It's becoming increasingly difficult to remember a world pre-Internet. In his book, The End of Absence, author Michael Harris believes that those of us born before 1985 make up the last generation of people who actually do remember what life was like before search engines, chat rooms, and e-mail. We are, according to Harris, "digital immigrants."
"We have in this brief historical moment…a very rare opportunity," Harris writes. "These are the few days when we can still notice the difference between Before and After…There’s a single difference that we feel most keenly; and it’s also the difference that future generations will find hardest to grasp. That is the end of absence — the loss of lack. The daydreaming silences in our lives are filled; the burning solitudes are extinguished.”
Harris refers to those who were born after 1985 as "digital natives;" they are the ones who don't remember life before the Internet. This writer was born in 1982, and although its becoming increasingly difficult to recall a life without a laptop, smartphone or tablet glaring back at me, the memories are still there. I remember the oaky smell of libraries, the act of flipping through a musty encyclopedia, and the excitement of heading to the local Blockbuster video store on a Saturday night. Google, Wikipedia, and Netflix took care of that, though.
Those days are gone and romanticizing them, or feeling nostalgic, makes me feel much too much like my grandparents. But, if you do want to know what the world was like before the immediacy of the information age, I'd be happy to tell you. Just e-mail, tweet, or Facebook me. (The Guardian)