I was in high school when I got my first taste of the internet. A friend of mine was connected to AOL, (this was 1996, give her a break) and she told me how she was able to chat with people… who didn’t live within a five mile radius of her… and not on a phone, although I am sure at that time she was using dial up.
I was 17 years old. It was one of my most exciting moments. I was in complete and total awe. Not to say I’d never been on a computer before. I remember playing the Oregon Trail in my elementary school, on old Apple computers. But this was entirely different. I was able to talk with someone, who lived thousands of miles away, within seconds, versus having to grab paper, pen, and mail the sucker, awaiting a response that would often times take DAYS.
This morning, while listening to the 90’s station on Sirius, different songs took me back to the days before internet. The days before cell phones (for me at least). And I got nostalgic.
I love the technology we have. But I felt an ache for what I used to experience.
Let’s go back to the old letting writing days. I remember painstakingly hand writing a letter to a loved one, often pages upon pages, having butterflies in my stomach as I addressed the envelope and sealed it, placing it in the mailbox, wondering how long it would take before a response was sent back. A few days? A week? It was torture, but it was bittersweet at the same time, and totally worth it.
I knew someone who had a car phone. I thought it was an elitist item to have in one’s car. I had never seen a cell phone. I never even owned one until 2001. If you weren’t home, too bad. That’s what the answering machine was for.
Saturday morning cartoons were a trip. I would wake up extra early just to make sure I never missed a single cartoon. Cartoons after school was fun, too. If I had a show I wanted to see, I would just make sure to be there, or I’d set the VCR to record the show for me, on the old fashioned VHS tapes.
MTV played music videos the majority of the time, with a few shows sprinkled in between. I’d often stay up all night watching music videos, and recording them on the VHS tapes.
And speaking of music, I remember creating mix tapes from recording songs off the radio, or borrowing CD’s and making mix tapes from those.
Now, I am addicted to Facebook. I e-mail constantly. I have a cell phone (but I don’t talk much on it, some things don’t change). I can’t remember the last time I watched a cartoon, but my son does- on Netflix. I don’t think he’s ever done a Saturday morning cartoon day. I am listening to my Sirius radio. I don’t watch MTV anymore, other than to watch the shows.
Everything is so convenient, but sometimes I miss the lack of technology. I miss the simpleness. The purity.
Of course, I say all this as I type into my laptop, on my blog site.