I Am a Digital Native
This blog post was part of an assignment for my Journalism 106 class, Introduction to Digital Media, at Ball State University.
Technology has always been a part of my life, and I’ve always understood that technology is constantly changing. From an early age, I would wake up, turn on the TV and watch my favorite show, Walking With Dinosaurs, a two-set VCR special that examined dinosaurs throughout their prehistoric lifetime. I loved computer games too. I can still remember sitting at our desktop computer and showing off my skills in my Treasure Planet game that came in a bag from McDonalds.
It was exciting and intriguing to me. I loved the game and played it all the time, but I always knew that it could be better. This simple game could not possibly be the culmination of entertainment in our lifetime. It had the makings of something great though .
As I grew older, technology obviously became more advanced. I had game systems like other kids, and played the crap out of Super Smash Bros. At some point, I got a Flip Camera for my birthday; a simple point-and-shoot digital video camera that used a built-in flashdrive to transfer files to a computer. With it, Edbob Productions became the culmination of my filmmaking career. I edited the videos myself too.
I felt so accustomed to these digital products because they were always around me. I saw my parents using them at a young age and took on a mentality of learning by doing. Instead of reading a manual or asking questions, I dove in. That being said, I don’t consider myself an expert in every aspect of technology or digital media.
I’m comfortable while working in programs like Adobe Premiere, but could always learn more. I need to spend some time in other Adobe programs as well. My goal is to start working more on Web design. I think learning how to properly code a website is essential to my career in the future. Unfortunately, every time I start coding, I can never find the dedication to keep going. I recently read a blog on Medium about what it takes to start web designing. It emphasized that starting with what you already know is essential, but more importantly, to avoid self doubt. In the article Jason Zimbars quotes Betty Edwards as she discusses how after adolescence, many of us stop developing our drawing skills.
The beginning of adolescence seems to mark the abrupt end of artistic development in terms of drawing skills for many adults. As children, they confronted an artistic crisis, a conflict between their increasingly complex perceptions of the world around them and their current level of art skill.
Zimbars explains that at a certain age, children begin to recognize what “good art” looks like, and stop trying to draw. The same mentality applies towards learning web design. There are so many great examples of web design out there, that it can discourage anyone from trying to compare there own work. My goal this semester, and hopefully for the rest of my life, will be to learn for the sake of me. I won’t compare myself to work produced by the greatest of the greats either.
As a digital native, I’m inclined to learning about technology every day. The challenge is not getting discouraged by what is already out there. Technology is ever-changing, so by staying up-to-date and learning for the sake of learning, one can become a successful digital native. I need to stick to it, no matter the squalls, because just like Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet, I’ve got the makings of greatness in me.