I’m going to a conference this weekend and I’m thinking I won’t take my computer with me. The mere thought makes my fingers twitch even though I’ll still have my iPhone with me and probably be able to access the hotel’s computer if I really need to.
Crazy to think how dependent we’ve (or I’ve) become on being connected and using computers when I’m old enough to have pretty much grown up without any of that.
We didn’t have a computer (other than my dad’s TRS 80(?) that he used for his business) in the house until I was sixteen or seventeen. And I still remember my first year at Rice finding the IP addresses(?) for other colleges and pinging them for their student directories to try and find the e-mail addresses for my friends at other schools because none of us had e-mail until we got to college and searching the web wasn’t really a thing yet.
And when I worked as a stockbroker we had one computer for the entire floor of thirty-five reps to use.
I didn’t even buy my first real computer until I was out of college. (I had one given to me senior year, but it was an older one that wrote in WordPerfect, I think.) Before that I just used ones in the library at school or the computer lab in the dorm.
And I didn’t get home internet for at least five or six years after I bought that first computer. (Although I wasn’t above trying to use the neighbor’s internet connection every once in a while.)
And in terms of phones, my first cell phone was this huge thing you had to basically assemble every time you wanted to use it and it cost something like $2 a minute to use. Only reason I bought it was because I was driving solo cross-country to college and my parents wanted me to have a way to call someone in an emergency.
The first time I traveled overseas I used payphones and calling cards I bought at a local store to call home every few days. Last time I traveled overseas I could just send e-mails from my phone or use the computer at the hostel to e-mail or Skype anyone I wanted.
It’s crazy how much things have changed and how easy it is to just accept that this is the way it is and should be. But that’s life I guess. We just adjust and keep living in the moment, forgetting how very different the moment is now from what it once was.