. I made it to about 3000 following so needless to say my timeline managed to get very cluttered. I found it was not quite what I intended when I first signed up for the service so my enthusiasm for Twitter started to wane. Who knows, maybe this course will rekindle my interest in Twitter.
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