When portable web gadgets such as the iPod Touch and iPhone etc, were introduced, I had absolutely no desire to have one. Even a year or two later, I still was reluctant to get any of these devices. I just couldn't see the need to constantly check my email, update my Facebook status, watch YouTube videos or even check my Fantasy Football scores. I was already on my computer enough during the day that I didn't need to carry a portable computer around with me. I saw it as maintaining self-control away from the "New New Media" as Dr. Levinson calls it. I know of many people who have tried, though some have failed, to stay off of Facebook or other media sites in order to prevent procrastination or distractions from schoolwork or being physically social. Not having one of these devices allowed me to step away from my computer, even for a short period of time, and actually be productive in my work.
All of this was true, until this past Christmas when I finally received an iPod Touch. To be honest, I didn't want an iPhone mostly because it's service wasn't with Verizon...yet. However, being on a college campus like Fordham, I always have wireless service anyway. Now, with this portable gadget, I can receive my emails, surf the web, view my Facebook profile, and watch YouTube videos as long as I have a wireless connection. Before I got this new toy, if I ever received an email between 7 and midnight, the sender would get an almost immediate response from me because I get alerts when I receive a new email. With this iTouch, I would send a reply email within 5 minutes of receiving it no matter the time of day. It also comes in handy when I am trying to look up an actor who I forgot what movie he's in, or a song that I can't remember the title. I even use it for reminders (like my class schedule) or to view an event I've planned in my calendar. Though I always have it with me, I can still exhibit the self-control I was talking about before. Surprisingly enough, I don't even spend much time on Facebook anymore because I receive email notifications of the updates. It's amazing how a small device like an iTouch can really impact my everyday life. Before Christmas, I thought I could live without a portable Internet connecting device, but now, and I never thought I would say this, I can't live without it.
In Dr. Levinson's book, "New New Media," he talks about the popularity of websites such as Wikipedia, Facebook, and YouTube as they are considered to be Web 2.0. However, with many people using gadgets such as iPhones and Androids, I think we are now in Web 3.0 or (to avoid "the problem with numbers") The Wireless Web. I spoke to a friend over the weekend about the technological advances that the world has today. I started to remember about that dial-up connection (that we all know in love) which prevented access to the land-line phones in exchange for Internet access. Dial-up advanced to DSL, which ultimately led to wireless Internet. Currently, we have 3G and now 4G so smart phone users can have access almost anywhere they go. All of these "new new media" (except maybe SecondLife) are accessed daily by millions of users worldwide. It is incredible to think how advanced technology really is. We, as the millennial generation, are very privileged to be apart of a technologically structured experience. It will amazing to see what advances and/or differences that will occur five or even 10 years from now. We'll just have to wait and see.