Growing up with media

The relationship between me and my media started all the way back when I was a child. Since I can remember, I have read books, and books have been read to me. As a kid, I watched Madonna’s music videos on loop, played games on the house computer, and watched Winnie the Pooh when I was sick. When I got a little older, I got my first phone with a monochrome display and the classic Snake game. We played in the park and sent songs to each other by Bluetooth, songs that we had recorded ourselves from the radio. We read all the Harry Potter novels, and we would recreate the stories and play the characters. Then I went to the cinema to see the last Harry Potter film. I was fascinated by the 3D glasses and how the whole experience was so different.

Media has constantly been evolving throughout history. Still, I feel like I got to witness the emergence of smartphones that sort of took over our lives in just a few years. I feel like I was part of the last generation that could still turn off our media. All we could do with our phones was play the Snake game, listen to our own recordings of songs from the radio, or call our parents. Thus, we just played outside with sticks and sand. My younger sisters didn’t experience that kind of childhood, and I have felt sorry for them.

In upper secondary school, I realized that I wanted to study media. Today, five years later, I still feel like this is the right place for me. I love my media. I have a great passion for films, and my dream is to make them myself one day. I am super interested in all kinds of media and how media shapes our lives. I think media is a place for endless possibilities, and I am excited to see where the media are heading. But, as much as I love my media, I also miss the times when I could just turn everything off. And now I realize that maybe it was never really off. So many of the best memories of my childhood were actually either with media or influenced by media.

The experience of childhood has become different from what it was before the first iPhone. So instead of feeling sad for the kids who will have it differently, I hope that their inevitable relationship with their media will be positive like mine was. And I guess that’s what makes me appreciate my media more. I have realized how much media has actually shaped my life and is still actively shaping it. So now I know that through and with media, things can be changed. And isn’t that cool?

Published by Media Love

Website dedicated to the Media Love project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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