I heard recently that it was the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Wow. That had me thinking (as I often do these days) ‘how did we all manage before the Internet?’ Usually when I think that, I’m being somewhat sarcastic. I realized, though, there is now a generation of people who’ve not experienced life before the Web.
As an owner of what I affectionately call a “dumb phone,” I’m still astonished by the fact that while having a conversation at a party and someone says, “Hmm…I wonder what the population of Timbuktu was in 1959?” within seconds four people provide the answers from their fingertips.
Or just pondering aloud, “What the heck was the name of that hit song by Randy and the Rainbows”? Before I can recall that of course it was “Denise, Denise” three people have found it online.
It does still amaze me — of the I’ll-have-to-make-a-note-go-home-and-look-that-up mentality that within seconds due to Internet access on cellular phones, the answers are literally at one’s fingertips.
I remember vividly the first time I was introduced to the Internet. I was working at the Goshen Public Library and one of our reference librarians had just returned from a workshop about Internet access in libraries and I remember being in their workroom and her showing me and explaining that all the links would start with http://www.
“What’s the www stand for?” I asked and when I was told World Wide Web, I thought “DUH!”
Going back further, I remember the very first time someone sent me a message on my computer. I was a receptionist/order entry clerk at a farm supply distribution center and my boss sent me a message from his computer downstairs. I remember him running up the stairs all excited asking, “Did you get it?” This was in the time that our computer screens were all black and there was only one font. That office had one room totally dedicated to the humongous monster of a processor and it had to be climate-controlled.