I don’t own a computer.

I don’t have the internet in my house.

I work on a computer all day.  A while back I made the conscious decision not to buy a computer.  If I don’t have a computer I don’t need the internet.

What I have is a smartphone with a large data plan and 32 gigs of memory.  More memory than the desktop at work.

I always joke that I am not very American in my approach to the internet.  I once read an article that said in Asia and other parts of the world smart phones were much more common because desktop computers were not used at home.  Check out this graphic for a comparison on mobile access to the web.

As I read about the hyperlinked user/community for this class and watch videos of the lectures on my phone while commuting home I realized I am more like them than not.  I never thought of myself as hyperlinked.  I just didn’t have a computer.

Without a computer I treat information differently.  I hardly ever store anything, I know I can find it on the web.  I don’t remember things, I remember how to find them.  I Google, a lot.  And I search my gmail to try and remember where I heard about that show or movie or concert.  I don’t store information on my phone.  I store music and apps.  I have a firm belief that the internet and all it’s free storage will be there.  ( I might need to rethink that one.)

This week I learning I’m part of the community I’m studying.  Now I need to figure out why I’m surprised by that.  And how I can take that knowledge and apply it to my library’s community.

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22 Responses to I don’t own a computer.

  1. Scott Gilbert says:

    Very refreshing post… you had me going there, I thought for sure you were going to say no internet at home, period. My 72-year-old mother treats the internet very much like you do, mostly only using her smartphone to check in with social media. I myself am an internet junkie throwback. I treat the internet like TV at home, with a big-screen wall mounted monitor hooked up to a laptop and a wireless desktop. But, I too hardly ever store or download anything sizeable (although tonight I just downloaded old free versions of Photoshop and Illustrator CS2 that Adobe has thrown out to the rabble see http://www.techspot.com/news/51316-adobe-offering-creative-suite-2-for-free-but-they-didnt-mean-to.html for details). I always have told people that I don’t keep details in my head, but on my desk, in the computer. But nowadays I say “in the cloud” instead.

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      I like being compared to your mom. I have friends who have given up cable and moved all their media view to the web. For them, like you, Internet is their primary source of entertainment.

  2. Peta Hopkins says:

    In contrast I always think of my smartphone as the computer that fits in my hand. I work on a computer all day at work, but I love having a laptop, tablet and smartphone for my social and creative purposes. Work and life has become much more blurred – I have made some great social contacts via work networking.

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      Your comment about blurred lines was the original reasoning behind my decision. I wanted to keep work and home life separate. I do network but I bet it’s at a much lower intensity than what you do.

  3. Henry says:

    How would this change if you didn’t have access to a computer at work?

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      I was so startled by your question it made me laugh. I couldn’t imagine being in a workplace without a computer. What does that say about this modern world?

  4. Pingback: Cruising the hyperlibMOOC blogs | The Fourteenth Blog

  5. Michael Stephens says:

    This is intriguing. I appreciate your marked balance toward access and connectivity. Because my teaching is 100% online I am always connected with multiple devices and computers around the house and the fasted connection we could get out here. I’m thinking about a serious disconnect over the holidays and a trip far north next summer to unplug. 🙂

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      I wonder which of us is the more common model these days. I’m always seeing article about those who decide to disconnect. I remember a NYTimes article about a camping trip that in reality was an intervention.
      I will look for your decision.

    • JuliaL says:

      Michael – an unconnected vacation is great. The last time we went on a cruise we left the phones at home. Just read, eat. and caught up on sleep. Sure I had my iPad, but only read the books I wanted and turned it off!

  6. Andrea Mullarkey says:

    I caught myself watching a video lecture for Module 3 on my phone while getting a pedicure last week and had exactly the same reaction of surprise to find myself behaving like the folks I’m studying. I certainly don’t think of myself as an always-on/hyperlinked user but there I was in the chair watching a lifelong learning video instead of zoning out. It was very meta, but a good kind of meta – the kind that makes me reconsider preconceived notions about myself and broadens my sense of identity.

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      Exactly. And makes me think about what service I use and how I can recreate them for our students. I keep coming up against that barrier in my head of medical student as “other”. I know what I want but does that translate to what they want. I’m glad module 3 covered that very question!

  7. Amy Paget says:

    We are them. Of course. That’s what community means…and what is so much more intensified in this hyper linked world. And it’s exciting, surprising, and energizing to break down the barriers.

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      I don’t want to go so far as to say “we are them” when it comes to the students. I worry that will make me more likely to think I know what they want rather than doing what I should be doing, asking them what they want. We are about to do that. Our first, in a long time, technology survey. We are only surveying 1st years. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. Hopefully we will get a decent response.

  8. Kate Smith says:

    You made me really think… and to realize that I, too, am more hyperlinked than I realized.

    I do have a computer at home, but I turn it on only when absolutely necessary, because I’m on it all the time at work. But my smartphone (no data plan — strictly wi-fi, which is so easy to find almost everywhere) is always in my pocket or beside me. And I always grab it to look something up, send a message, check news and weather, watch a video, etc.

    Why am I so hyperlinked for my age? Not sure. I first got unlimited texting because it was the best way to keep in touch with my kids. I got my first smartphone with email access during my stay-at-home years because a stay-at-home mom never really does get to stay at home. I joined my first online community over 14 years ago and I’m still online with several of those same people I first “met” back then.

    Interesting to realize that I have more hyperlinked traits than I realized.

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      It’s almost a joke to call it the slippery slope but it is. I like that you tracked it back. I had a Nokia for years. I loved it. I would drop it (I do that a lot with phone) the face plate would explode off but the call wouldn’t drop. Then I got a Blackberry and everything changed.

    • JuliaL says:

      Hi Kate, I think I only got my first smartphone 4 years ago when my daughter had a baby. Then I had to link up with Facebook because her mother in law was always posting pictures. She was/is retired. I still have some years to go. I think then I would like to be less connected.

  9. Michael Stephens says:

    Such a strong thread! This topic must resonate with folks here in our MOOC.

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      What is amazing to me is how different the ideas are that my post provoked. The range of comments is really cool. It made me think about how online communication, in this case one to many, is so rich.

      Each person comes to the idea from a different angle. In a face to face class “group think” might stop a discussion thread. From these comments it seems to me there is a lesser chance of that happening in an online forum.

      This might be old news to everyone else but it’s news to me. This is my first experience with an online course. What I know of forums is mostly what I read about ‘trolls’ and ‘flaming.’

      Everyone is being very supportive and collaborative in their comments.

  10. Pingback: Module 4 Wrap-Up | The Hyperlinked Library

  11. Peggy O'Kane says:

    I do own a computer but I cancelled my home internet. My local public library (not my employer) with its 24 wireless network is a couple of blocks away from my home. I am not the only person who wanders over to sit on the library steps or lurk in the parking lot after hours. For me it is as important to be hyperlinked while in my community as it is at my office.
    Maine libraries are very often the only free wireless points in the community. Our links make it possible not only for us to connected to our communities but for our communities to be connected.

    • Jenny Pierce says:

      Peggy
      That is so cool. I agree that libraries are an important point of contact for access. But they shouldn’t be the only ones. I live in Philly and at one point the city was going to try provide free wifi across the board. Sadly funding dried up. However there is a stimulus grant working right now providing access to broadband.

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