For years, I’ve been hearing about how old I am based on what I remember. Phonographs, rotary phones, white-out, carbon paper, air-raid drills, fizzies — the items are endless.
Now there’s a new way to categorize absolute oldness: Being a Digital Dinosaur.
I jumped on the WWW around 1995 — the Dark Ages. Not the Stone Age, but long ago enough to qualify as antediluvian. Young’uns (under 40) laugh at me when I prattle about the good ol’ days before there were mouses. They say, “Really? No mouse? Well, you just used your touchpad, right?”
I remember the web when nothing moved. Then, like viewing a magic lantern show for the first time — there, right in front of you, appearing as if out of thin ether, were animated GIFs! Of course, what’s old becomes new again, and today these wriggling images are popular as looped video snippets. They probably have a new name, too — but I have no idea what that might be.
Remember WordStar? WordPerfect? Apple Writer? Lotus Notes? If you don’t know what these are, open up Netscape Navigator and do a search on Alta Vista.
Back in The Dark Ages, I wrote a column for an online community. There were about three in existence. After a few months, the site added something really weird — attached bulletin boards so readers could comment on columns! I’m not sure I was happy about that.
A time will come when kids will titter at texting, apps, smartphones, dumb pictures tacked up everywhere. There will be newer and newer ways to do stupid things and waste your time.
Beware, kiddos. You’re programmed for digital extinction.