Listening to Spark today on the way to pick up the kid I heard one of the interviewees note that we (and I’m assuming he meant my generation) are the last generation that will remember what life was like before technology.
I didn’t have an email address until I was about 15, I didn’t have a cell phone at all while I was in high school, we had a computer at home when I was under 12, but it was years later that we got the internet (and the cables running all over the house). I owned a record player and broke many a walkman before I got my first iPod when I was in my 20s – and that was a Christmas AND birthday gift from both of my parents. I used to have to record songs off the radio if I didn’t have the money to buy the cassette.
I remember that my sister had to save up to buy her first CD player – I think it cost about $700.
Now I use email all day, my job would be much more difficult without web access, I can’t tell you the last time I bought an actual CD.
But the thing is, I don’t remember what it was like before. I watch old TV shows and someone asks a question and the characters are all trying to figure things out and I think to myself ‘why don’t they just look it up?’ and then I realize that I’m watching Designing Women and they’ve never heard of the internet. They didn’t even have a computer in the office.
You could say that trying to remember what it was like to have to do research in the library, not be able to call someone any time any where, well, it does not compute.
As I sit and watch my daughter – who turns two in three months – navigate the iPad so easily, I try to remember what life was like before I had heard of wireless internet. I try to figure out how I communicated with people before Twitter and email. It seems almost impossible. How did people ever make friends?
I wonder what it will be like when she’s in high school. I wonder what will seem so normal then.