I was thinking about the Old Internet (which I’m setting in the late 90s for my purposes) vs New Internet while driving to work today and after looking at the offerings of TimeHop. Us connected sorts have all these little tools nowadays. Things are more immediate and more numerous.
In the Old Internet, we wrote longer and likely read longer and that seems like a bit of a novelty now. But there are so many more options and I remember people constantly abandoning journals because of the pressure to post finely crafted thinkpieces on your own life. I kind of like the lack of that particular pressure on Facebook, Twitter, etc. And I’ll never besmirch (one of my favorite words) their existence. They are amazing spaces where people connect, for good or bad.
Sometimes I lament friendships that seem to be based on Instagram likes but I also treasure the idea that people who might have been lost to time in the past (college friends that were on the edge of your social circle, for example) are available to reconnect with in a few clicks. And, in some cases, you find that you absolutely should have gotten to know each other better at the time and now you have another person in your corner somewhere in the world.
The reflection that things like TimeHop or a simple scroll through your Instagram feed force upon you to an extent is welcomed as well. Seeing your mundane doings and having them tinged with new context after the passing of time. Thinking about the events that occurred between snapshots and trying to make sense of it or simply noting in some cases how much things stay the same.
Old Internet required some work to construct. New Internet is seamless. Future Internet is…? I guess it all goes back to the examined vs the unexamined life. I’ll keep examining.