A refrain often heard echoing through the barrenness of NMR’s content sweatshop begins with “Back in my day…” I can’t help it; after all, this sort of uncommon wisdom and insight simply cannot be wasted. The universe didn’t bless me with astounding intellect and talent so that I could sit back and let the Matt Manarino’s of the world do nothing but churn out word salads and devote obsessive amounts of time to video games and amateur comic books.
Let’s all go back in time to visit some of the things that the good ol’ days had for us, back when the Internet was smarter, character was built, and instant gratification was just a half-realized concept. These are things that the kids of today and tomorrow will sadly never experience.
The Sound of Dialup
Back in my day, good things came to those who waited. And waited. And waited. And then troubleshooted. And then tried again. And then waited. And then waited. And then hallelujah, you were finally connected through the wonder that was a 56k modem. At least until your mom picked up the phone.
Back in my day, we had free coasters and Frisbees in the form of AOL discs that begged you to try one month of being TOS’d for free. These days, coasters and Frisbees must be paid for, that is unless you borrowed your gay friend’s copy of the new Madonna CD.
Back in my day, there was this thing called a “floppy disk.” It held a whopping 1.44MB of data, which means that you had just enough room for your homework and the homework of the nerdy kid you copied off of.
Back in my day, a computer mouse had a ball inside of it to track your hand movements. This means that you had the responsibility of inspecting, cleaning, and then slamming the shit out of the ball mouse when your cursor wasn’t moving. These days, kids just throw in a new battery. Lazy bastards.
Hot or Not/Face the Jury
Back in my day, there were popular sites like hotornot.com and facethejury.com to decide your physical attractiveness. The merciless truth came hard and fast, and you had to deal with it; if you were hot, good for you, and if you were ugly, then you developed a good personality and ended up only taking partial or extremely angular shots of your homely face for your Friendster profile. These days, every whippersnapper’s photo on Facebook gets a “like” or flattering comment, further feeding the narcissists of this generation who believe that everyone is beautiful in their own way. I’ve seen some of you people, and I call BULLSHIT.
Back in my day, we had instant messengers with character, like AIM, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, and ICQ. From each of these services, we knew what to expect: AIM was the straightforward populist; MSN was the slick smarty-pants; Yahoo! was the creepy rube with a shack located somewhere in Alabama; ICQ was the orphan who wandered the world in the hopes of connecting with anyone that would love it. These days, it’s all about texting, which people do while crashing their cars and falling into mall water fountains. Worst thing we could do while chatting on AIM back in the day was type very slowly with one hand.
Back in my day, you had to consult these thick books called “encyclopedias” for general knowledge questions. But alas, these tomes of printed knowledge are no more, and now we have Wikipedia. No more expectant snickering amongst friends when you look up “sex” in the encyclopedia only to find a definition of the biological differences between men and women. Now, you look up sex on Wikipedia and you’re presented with links to entries like “BDSM,” “creampie,” and “frot,” which all sound like ingredients for a great dessert. And when the kids of today Google “sex”? Oh, the horror. This generation’s collective innocence has been broken, ground up into powder, and snorted by black hole Lindsay Lohan, which just like her looks and talent will clearly never be recovered again.
What else do you think should be added to the list? Make some good suggestions and I may include it in part II coming out on Monday.