Skip to main content

The Sunday Salon (Internet over the years) -- Apr 04, 2010


The Sunday 
Salon.com

Another Sunday is here, and I am thinking the same thing - where did the week go? I literally camped at my lab this week - there was so much work. While I like that kick of adrenaline that usually comes in before a deadline, it also means a casualty - reading.

It's April already and with a jolt, I realized today that some of my friends are just a month and a half from graduation! I myself will graduate in August. So I'm starting to feel the beginnings of the sorrows that will consume me within the next few months. Partings are something I am so poor at handling, in spite of having been through it five times already, and I'm only yet 25! The first time I went through it, was after my 10th grade. I didn't even have an email address then, nor did any of my friends. (I had a PC at home, but my dad used it mainly. Only he had an email address in my house then.) So you can imagine how my friends and I exchanged postal addresses and forget-me-not notes. (I still have them in my home in India.) Over the next few years, I managed to be in touch with two friends of mine by post. Meanwhile, I had taken an internet connection soon after my 10th grade - the connection was shaky and pricey! The computer was the latest HCL model that I wouldn't sit in front of today without scoffing at it. It was plugged to an unreliable electric power that went off whenever it wished. I used it mainly to play Solitaire. :-)

That was 10 years ago! Today, I have 3 email accounts that I check every minute and 2 others that I don't. I have one Facebook and 2 Twitter profiles. I have 2 blogs and right now I am connected to so many bloggers like you, which wasn't even possible 5 years ago? 10 years ago? There's even Yahoo messenger, Gtalk, and Skype. My postal address? Puh-leez! If you are sending me a book, I'm happy. :-) Funny how times have changed, right? And I can't even comprehend how 10 years could change the world so much! I recently connected with all my high-school friends on Facebook. Some have married, some have kids. Some are still studying and dreaming higher. Some are so different from how they were 10 years ago. It never fails to surprise me.

When I see how we connect today, it always makes me wonder how people did it in the past. And then I remember that I didn't grow up with the Internet either and I survived fine. Maybe I did even better then, considering I didn't have to faint at the sight of my Google Reader (Good news on this - I tamed it finally last week!) or worry about missing updates in Facebook and Twitter. I even had more reading time and more television time. And, more family time and more fun with friends that didn't involve any kind of computers. Working at a job and doing a course that needs the computer 24x7 is more of a detriment too, since I have all my networking windows open before opening my work documents. Being connected is a very powerful feeling - to know that you are networked with millions of people the world over who are separated from you by buildings, state borders, continents and oceans, gives an idea of the enormity of this revolution.

Those of you who grew up like me - introduced to the internet much later - do you remember how life was for you before this amazing thing came?

And those of you who used the internet for as long as you remember - do you ever imagine not having it?

While I leave you to think about that, let me mention a couple of awards I received which I'm not passing.

 

I received the Humane Award from Marce @ Tea Time with Marce and Nadia @ A Bookish Way of Life! Thanks so much!! Makes me feel like a great person today! :)

Also, Aleksandra over @ Aleksandra's Corner gave me the Over the Top Award! I know it involves listing one word answers to some great questions, but since I am running out of time, I will give that up for now. Thanks anyways! :)

That's it for now! Happy Easter and happy wonderful Sunday/Monday depending on which side of the world you are! Missing my lovely neighbors from 10 years ago, who used to feed me yummy food on Easter!

Happy Reading and Happy Blogging!

Comments

susan said…
I'm 45. I remember when kids were first allowed to use calculators. I remember Atari and microwaves and digital watches. My sister and I were the first kids I knew to have phones of our own(we had a separate lines just for us).

Yes, I remember the early days of the Internet. I connected socially in the early 90s. First we had listserves (email groups), them IM chat and message boards.

My online life dwarfs my real life interactions. Sometimes I miss getting out. Other times, I'm glad for my online life because of my limited transportation and limited time. Connecting online gives me interaction I might not have otherwise.

We did get along without the technology. While my online life is my primary social life. I never embraced the cell phone (I have one; I leave or lose it constantly), iphones and the multiple applications each provide. I don't like online games or Wii.

