Months ago, Ethan learned the fruit and the word, “apple.” One day, even though apples are usually red, he pointed at the lighted white Apple logo on my Mac notebook and said, “apple.” (And, in case you’re wondering, he did it without any prompting from me! 😀 )
Speaking of computers, someone bought a toy laptop (which has a red light on its lid that Ethan sometimes calls an apple even though it isn’t) for Ethan at one of our baby showers, thinking he could use his laptop when Mommy and Daddy are using theirs. Recently, Ethan has started going to his laptop, which plays music and sounds, when he sees one of us working and says, “Email.” A couple days ago, he said, “Email, check.”
Ethan will likely be what Leonard Sweet calls a “native.” Sweet describes people as being either “natives” or “immigrants,” with 1964 (the advent of the computer) generally being the dividing line between the two (although, this age is more psychological than physical; that is, some older people are natives and some younger people are immigrants).
Natives are computer literate, people who have grown up with or learned computer technology. Immigrants are people for whom computer technology is a foreign language (of course, immigrants can learn the native language).
While I’m a native, it was more a late-developing process for me. I remember the first computer in my high school in the mid-1980s (in a chemistry class). No one, including the teacher, really knew what to do with it. I think it had some sort of chemistry quiz on it.
In high school, I bought my first computer (1985), an Atari 520ST (modeled after the Mac, if I remember correctly). In college, I had to take a basic computer programming class. Later, I bought an “IBM-compatible” computer, as it was called at the time (1993).
My next computer (1998) would be my last PC. In 2003, while preparing to enter the Doctor of Ministry program at Asbury, we decided to replace our aging desktop PC with two Mac notebooks (our marriage would’ve never survived sharing a computer while working on D.Min. degrees and writing dissertations!).
Anyway, this post was inspired by Ethan pointing at the Apple logo on my Mac! That, and the fact that the WWDC event is taking place this week where Apple previewed its new operating system, Snow Leopard (due in September), and announced some developments (including significant price reductions) to the MacBook Pro lineup.