I am glad this prompt came up because I was thinking about this today as I wiped the dining table down with a vigour I reserve only for pre-bedtime stress release.
I thought about when daily life was devoid of access to everything and everybody all at once.
I did not exist before the internet. It was officially established (according to… the internet) in 1983 and I was born eleven years after that, in 1994.
However, I like to believe I lived a life devoid of the internet for the longest time possible. Mainly because my parents were what they call ‘dinosaurs’ and what some might call a ‘luddite’ – a person who is fearful of and disdainful towards advancing technology –
My parents believed that television was extremely bad for children’s brain development. So we didn’t have one. We didn’t get a wifi router until I was 16 years old, and I distinctly remember a time in the early 2000s where we did not have a landline telephone.
When everybody started getting mobile phones my mother resisted and resisted until one of her friends finally gave her one in 2007 because they needed to get hold of her and were frustrated when they couldn’t.
So yes, I can remember a time before the internet. I used to call my friends on their own landlines in their own homes and talk to them for hours. We used to agree on a time and place to meet when we had weekend plans and had no way of knowing if one of us was stuck in traffic or wasn’t going to make it. I used to send letters to my friends back in the UK when I lived in the Middle East and it would take months to get a reply – until we finally got email via dial-up internet in 2008.
I don’t think of that time in any particular fond way, I was just too young I guess to enjoy the simpler things life had to offer before everything became more complicated whilst simultaneously becoming easier.
I do think there is some joy to be obtained from complexity.
That can be applied both ways.
I have run out of steam.