With all the ’90’s kid nostalgia cropping up bringing back everything from crop tops to box braids to nostalgic Microsoft ad campaigns, it seems a lot of retailers, as well as consumers, are looking to the past for inspiration. In a recent article in the Huffington Post titled ‘Before the Internet we did some pretty amazing things’, examined what we’ve left behind and asks us to “Take a moment to remember how both simple and complicated life was before the Internet.”
Like most post-internet cultural examinations, this humorous article focuses in the ‘human’ element that we’ve apparently lost somewhere along the digital line – hand-written mixtape covers, real live phone books and folded car maps…Access to information technology has removed a lot of human error (and frustration) from simple tasks and it’s absolutely saved a lot of trees. Now, the only people with private encyclopedia sets are people with their own libraries (and billiards rooms). Way back when a complete Britannica set was not only commonplace but added a touch of class to every home. Time-keeping was also better-managed and standing someone up was easier without the various social networking tools that can more or less pin-point people to an exact location if they’re frequent users.
So besides printed photos in family albums, letters and books, what is missing? I suppose the point would be that we no longer leave our mark on the world in the same way. Letters and mixtapes form a life catalogue, a physical imprint that is missing now that we live our lives invisibly in the cloud. Perhaps one of the better points Huffington Post’s article mad was that the modern day debate is settled with a quick check on IMDB/ WebMD/ Wikipedia or whatever online resource is most relevant. Information is shared differently so we no longer have to keep it in our heads – perhaps that is the only way in which an internet-less world would be better.
See the full video below-