10 Things That We Have Lost to the Internet10.01.2022
There is a new book about the things that we have lost in this internet age — the things that we long for, the things that we don’t know exist, and the things to whom we can say goodbye — and what it might mean. We take a moment to enjoy these memories and turn them around in our collective minds. These are 10 thing we have forgotten.
1. Being neglect
In the days before Sugar Pops and roller skating, grownups didn’t know where their children were or with whom they were. That was fine for kids. You could walk to school alone or with the child down the street from you that Mom didn’t approve of. She didn’t have to know. Children grew up somehow.
2. Photos of bad quality
Do you remember when you didn’t know what you would get until the button was clicked? It took a while before you could find out. This was often for a week or more until 24-hour photo shops with their bargain-basement quality were available. Nobody knew how to use the focus. Nobody knew when or how to turn off flash. It’s like looking through photos from this period and finding a dark period in a strange and sometimes insane past. One in which everyone cried at parties, scowled through reunions, and was miserable at their brother’s Little League game.
It was so comforting to know that no matter how awful your school play was or how badly you did a presentation at work it would not affect your ability to see the true extent of it. You wouldn’t be able to see it, and many people won’t believe you. Before everything was a performance, the stakes were much lower and all performances were posted to be shared and dissected.
You can’t help but wonder what happened to your ex-boyfriend, no matter how short or painful the relationship. You would have received a wedding announcement if you had any information about his future plans. Most of the times, it was for the better. You and he were done. Even if you were angry or sulky at the end, it was better not to dwell on it. It’s impossible to forget about your ex-partners. You can’t forget about them, no matter how much you love/ hate them. They are still your friends on Facebook and your friend of friends.
5. Record albums
It was an enjoyable experience to appreciate a brand new record album. The entire process was almost a religious act, from admiring the cover art to cutting the vinyl wrap with a fingernail to placing the needle on the exact edge of the vinyl rim. Before flipping to the B-side, you listened in unabated. Imagine taking the time to listen to 12-14 tracks in order that they were meant to be heard. It would require a remarkable feat of discipline.
6. You are missing out
Instead of hearing about the beach bonfire Friday night in the school hallway Monday morning, the kids today are able to see it happening from their dejected perch on the sofa in the living room.
Sixth graders will assume that you are referring to a computer script. This script generates web pages or is the script for a television series. The Library of Congress is a place where volunteers are recruited for input of old documents into the permanent digital record. Because they cannot read cursive, staff members younger than them must be paired up with older generations.
8. Ignoring people
When you were able to get away with it, it was helpful to pretend you didn’t know someone was trying to reach your face. How could you possibly have known? You were awake, sleeping, or busy. It was possible, and it is plausible to go off the grid. Sorry! The internet insists, and it won’t stop searching for answers or even hints.
9. Be in the moment
Full immersion is not possible when you are in a group or alone. We are digitally present, but we rarely feel fully present in the moment. There were always people who stopped mid-sentence to take pictures, at least for those with cameras. Now, we all stop to take photos. We stop to record with a text or a post, a video, or a story. We try to overcome this inability to disconnect with mindfulness and wellness, all desperately trying to regain some of our goddamn minds.
Do you remember the feeling of being locked up in a hotel in a foreign city, where nobody knew you, nobody wanted to know where you were and no one was trying to reach you? You were free! It didn’t take long to feel that “I’m here and they’re there” — you could simply run errands alone all day. These moments were yours, and you alone. It seems like it was a long time ago.