Technology then and now

I was very interested in #technology growing up. As a child I owned a Tyco video camera, which was my first introduction to making videos. The #Tyco #camera was a toy for kids that recorded directly to a VCR, which means that in order to use it I had to be tethered by an RCA cable.

My brothers and I made mostly nonsense #videos of us playing and giggling, but we also did sketch comedy with toys and ourselves in the video. I remember a Ty beanie baby named Inky (an octopus, naturally) and a Koosh ball we named Harry. They would frequently star in fake movie trailers. Inky would swing across the screen as Indiana Jones, or get attacked by a toy T-Rex in Jurassic Park.

My parents were really big into garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores. This is how I ended up with my first desktop #computers. Though I grew up in the 90’s, I started on a Windows 3.x machine, a 2400 baud modem, and a dot-matrix printer. As primitive as that sounds now, this was a whole new world for me as a teenager. I was able to create printed things like cards and banners using Print Shop, play games with my siblings like Pinball and Jezzball, and share ideas on message boards with interesting people I never had access to before.

Before long, I was creating websites using the popular ways of the time, Tripod and Homestead. Of course all of this led to smartphones (Palm, Blackberry and Windows Mobile, first!) and MySpace, which taught me HTML and CSS. I learned how to manipulate photos and create graphics with photoshop. The learning is ongoing and probably will be for the rest of my life.

I had my first experience of someone criticizing my digital work when I was just a 13 year old self-described webmaster. A religious adult took offense at what I was doing.

Little did I know then what kind of foreshadowing that was.

We now live in #dystopian times. That may sound paranoid, but as I say a lot these days, it is what it is. #Pandemic, vaccinations, crackpot #conspiracy theories, #corrupt governments and presidents, literal nazis, corrupt data-hoarding capitalist ventures, state-sponsored #surveillance, #censorship, algorithmic social manipulation, cancel-culture #fascism; it’s almost cliche how everything has turned out. It’s only getting worse, unfortunately.

I’m blessed to have the willpower and principle to stick to my guns and take ethical stands against clearly unethical things. I’m not blessed in that I am among very few. This is a lonely venture.

I still love technology. I’m glad that developers exist to give someone like me an alternative. I love that I am still blogging, posting photos, microblogging, syncing calendars and so much more without Google, Facebook, and the like. I am afraid of where technology is at the moment, but these federated and encrypted workarounds are paving a path toward the future. It may be a road less traveled, but it is the right path.

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30-something, he/him, pnw. “Retired” show promoter and scene kid, a not-very-good gamer, depressed most of the time. I'm big into music, animation (old Nickelodeon), spooky things, self-care, and my family.