My daughter heard someone say "phone book" during a movie, turned to me and said, "What's a phone book?"
I just stared at her. Obviously she doesn't know what a phone book is, why would she? She's seven. But, for real, I live in a world where my kid doesn't know what a phone book is because phone books don't matter.
I told her a phone book was how we used to find out about things were before the internet.
I said the words "before the internet." It gave me a weird feeling. My first email account came with my enrollment in college, and I had no idea how or why I would use it. I didn't have a cell phone until I was 24 years old, and I didn't really use the internet, really, until I was 27 or so. Before that I used the internet like a phone book. That was five years ago.
Having full, cohesive memories of what the world was like before we had the internet is going to make me seem so incredibly ancient to my grandchildren that I feel really lucky, because I just made it. There were computers in my schools growing up, but we took typing, played pong, made a rocket ship out of numbers that would fly off the screen and killed friends we were on the outs with on the Oregon trial, nothing like now. Even when I was in college it wasn't usual for people to have cell phones, and a woman I graduated with was the co-author of the first published text on vlogging. Because it was new.
My knee-jerk reaction is to extol the romance and splendors of a life lived unfettered by the burdens of painful, rapid-fire political news and cat pictures, but when I think about what is was like before the internet as we know it now, I think of it as being really confusing. I guess I think of it like perpetually loosing a game of Marco Polo.
You freak me out, but I'm glad you're here, Internet.