My childhood was during a time when computers, computer games, hardware, software, all of it seemed irrelevant and lame to a young boy obsessed with automobile racing, and the construction of cars and motorcycles. As I grew older, I tried to ignore how computers were starting to change the world of automotive technology, racing, and how things were being designed and built. I was safe and comfortable in my world where cars and motorcycles were still built by hand using techniques and tools dating back decades. Then one day I bought my first home computer and got connected to the internet.
I blame the internet for opening my eyes to how accessible technology could be. I began to realize that there were so many more things I could make if I learned more about computers and technology. Eventually, a desire to design things with a computer and have machines make them for me seemed very accessible. I enrolled in the Architecture Technology program at Forsyth Tech immediately after a tour of the program.
So why did I enroll in the Architecture program instead of an automotive program? I blame the internet. Browsing the internet, I was introduced to ideas and concepts that I had never seen before. I began to see connections across disciplines and how adapting technology from one field could revolutionize another. I suppose that informed many of the decisions that led me to start a MIXXER.
Today MIXXER is experiencing a growth spurt and more new faces are starting to appear here every day. I blame the internet for making it so easy to connect with new people. That and the work of Elaine, our new Community Events Manager. She has managed to amplify our organization’s voice tremendously through social media and is attracting many new makers to MIXXER, many of which will be leading workshops to make it possible for more people to access the resources MIXXER offers to the public.
It’s easier than ever to design, prototype, make stuff, learn stuff, and connect with helpful people. I blame the internet. Not because the internet is doing all the work, but rather, that connectivity (and the ironic disconnection) that the internet brings has introduced our society to new ideas, technology, and has shown us how accessible knowledge is, and how important real social connection is. I believe that just as people turn to crowdfunding, social media, Wikipedia, and all the ways we create viral sensations, people will continue to seek more ways to access resources in the way that our members do here at MIXXER.
The internet makes it easier to keep up with a changing world. Don’t forget that there are people out there doing the things that drive those changes. Makerspaces are one of those places that attracts the people that are driving some of those changes. I hope you’ll tap into the maker community as a valuable resource for keeping up with technology and quite possibly become one of the people inventing some of that technology. It’s not far-fetched. I know because I’ve seen it repeatedly, guess where – the internet.