I am enamored by the state of technology in 2014. I look around and see the computing power that permeates society and it blows me away. It seems like everyone has a smartphone or tablet that they can use to message someone on the other side of the planet, watch an awesome video of a baby and dachshunds, or just chill out and read their subreddit of choice. It is easier to communicate with others and consume content than ever before.
What I really love about all this computing power, though, is the freedom it gives for everyone to create. The democratization of powerful technology in the developed world has made it possible for almost everyone to be a photographer, videographer, or writer. We can share our creations and get feedback from our peers in no time at all.
When I look back to my childhood, some of my fondest memories are creating things on my computer and sharing them with the world. One instance in particular really stands out to me.
In middle school and early high school I was obsessed with a game called Empire Earth. This was the first game I ever played online and I would sneak up to our family computer to play it late at night with friends.
Eventually, I noticed that there was a scenario editor option in the menu and clicked on it. After that, my entire worldview about what you could do with a computer changed. I spent hours and hours building scenarios and teaching myself the tips and tricks of the editor. In a way, this was my first real introduction to programming (even though I didn’t think of it as such).
Eventually, I released my scenarios for Empire Earth and got some really positive feedback (the web was a much more positive place in 2002-2003). I eventually lost interest in favor of being a football player, but those experiences continue to stick with me. In fact, I still have the scenarios that I created:
Going forward, I hope to continue to create and I invite all content consumers to use the technology at their fingertips to put their mark on the world. Write, draw, photograph, record, or whatever else you can think of and share it with the world. Be a creator, not just a consumer, and you’ll feel more fulfilled. And maybe, just maybe, 10 years from now you’ll look back with pride at what you created and the paths it led you down.