Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Life Before the Internet

I took my time settling down and starting a family. When Braden was born I had just reached the ripe old age of 31. A lot of people my age have kids that are already in school and here I am just now jumping on the merry-go-round. I plan on living a long time so I am not worried about the age issue. I am wondering how I will ever explain to Braden what life was like when I was a boy without sounding like I was boy hood friends with Methuselah.

I can still remember when we only had 4 or 5 network over the air TV stations. Then we didn't have any remote controls and the next step was that silly switch box that sat on top of the TV. I got my first cell phone when I was 17 years old and even then practically no one had them. The few with phones had what were considered "car phones". When I graduated high school I had never been on the Internet. Read that sentence again and let it sink in. I joined forces with one of my friends just to figure out how to use a computer so we wouldn't be left behind in college. There are thousands of things from the past that seem like they came from another life but the one that is hard even for me to comprehend is life before the Internet.

I think the Internet has changed the world more than any single invention ever. I am sure good arguments can be made for a lot of things, but it is hard to imagine anything having the wide ranging effect of the Internet. There is no aspect of life that has not been touched by this digital computer age. It has changed the way we shop, pay bills, listen to music, watch TV, do business and everything else. How in the world did we ever get information before the Internet. Libraries? Encyclopedias? The answer to any question you have is at the touch of a finger all the time. I will actually, while watching a movie, look up the other movies an actor or actress has been in If I can't think of them myself. Ridiculous things like this are the norm when living in this information age.

So one day in the future my son is going to come to the realization that I actually lived before the Internet. He is going to look at me with the same amazement as a kid looking at the T-Rex exhibit in the Museum of Natural History. He will struggle for words as his mind tries to comprehend his prehistoric father. Finally he will say "What did you do before the Internet?"

My answer: "We played outside."

1 comment:

Chuck said...

I have an 18 year old son. Not too long ago he was standing over my shoulder while I typed an internet address. I typed it with a www after which he asked why I did that. All I could come up with is, "that's how we did it when the internet first started." Hard habit to break.

Man, did I feel old. I can only imagine how my youngest kids will see me. Great post.