Mark’s Techno Bio

I don’t really know where to begin… media has been such a huge part of my life (I realize that this is true for everyone, but I am just now realizing it because I have been assigned to write about it).  I can remember a lot of “firsts” in terms of media in my life.  I remember my first television, in which I spent most of my early years watching.  I specifically remember before I was ever able to tell time on a standard clock, I was able to tell time based on what cartoons were on television.  I can picture myself sitting on the floor of my family’s first apartment watching TV for hours up until my parents put the standard “One hour of TV a day” restriction on me.  This battle with how much TV is too much would continue with my parents and me through my adolescence.  I remember my first video game system, it was a Sega Genesis.  My younger brother and I play games like “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Mrs. Packman,” and “Mickey’s Magic House” for hours because this was the era before saving your place existed, so if you lost you had to start over from the beginning.  My brother and I always had a strange video game dynamic in that I was very good at strategy and figuring out what to do but lacked the coordination to play well, whereas he was the exact opposite.  For this reason we were always a video game team where I would coach him while he played.  Again, this was something that continued for years as we worked our way through various systems and games (i.e. Mario for N64, Halo for XBox).  I remember my family’s first computer; a huge and slow IBM.  To me the computer’s purpose was to play games like Tetris, Pipedream, and Rat’s Race.  It wasn’t until we started using computers at school that I understood what computers could do.  It was the first time I used an Apple computer (I would be a “Mac Guy” forever after).  I learned how to make documents and powerpoint presentations while at the same time play games and use the internet (I think as long I live I will never forget the ridiculous sounds that dial-up internet used to make).  Perhaps this is just me looking back with 20/20 hindsight, but I think I realized at a very young age that the computer (specifically Apple computers) was a tool that allowed me to do so many of the things that I enjoyed doing, but it would take me until most of my way through high school until my laptop really became the essential part of my life that it is today.

Where do I stand today? I am almost completely dependent on my laptop for much of my media needs.  I use it for work, photos, music, TV shows, internet browsing (including social networking, news coverage, and entertainment purposes), and video editing which has become somewhat of a passion of mine.  The one media related thing that I still keep separated from my computer are my movies.  I am a pretty big film fanatic, and while I am always on my computer looking up facts on imdb.com or getting insider film info on slashfilm.com, when it comes to watching films I have always been too pretentious to sacrifice my movie watching experience to watch them on a smaller computer screen.  It is for this reason that I insist to see films in theaters or on larger televisions as opposed to digital downloads or online pirated versions.  It is also why I still buy DVD’s (in fact, I kind of collect DVD’s with my most recent tally getting close to 450 movies and TV shows).

The one area I have yet to enter is that of blogging.  I have never blogged, tweeted, or even put a status on facebook.  I guess my thinking has been that while social networks like facebook allow me to stay connected to other people, things like blogging seem like me putting myself out there just for the sake of putting myself out there.  I guess I just don’t think my life is so interesting that the world absolutely needs to know about it.  But here I am writing my first blog and I just signed up for twitter (@mwhelan88), so maybe this will be the start of a new era of Mark Whelan blogging and tweeting in the digital world, let’s see how it goes…

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