“We saw Elvis in Vegas, you know,” my grandma boasted from her rocking chair.
Over the weekend, we went to visit our grandparents, and the conversation turned to concerts.
“No one knew what shows were playing ever, back then. You just showed up and went to see who was playing.”
Our conversation got me thinking about how often I take the simplicity of the internet for granted.
‘Back in the day,’ you couldn’t just text someone when you were ready to go. You had to plan a meeting place and time the night before, and you couldn’t send any “sorry, running late,” texts. If you wanted to go to a concert or a sporting event, you would have to actually drive to the Box Office, ask what or who was playing, and purchase your tickets in person. When our grandparents went to Vegas, they would have to go place to place planning out their next day and putting deposits down, rather than simply logging onto ticketfly. And even paying for things! No tap card, not even debit. On the plus side, it’s harder to be surprised at a bank statement when you’re literally watching the wads of cash fly out of your pockets. Thinking of how annoying it would be to have to plan a vacation, let alone your daily life, made me grateful for some other internet conveniences that we tend to take for granted.
Facebook Event Planning: if you wanted to throw a party, you had to either call, write, or invite someone in person to your party. And if they weren’t reachable, guess they weren’t on the list.
That Name of That Actor. . .You Know, He’s in That One Movie: rather than google-hole your way to a correct IMDB site, you would just be stuck with that lack lustre actor’s name weighing down your tongue for days.
WebMD: If you thought you had a rare, deadly disease, you would have to either look up your symptoms in a book, or else go see an actual doctor.
MOVIES: alright, what, like. Wait for the movie release, wait for a paper to write a review. . . go see a movie in a theatre, and then wait for it to hit Betamax?! Thank you so much online streaming. I’ll never complain about the HD resolution of torrented content again.
Memories: Rather than wait till Facebook reminds you the terrible things you documented five years ago, you would have albums upon albums of memories on your shelves, each meticulously labelled and probably even more embarrassing than your As I Lay Dying lyric’s you status updated 6 years ago.
Google: Clean a carpet stain? Easy cooking recipe? When does the next bus come? How do you format a business letter? What’s the temperature tomorrow? What is the conversion of currency? What time is that Chinese place around the corner open to, and what is their address? How long does it take to drive from my house to school and can I access the lecture notes on Blackboard? Rather than admit I know nothing about the word, I can quietly learn the secrets of the universe and every day living from my main advisor, Google.
Seriously, Google, thank you.