Wednesday, November 4

When I was your age.

I am the last of the analogue babies. I was born in 1977.

I have a not-much younger than me co-worker who occasionally says things like, "those emails you used to get in high school", and I really can't relate.

When I was in High School I knew one peer, and a small number of adults who had email addresses and used the internet. Sven, my email savvy peer, was rather odd, in a cool way. In a playing D&D with people in Australia kind of cool. I also had the opportunity to use email in an office job that I had in school. The modem was a large, clunky affair, and getting online was a challenge, and online accounts were billed by time connected.

When I graduated and moved onto college, suddenly most people I knew had email addresses and internet access. The change happened over a matter of months.

When I was young, the card catalogue in the school library was a piece of furniture comprised of small drawers that contained 3 x 5 cards with information typed on then with a typewriter. If your classmate was using the "M" drawer to look up books on moths, you had to wait your turn in order to research Manhattan. It seems kind of absurd now.

There were computers in my childhood. Desktop computers even, so perhaps my statement is a bit hyperbolic. In my memory, computers were used to type letters, organize mailing lists, and play early computer games such as Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (as well as a variety of combat games that I was terrible at). I recall being told by parents and teachers that it was important to learn about computers as a future job and life skill. At the time I didn't understand how ubiquitous computers would become. I viewed them as fragile yet clunky machines that needed five inch disks to store data and programs.

And now I live in some kind of science fiction reality where teenage friends take for granted that one can put the internet in their pocket. Unfortunately there aren't any flying cars or cold fusion.

I am struggling for a conclusion, but as D tells me, "We aren't in eleventh grade English anymore", and it is late, so I'm going to say goodnight.

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