Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My life as a DI.

I became a Digital Immigrant http://tinyurl.com/43fygl about 10 years ago when I began using a PC regularly circa mid-1998, learning to surf the Internet and to use email later the same year. I continued for a while the use of my portable typewriter but after a bit I abandoned it for my PC. (I graduated to a laptop used as a desktop only a couple of years ago.) Unlike many DIs, I did not get into the habit of printing emails I received or, worse still, getting someone else to print them for me. Even now, from time to time, I go into the "Did you get my email?" panic (landline or wired) phone call mode. But that's more because of the unreliability of the MTNL DSL connection than a lack of trust in the Internet. I have always been editing on the screen instead of on a printed copy. I don't drag people to my PC to show them an interesting website I've found. I mail them the url, instead. I'm not at all comfortable, though, with fast-moving video games. Twitch-speed is not within my ambit. Having been digitally undexterous all my life, I play slow stuff like solitaire. Slow downloads rarely upset me overmuch. I haven't learned to multi-task and parellel-process as yet, except maybe as far as listening to music while working at the PC. When it comes to a choice between television and books (the tree-cutting kind, not online), I go for the latter anytime. I don't care for a cellular phone, don't carry one. No faxing for me. Email has been as far as I go in online messaging. I haven't graduated to instant messaging. The spellings that go with it make me uncomfortable. In fact, the phenomenon of aliteracy (the inability to spell, punctuate and construct a sentence) bothers me. http://tinyurl.com/3kjgyh. On a different note, I don't insist on bottled water like the Digital Natives do. I haven't taken in a big way to social networking although blog I do fairly regularly. For me, Google is both a noun and a verb (with a lower-case 'g'). Last August, I got a USB thumbdrive as a birthday gift. I use it rarely and sparingly. Recently, I got a basic iPod Shuffle also as a gift from Ujwal. I listen to Beethoven, Brahams, Tschaikowsky, Bach, Wagner and other classical masters as well as Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Noorjehan, Geeta Dutt, Mohamed Rafi and similar oldies on it. I'm beginning to accept that digital information is ephemeral (44% of websites vanish within a year) and democractic, not authoritative (Wikipedia, not Britannica). P.S.: There are, I reckon, only two born Digital Natives among the Mankars: Anika and Armaan. From recent personal observation, I would add that Aditi and Avantika too have, by their own efforts and interest, attained the DN nibbana by now. Bully for them.