I discovered Emma Gannon over a year ago when I was searching for new lifestyle blogs to follow. I even included her on this list. Shortly after that was the release of her book Ctrl, Alt; Delete: How I Grew Up and Stayed Sane Online.
Gannon is about the same age as me, so reading her book was a total blast from the past! I could relate to almost everything she was writing about, from her experience with MSN Messenger, to editing her photos for MySpace, and crushing on boys she only talked to online.
Whenever I actually stop to remember what my childhood was like, before the internet and sharing every detail of myself online, I can’t believe how much has changed! I mean, in grade 6 we went to the Safety Village for a lesson on being safe on the internet. We were taught to never share our personal information. Not even our names! And now we share everything from who we are, to where we live, and what we eat. It’s insane!
But I have a lot of fond memories of growing up at the same time as the internet. I remember our first computer, with it’s big, beige monitor and dial-up internet. I remember huddling around the screen with my friends to play Neopets, Sims and Habbo Hotel. I remember getting our first webcam and making friends from other countries.
Reading Ctrl Alt Delete reminded me of all of that, and more!
While the central theme of this book is the internet, it’s a memoir about Gannon’s life; from a self-conscious child to her successful career today (well, when the book was published anyway). It’s something that almost any internet-loving millennial can relate to. And while many parts of this book had me either smiling, or giggling to myself, there were moments of painful memories, too. Memories about rejection, being bullied online and learning from her mistakes. And then some more.
This book isn’t just a nostalgic trip down memory lane, but eventually leads up to more modern times. Gannon shares her experience around starting a blog, working online, and even internet dating.
Her writing style is real and honest, and you can feel everything she’s describing, whether silly or embarrassing.
For a lot of us, the internet has a huge influence on our day-to-day lives and that’s what makes this book so much fun to read! Because we can relate, in some way or another.
Have you read Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon? Also, what was your experience like growing up online? Any embarrassing stories to share?