I’m pretty sure we got our first computer in 1991. It was fairly limited in what it could do and I was often afraid I would make “it” mad causing it to break at a push of a key.
In 1993, my sister pulled out one of my last baby teeth, so that the “tooth fairy” could give us enough money needed to get the Sega Genesis, which we had saved up for over the past year from chores and such.
In 1994, I got a TV in my room.
As time passes, advanced technologies become cheaper and their perceived quality improves, so I guess it was the first time for my family where we could have a TV in living room, kitchen, basement, and all the bedrooms instead of having one in the living room where everyone would be forced to watch the same thing similar to the time that I never lived through where the whole family would crowd around the radio.
Between the computer upstairs, video games in the basement, and the TV in my room, why would I need to use any form of imagination when I could be overloaded with whatever media I wanted and not really have to think.
I considered myself to be creative growing up, but not in the same way as I was when there was no TV and no affordable personal computers. Using my action figures I would create stories and worlds beyond the moment, place, and time I was in. When I began to have someone else’s creation being fed to me through games, TV, and the internet, I started to consume instead of create, so my imagination began to deplete.
This depletion continued through most of high school. I used to joke and say I never really read until I was 16 and it was never a book school told me to read. When you read, you’re forced to use the guidance of the writer’s words to envision a story as if you’re the director by activating your imagination as a collaborator with writer. However, this isn’t to say that movies or games aren’t beautiful, thoughtful, or imaginative. I only blame myself for using those mediums in the wrong way and overusing them in general. After allm imagination and curiosity has lead to every technological advancement we’ve made a society.
At a certain point, I said enough with the noise. I started writing more, reading more, creating more, thinking differently, and being way more imaginative. Technology has allowed me to both create and share what I create in an easy way. It has allowed me to grow and take life into my own hands.
I’m curious to see how my friends’ children and cousins’ children will grow over the next couple years…how they’re able to juggle technology and imagination.