logo2By C. Olivia Sanders

I wasn’t exactly the typical awkward child that is enchanted with the electric silence like children of today. I spent most of my time exploring the woods and dreaming of exploring the world. The world seemed so big, while I seemed so small.

It wasn’t until I was about 14 that I learned how to work a computer at my free will. My aunt was the first person I knew who had internet in the small town of Columbiana, Alabama. I would spend hours watching e-cards from cards4U.com that were basically GIFs. It was Southpark-style parodies of Christina Aguilera and other inappropriate humor.

Fast forward to high school, and I had both a Myspace and Facebook account, and the world started to seem not so big after all. I used Myspace more, because I loved how I could customize my profile. Facebook seemed harder to use and more boring, except for the games.

In my last years of high school, I stayed up until sunrise listening to Pandora and reading typical teenage fantasy novels. This part of my life is very important, because Pandora would suggest other artists based on the ones you were listening to. This began my journey into the metal community. A friend suggested that I listen to Devin Townsend, my most inspiring musician, and from there I learned of hundreds of more metal musicians.

This is the root of my own musical influences and style as a musician. I exclusively use Spotify for the same reasons I first started using Pandora, and it is a stream of endless musical experiences. I treasure my Spotify library more than my phone. I haven’t missed a single Spotify Weekly Discover Playlist in the entirety that I’ve had an account. Even though I can easily listen to a band online, I still like to support each band as much as I can. I have seen 58 live metal performances, and I value each and every live experience.

Unfortunately, my mother had me at a very young age, and even though she experienced the rise of social media, she couldn’t really involve herself with it. When we finally got our own computer, she mostly used it to play online poker. My grandfather still routinely watches the news and occasionally grunts with displeasure as he strokes his whitening beard. He appears so depressed, as if he is watching a world that no longer makes sense to him.

He verbally disagrees to the changes in technology and its impact on kids today, but I believe he realizes the convenience of it that he did not have as a child. For example, he accidentally shot his brother in the arm with an arrow in the woods. It took quite a while to reach someone who could help them, while today anyone could just call 911.