When I was two, I experienced computers for the first time.
My parents sat me down in front of our bulky monitor and loaded a Winnie the Pooh game for me. I quickly became attached to the buzzing box and the pictures that magically appeared on it.
I could probably load a CD before I could read cursive.
Computer classes were integrated into our schools, and we learned everything from how to use KidPix to budgeting on Excel. It was all so simple to us children.
I have a great uncle who's eighty-seven.
He was an amazing surgeon when he was young. He told me that I should learn to draw for anatomy books. He's one of the most charming old men I've known.
He's also very enthusiastic about computers.
The man's enchanted by their efficiency, their capabilities, and the magic that is FaceTime. However, he just can't seem to operate them.
The things I do with ease, he struggles to understand.
My great uncle is undoubtedly intelligent, but computers remain a mystery to him. He curses my cousins and me: "I hate how smart you are."
Although I may laugh at him for trivial things such as keeping a landline in his pocket and erroneously believing that he can answer calls from across town, I remember one simple truth:
My generation cannot live without technology.
Not literally, of course, but we've learnt to depend on these devices. We couldn't survive in my great uncle's time.
My fifth grade teacher's aid had a fear for our generation:
She told us that she feared that we are unable to read a paper map for navigational purposes.
I dismissed her fear as irrational.
But now, as I progress through my education as an adolescent in the twenty-first century, I begin to think that her fears as well as those of her contemporaries are realer than I'd like to know.
And now, as I sit in front of my computer,
actively typing away and changing pictures with ease,
I want nothing more than to hurl it out the window.
I cannot. All my documents and schoolwork are here. My memories are stored here.
I've become unwillingly dependent on a lifeless screen.
And, as much as I'd like to change it, the first world has evolved around the existence of this beast and integrated it into our daily lives as a necessity.
I envy my great uncle more than you could imagine.