A couple of months ago, I read a very interesting article that I had to share and tweet to my graduate school professor, whose interest area encompasses technology and its impact on society. He responded with a tweet that pretty much summed up the entire article and its impact on me, and it had me wanting to write about all of my feels into a “Timeless Thoughts” post.
@aigoos This is great! So true…. Maybe the last generation that remembers the Internet being so special and magical….
— Yuya Kiuchi (@YuyaKiuchi) April 23, 2015
I remember when I signed up for my first email at Hotmail, discovered online chatrooms and messengers, and followed the Animorphs series on its Scholastic website. I remember being fascinated by the fact that I could communicate real-time with someone living on the other side of the planet and with someone who shared the same interests as me. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment when I made my first website and figured out photo manipulation. In other word, the Internet has forever changed my life. Yes, I’m part of the generation that remember using card catalogues, a cassette tape player, a rotary phone, and 1970s TV set. I’m also part of the generation that played computer games like Oregon Trail and Lemonade Stand on the Apple computer in my fourth grade building “lobby”. I’m a proud child of the 80s and 90s, and I love and miss those times. But then I came of age. With the Internet.
The Internet was new and magical; it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. The Internet, to me, defined my adolescent years. Without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The Internet allowed me to discover my likes and dislikes, it allowed me to embrace the fact that a lot of the tasks came to me easily. I learned to touch type because of chat rooms and instant messaging, and I learned to make websites and do basic graphic designing for myself. In fact, the Internet was simply perfect for my introverted nature.
I miss that feeling, that sense of novelty and fascination towards a piece of technology that just did so much. It just feels routine for me now. I still enjoy what I do on the Internet, and I love the online interaction between like-minded friends and peers, but I miss that feeling of pure awe I had back then. On the flipside, I do not miss the super slow dial-up, nor do I miss the website’s aesthetic back then, haha! Nope, I’m happy with my high-speed Internet and current website designs. :D
Do you miss the earlier days of net usage? Are you like me where you come from a generation that experienced the new and the old? Did you ever feel awed by the Internet?