When I'm online I still want to connect with a person. Some things have changed and other things haven't.
Ana S. said…
It really is amazing how much things have changed in 10 years. Sometimes I think that because I watched it happen gradually, I don't really get the impact of these changes. I've been online since I was 13 and I'm 26 now...so that's literally half of my life. It's hard to imagine a world without it at this point.
Book Dilettante said…
I remember being very happy to chat online for the first time, with Canadians who wanted or did not want Quebec to secede, separate from the rest of Canada. It was an awesome experience! My Sunday Salon.
Aths....Happy Easter to you as well. I new gadget for me when I was about 12 was a "transister radio" that operated on batteries, and you could take outside...WOW.

That was 0ver 40 years ago. Now I'm guessing you never heard of this?

Times certainly have changed. We used typewriters in school and college for assignments too (manual ones).
When I was born, the internet was at its early stages and computers weren't nearly as advanced as they are now. So, I've basically been exposed to all this my whole life, and (sadly) can't imagine my life without it!

P.S. What are you studying? It sounds cool!
bermudaonion said…
I certainly remember the days before the internet. In some ways, they were simpler, in other ways less convenient. I guess everything's a trade off.

Congratulations on your awards!

My son graduates in August, too, and I think he's feeling the same way as you. Happy to be through with that part of his life, but sad to be saying good-bye to it at the same time.

Happy Easter!
Dana said…
Interesting post! I think I first started using the internet sometime around middle school, and it's definitely hard to imagine life before it!
No internet...no computers...no tv...everything was quite different when I was little.

I'm happy to have the net and my computer. I feel connected to readers all around the world.

Today is the last chance to become a follower at my blog and leave a comment to try to win one of two $10 Amazon gift certificates. Stop in today!

www.readerbuzz.blogspot.com
I am older than you so definitely remember pre-internet/email life. I still have the hand-written letters from college friends and relatives, which I love looking at every once in a while.

But, like you I now have multiple emails, twitters, and a facebook presence. I skype with my brother and his family who live in England. I cannot imagine my life without all of this!
Bookventures said…
I was born when the internet was now starting to catch on and for my folks it was still taboo to use it. And life was definitely simpler. I didn't have an email address and didn't even care to have one and chatting online was a novelty. Back then we used internet cafes to hang out with friends not so much to actually use the internet. What can i say, it was considered cool to be there..lol

I can't say i miss those days though. I like being connected through Face book, skype and Google talk. I have not yet mastered Twitter and i think i'll keep it that way. Thanks for passing by bookventures.
Tales of Whimsy said…
When I was growing up - the home computer was for the grown ups :)

I love to tell people that the photo snapped on my 21st birthday shows a beeper (pre cell phones) on my hip.
*gasp*

I love the computer but I still love to write handwritten notes and cards. I wish more people did them.
Tales of Whimsy said…
Fun discussion. Hope you had a beautiful weekend :)
Ash said…
I'm 20 and I didn't get the Internet until I was 13. I'm really glad I didn't have the Internet when I was a kid because it was such a simpler time haha. I was talking with one of my professors about how life is so much more DIFFICULT when you have to check ten email accounts and read your Google reader and keep up with your favorite websites and friends on Facebook and Twitter. Gah, it's exhausting.

But I kind of love it.
Lisa said…
If someone your age is shocked by how much the world as changed in 10 years, I don't feel so badly about my thoughts on the subject!
Athira said…
Thank you everyone for your comments! Really appreciate it. Helped me get a bearing on mine too!
Anonymous said…
I'm 43 and I well remember life before the internet. I remember owning actual stationery so that I could write letters to grandma and grandpa. I remember punch cards, and computer paper that had those strips of holes on both sides. I remember modems where you had to stick an actual phone receiver into a receptacle. The first Macs came out when I was a junior in college and I thought they were the most amazing thing EVER. Man, this makes me feel old!
Marg said…
It is amazing when you stop and think about how things have changed in such a short time isn't it!
Athira said…
Marg, totally! I can't imagine my life 10 years back, considering how connected I am to the online life!

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …