Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The only constant is change

Wednesday Night Music Club: I can’t believe that I have gone this far without posting a Rilo Kiley clip. Easily one of my favorite bands around. This should be played at high volume at all hours of the day. It would just make the world a better place.

Here is one of those technological advances that we now take for granted except when they disappear. Did some work this morning and then went out for coffee (and was absolutely pissed when Panera was out of decaf, thus making me drink regular and be jittery for the entire day). By the time I got back my internet connection had crashed and I could not get it restarted. I was absolutely screwed. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to get through the day without an internet connection.

I ended up doing some errands that I needed to run at some point but not really right now. I had my entire day scheduled and it was all ruined by my not being able to get online. I seriously could not do any of the work that I had planned on for the day. All of my emails, my customer research, job applications, everything was tied to the internet. Without it my day would be completely lost.

Now I was lucky in that my cable modem did return to its senses and I was able to get most of my work done. The amazing thing though is how in at most ten years everything we have done has been transformed completely by the internet. I had my first commercial internet account fifteen years ago on Prodigy with a 2400 baud modem. I remember being incredibly fancy by buying and configuring a 28.8K external modem a few years later. During the mid-90’s I had to explain to people what the www meant on the bottom of movie ads. I’m not even sure how people looked for jobs back then. I guess they used the classifieds. Now I don’t even read a paper.

I find it scary to think that my childhood experiences are completely foreign to kids today and I’m only 35. I grew up in the pre-cable world with just local channels and black and white sets still littered around the house. Atari was state of the art. Every day we had the local papers delivered and I could sit on the floor and read the comics. We weren’t shuttled around from activity to activity and the entire concept of playing soccer seemed foreign by its very nature. Everything was low tech and paper and pencil. Calling someone was a real event and a long distance call was something special. Even I’m not sure how we arranged to meet people in a public space. I think people brought their own billboards or something.

Maybe I am just stating the obvious here but the world has changed an awful lot from just when I entered college. It’s in a lot of simple and slightly noticed ways. I mean, I argue about the death of record stores but really, they are nearly all vanished. Video rental is a thing of the past. There is more fast food and drive through than ever before with an entire dining concept named “fast casual”. I’m not saying that these are changes for the worse. I just think that having so many changes so quickly is what is adding to our nation’s collective ADD. Nothing stays the same for very long. And everyone needs some touchstones in their lives even if it is a television program.

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