Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday Factoid: What Era?

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What era do you wish you had lived in?

I'm gonna do something mighty weird here and say I wish I'd been a millennial instead of Generation X.

Maybe that doesn't really count as answering the question? I'm not sure. Because obviously I am living now and I was alive when millennials started being born. So technically the question is kinda asking me what era that I DIDN'T live in that I wish I had, and therefore the only choices are really bygone eras. I mean, unless I'm allowed to pick the distant future, too, and in that case I don't know what I'd name it.

I don't romanticize the past. There are aesthetics and movements I think are awesome from the past, but actually living in those eras Does Not Appeal To Me, like at all. And given what the Internet did for me as a college student, I am retroactively salty about it not existing for me when I was a kid.

Then again, I probably would have been one of those early adopters who would have done something terrifyingly embarrassing on YouTube while in middle school and would have become a meme or something. So who knows. But I was SO ready for the Internet before I even knew what it was. I was sort of making proto-websites on my Apple II using multiple five-and-a-quarter diskettes. Julie's Disk 2. Julie's Disk 3. Because I filled them up with crap and each disk only held like less than 200 K of my text crap. And as you all know I like to write a lot of text crap.

Anyway, I feel like if I had gone through childhood with access to the Internet, I would have learned much earlier what I needed to know later to become a better writer, and I wouldn't have gotten what I feel is such a late start in publishing. I really feel like I was a slow learner and that it just wasn't ubiquitous in my generation, and maybe that's also why I've got a circle of friends that starts half a generation to a generation younger than I am. Those are the people who communicate like I do about the things I communicate about.

But to be honest, it's kind of fun being the old lady. Because then I get to talk about the 1980s and how the music was not bullshit and talk about the toys, TV shows, and clothes we had from a perspective of actually being there rather than understanding it secondhand through people who don't quite understand what they're trying to imitate when they sort of make fun of it or make reference to it. And I can remember the way computers changed and the way Internet culture developed in a way that they can't. It's especially shocking to me how little people understand sometimes about websites and Internet--how some people literally don't realize that it hasn't actually been possible for most of my life to watch television shows whenever you want, and that you actually had to do stuff like program your VCR to record a show because there honestly was not a way to watch it later through the Internet. I once spent an entire evening trying to download a 20 MB file of the Animaniacs doing the macarena. And then I had to start all over because someone called me and it knocked my connection out. I'm not kidding.

And now you can watch it immediately. Sweet.

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