Honestly, I miss life before the internet. Yes, I know I sound like one of those “old guys” who talks about how much better life was when he was a kid. I suppose I am.
And I believe I’m right about that internet thing, or the pre-internet time. Before everyone was wired in and connected, we had to actually find each other and talk to each other face to face. We had to phone each other using numbers in a paper book that connected a phone to the wall through a wire. Then we would physically meet that person and talk to them in person. And we would use complete, full sentences when we talked. Many, many complete and full sentences. And as we talked we would eat or drank together or run or walk or sit together. And it was very time-consuming and inconvenient and not as cool-sounding as “connecting” or “linking” with someone but it was somehow more human because the relationship you had with that person couldn’t be undone by clicking a button and “unfriending” them–as much as you wanted to sometimes.
I suppose I am one of those “old guys” that sometimes misses how people didn’t know everything about everything. As much as information has enlightened and educated our collective human family, it was nice not having immediate access to instructions on how to build explosives or join an international terrorist organization. Not knowing that Uncle Frank and Aunt Bessie were Nazi sympathizers or belonged to a humiliation-bondage S&M group was indeed blissful.
The “information age” and it’s “technological revolution” has given us miracles and wonders and horrors and nightmares, and as much as I’m subscribed and plugged in and networked, I am as grateful as I am not, and I suppose I’d go as far as to say that I’m like one of those characters in a science-fiction novel who is more connected than ever but as disconnected as possible.
I remember when I was a boy and my grandmother was talking about her death. I thought it was weird and a little scary of course because I was infinitely far away from death and couldn’t understand why anyone would talk about it. I remember my grandmother sighing and saying as she exhaled, “I’m tired.” I’ve never forgotten those words from her and how she spoke them. I remember the look in her eyes. It would take me 40 years to understand that look and those words, and I do. I do now, and I don’t know if I should be happy about that, or sad.