Current Musings

Measuring Age in Internet Years

There was a time when age was measured with such great events as the moon landing, the Civil War or World War II. My dad talked about living through the Great Depression as a kid and my grandma recalled using horses for transportation and farming when she was a girl. But in today’s technological world, I’m getting a sense time is moving at a much different pace.

Awhile ago I met with someone a little more than half my age and we were discussing broadband and the Internet. We were amazed at how fast technology has moved along. Ten years ago social media was in its infancy. That’s when my friend remarked, “I remember a time before YouTube.” I laughed and added, “I remember a time when there was no Internet.”

Suddenly the conversation stopped. My friend looked at me with the same amazement I used to give my grandma when she talked about taking a horse and buggy to town. He was polite enough not to say it, but I could tell he was thinking, “Wow, you are really old.” In Internet years, I might as well have grown up in the horse and buggy era. I could almost see his lips form the words, “What was it like?”

I wanted to tell him in those days, high-speed Internet was when we would turn the crank faster on the phone. I wanted to tell him how e-mail in those days sometimes took days to reach my inbox. But I just smiled and said, “Yeah, I’m old.”

This post was originally published February 5, 2020.

© 2020, CGThelen

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