Hi there, my name is Carol Johnson and I am a digital immigrant. That sounds a bit like an admission of some shameful flaw doesn’t it? In a way, digital illiteracy feels that way to me. Although I know people who commit themselves to unplugged lives, I hear a message in the rapid pace of technological change: “Jump in. Now’s the time. Wait too much longer and this ship will not stop at any port within your reach.”
When I was a child living in Garden Bay, on the Sunshine Coast, we had a wall-hung crank phone. To make a call, we turned the crank, reached an operator who cheerfully put the call through. Answering machines were not yet imagined and television screens were small as the window in a microwave-oven. Television reception depended on rabbit ears – which I understand are still available.
Crank phones gave way to rotary telephones, rotary phones gave way to push button and today many people use only cellular phones. I do not remember when telephone operators morphed into robotic voices chiding me for not dialing correctly, or when reaching a live service person became an act of perseverance.
I do remember when the Information Superhighway seemed like an idea taken from a Star Trek script. Now I find myself traveling that highway – in the slow lane, off course. But my goal is to feel like a digital native someday.
On a personal note, I am a grandmother, community and church volunteer, student and writer. I value justice (the Caucasian Chalk Circle type of justice) and hope someday to find the courage rant on the subject.