Lost In Tech

 · 4 min read
 · Shawn Crawford

I remember my five-year-old self watching my sister Miranda play games on her NES. It was always a short lived experience as she would loose interest after playing a few minutes of Mario Brothers. The gaming system built around being an entertainment device seemed to be more of a status symbol for Miranda. To be the kid in school with the next hot commodity.

Like my sister, I never seemed to have much interest in games or computers. There was however, always a spark of interest in playing video games. I had a SEGA Genesis throughout my early grade school years and I remember excitedly going to the now defunct Blockbuster. Grabbing a game and going home to see what new adventure awaits. I can remember the smells of candy, dark skies and the yellow and blue neon lights.

Then I got a PlayStation for Christmas and it started to make sense. I began to frequent Blockbuster more. I guess some kids would have their parents buy them a game but I was always having to rent mine. I spent a lot of time playing the flagship game, Crash Bandicoot, that came with the console. Playing it over and over till I remembered I could go outside and enjoy the world. I was never one to care about beating a game.

I would visit my friend Harlen and he had a computer where he would play SWAT and a few other games. I never really understood that. I didn't know you could actually play fun and unique games on a computer. My interactions with a computer were your typical ones. Sitting at the family computer in the living room. I would connect to the internet through dial-up on AOL and chat with school friends on AIM(AOL Instant Messenger). Googling 'sex' and my screen lighting up with a litany of pornographic popups. Shaking in fear and trying to close every window and shut the computer down. I didn't become vested in computers until a little more further in my childhood.

It started when I was a freshman in high school. My parents had divorced and I didn't have much to do while they focused on other things. I stayed at home alone during the summer and all of my friends where going to movies and engaging with the outside world. I shut myself out for others around me and stayed inside playing Playstation 2 and chatting in online forums. Watching anime. I watched so much anime one summer it was ridiculous. I spent time in online forums reading about peoples thoughts and opinions. I was young and I dread looking back at my posts to see what my young self would post. Then my Playstation 2 broke...

This really defines what kind of tech person I am. I never figured out why or what happened but the only way I got my Playstation 2 working was to take the case off and unplug any connection I could find and then plug them back in. I'm pretty sure I ripped off the eject cord for the disc drive. But somehow the Playstation 2 started working again. Although I then had to rub each end of the ripped eject chord together to hopefully eject the disc tray. Like a frog being dissected, my Playstation was open all the time for observations to be taken. I was able to see what was inside and every once in a while I would look into what certain parts were called.

In my high school multimedia class I was already well advanced compared to the other students in our class. While other students were adding shapes to word documents I was editing explosions into family photos in Photoshop and creating 3D animations of human-like cats in a western scene and sent cars crashing in a highway roadside.

I took a class in CISCO network design. I made CAT-5 cables and worked on our school network. Though, in all the opportunities waiting for me, I would just throw it away. The multimedia teacher asked if I wanted a backup CD of all the animations and designs I made during the semester. I said "no". She seemed surprised. I don't know why I said no. The CISCO teacher had talked about continuing on to get a CISCO license but I didn't.

Moving forward more I didn't take any technology classes in college. I quit after two years. Every job I've had has utilized my technology skills. I handle reporting and analytics, though I wasn't hired to do so. I would just end up doing it. For some reason I'm always curious and always dabble in tech but I just don't get into it past a personal level. Every few years I'll come up with a website idea and make a website or small program. Maybe it's that working a 8 - 5 job making the same websites over and over doesn't feel intriguing to me. Interestingly, I ended up taking on repetitive work and office hours in my current field. Not websites but medical billing.

So what am I in tech? I'm a tech dabbler. I don't engross myself in tech. I dabble in tech. Kinda like I do a lot of things and that's okay with me.