I was thinking about the constant connectivity and reminiscing about the good ole days. You know, before everybody and their dog/cat/piranha was on Facebook. Before Google became a verb. Before encyclopedias became a worthless, outdated waste of precious space on my bookshelf. Before I had to surrender the comforting illusion that it was possible to maintain some sense of anonymity from the crowd, the government, and the whole wide world.
Without further ado, here are some other things I miss about the pre-internet age:
- For starters, having time just to write in a journal, instead of wasting so many hours checking Facebook, Twitter, news sites, and sundry other online locations. It's like a never-ending information smorgasbord. And guess what. I'm getting full.
- Paying bills by check, not online. It just isn't the same.
- Having to sort through a kazillion digital photos because 1) it's so tempting to crank out 10 takes "just in case" 2) I'm a photo junkie anyway and 3) no one seems to remember how to take decent pictures on the first try anymore. Then having to decide which to get prints of, or post online, and which to let linger and die a slow digital death in my computer and/or external hard drive. And, I miss taking my rolls of camera film to the store to get them developed, not knowing what awesome shots would await me when I picked them up.
- Not knowing whatever happened to my childhood friends. This lack of knowledge of what they looked like/who they married/how many kids they've spawned, etc. kept me somehow saner. Also it left me free to imagine them having perfectly nice lives, as compared to the trainwrecks some people turned out to be. Why did I need to know that?
- Christmas shopping in actual stores. Yeah, I still do some of that (ok fine, a LOT of it) every October-December, but things have changed. Black Friday is now more of a cyber reality than a physical one. I remember standing outside Toys'R'Us at 4 a.m. one year to get my little cousin some ridiculously "hot" (and therefore scarce) toy that neither he nor I can remember now. (It wasn't a Tickle Me Elmo or a Furby, but beyond that, it could have been anything.) But y'know, that experience of laying seige to a store mere hours after the humble glory of Thanksgiving caved to the commercialism of Christmas, it was a memorable time. Akin to freezing my heinie off before the midnight movie premiere of LOTR: Return of the King. Ah, memories...
- Not having to watch commercials for sites like eHarmony and banks with "free" online checking and Orbitz and Priceline (even though Capt. Kirk, I mean William Shatner, is awesome as the Negotiator) and every other conceivable website ever made. I miss real commercials for real things. Like Irish Spring Soap. And Campell's soup. (Remember that one where the snowman eats the soup until he melts into a little boy?) And Frosted Flakes. Oh c'mon, they're gr-r-r-reat and you know it.
- Not getting assaulted by flashing sidebars and annoying "FREE!" offers and all sorts of junk that I have no intention of buying anywhere, let alone online.
- Not having a compulsion to check my favorite internet sites whenever I open my laptop, thus delaying whatever "real" work I had every intention of doing when I first sat down.
- Not feeling guilty about not blogging. Because, hey, I didn't have a blog! Footloose and fancy-free. Oh, was I ever that young?