Growing up in the 1980's/1990's brought on many strange adventures - learning to ride a bike, the introduction of the video game, and the mainstream use of the computer. I recall my first computer - an Apple IIc. It had a green monitor, floppy disc drive (one of those huge 5 1/4" discs), and a mouse. We got the computer when I was in the fifth grade. The prior year, I had to write a research paper (something like 10 pages) - and was all hand-written. Once I got the computer, I was able to type everything - life became so much more simplistic.
Upon entering highschool four years later, I was given the option to select which courses I wanted to take that semester. I recall seeing a computer/keyboarding course, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I walked in to the class and met my teacher. The teacher asked me what experienced I had. I answered that I've had a computer for about four years. She immediately responded with, "Oh, so you are a computer geek, eh?" The whole class laughed - needless to say, I was embarrassed - terrible way to start out highschool. I tried a witty response by saying, "Uhhh, nope, I'm on the baseball team!" Back in those days, the jocks were the cool kids and the loners were the geeks. So in order to shed that geek image, I continued playing ball until an ankle injury resulted in my downfall from athletics during my Junior year. All the while, I hid the fact that I got my first laptop computer (Compaq 3/20c). It had just 20 megabytes of memory space and 2 megabytes of RAM. However, I used this computer to teach myself Microsoft Excel. I immediately began by tracking all of my fantasy baseball stats on the spreadsheets.
Upon graduation, I immediately entered college and discovered a whole level of geeks. These guys hung out in the computer labs all day, every day. Still yet, I refused to associate with them, so I just hung out with my new friends and drank beer. I continued this trend during my college career - even managed to avoid the library during my entire Senior year. During my college tenure, we were introduced to the internet and something called "instant messeging". Most of us used AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) - and we had to just to keep up with our girlfriends. The perception seemed to be that guys were cooler than girls, but in order for a guy to be cool, he would have to been seen with girls. Thus, in order to adapt, we (guys) had to cater to their outlet - in this case, AIM.
So upon graduation from college, I applied for employment, and was able to place on my resume "12 years of computer experience, including Microsoft Excel". This aspect was key in me landing a job, and I have never looked back. Since computing skills were very important for young adults to land a job, more families began acquiring personal computers - thus, more kids (younger and younger) got more exposure to computers. As the internet grew, so did the volume of users and their time spent online. Previously, parents had to worry about how much time their kids spent watching television. Now, they are more concerned with how much time they are spending online. Chat rooms soon replaced instant messaging, and forums sprung up seemingly out of nowhere (even though bulletin board systems had existed for quite some time).
Folks began using computers and the internet to strengthen their knowledge and conduct research. Part of that research (in my experience) has been contributing to forums. Currently, I have a membership with at least 15 different forums - ranging from cars, to televisions, to cell phones, to parenting, etc…. With the emergence of social networking, and access via mobile devices, seemingly everyone has a footprint online. The perception now is that if you are not online, you are not cool. Moreover, your coolness is suddenly determined by how many "friends" or "followers" you have. Seems to me that the larger presence one has online, the more clout they have (hence the Klout app).
Now, jocks are considered to be "jokes" while the geeks are having the last laugh. Despite this new perception, I still consider myself a jock as I always prefer to play sports and be outside doing physical activities rather staring at a screen all day.
Am I right in this presumption?