I’m only 27 years old, and I already feel like I might be too old for the internet. It seems as though daily I read about hip new online programs and technology that I had no idea existed and already have over 2 million users. Last week I discovered that a “vlog” is not just a clever term for a video blog, but is a phenomenon that has grown into a form of digital expression that could easily be labeled as Art (by those of us who aren’t terribly pretentious about that sort of stuff). There are some vloggers that make their living by just talking about their lives on Youtube. WHAT?! Has the internet always been this big that something with such impact could totally slipped by me? Is this what it felt like to be 40 in 1996?
Last decade I totally ruled the internet. I was one of the first people I knew to have an e-mail address, I understood how to get information off dogpile.com, and I could even custom edit my angelfire website in HTML if need be. I spent an absurd amount of time on forums, IMing people I didn’t know, and reading webcomics. All quite secretly, might I add, lest the world think I was so out of touch with reality that I couldn’t live in it properly. If 15 year old Cassi had been told that 10 years later she’d be posting a video blog on a social media website where everyone she has ever known (the cute boys from High School, her teachers, her GRANDMOTHER) could see it, she probably would have settled herself in for a life of shamefully living in her parent’s basement.
But things have changed- the Era of the Nerd is here and closeted weirdos like myself have been given a free pass to experiment with technology in a highly public fashion. Makes me wish I had really pursued those budding SNES talents. The shift in how much interaction one can have with technology and still be accepted socially is all very exciting, but it does make me a little nervous. Nerds are fast, and young nerds even faster. People are living longer, but the young people are the ones doing all of the innovating and creation. How hard am I going to have to work to keep up with all of these changes? How long until I’m too old for the internet? I’m hoping that I’ll make it to at least 30 before being put out to pasture. Cross your fingers.