Monday, July 22, 2013

Remember When?

The movie "You've Got Mail" came on and it brought back so many memories. I was 14 years old when it first released. 

  • Dial up internet. Remember how bad it sucked when someone in your house was on the phone so you couldn't be on the internet? I think we all still have that dial-up sound in our minds, don't we? How about the time it took to actually load an entire internet page with pictures on it?
  • Chat Rooms. Before Myspace or Facebook. A screen with completely random people putting themselves out there for the sake of cyber conversation. Oh man, me and my girlfriends spent hours in chat rooms talking to people about our made up lives with fantasy self-descriptions and fake names.
  • Hearing the words "you've got mail" and feeling so special. It was the the new and improved way of writing letters, providing almost instant gratification, and lucky me, our tiny school had just opened a computer lab and taught us our to type, the proper way. I still have know idea how my fingers know which keys to push, because if anyone asked me what letter my right ring finger was resting on at any exact moment, I'd have no idea.......
  • Instant messaging. This changed the whole playing field of communication, becoming popular when I was in my early high school days. Non-Face-to-Face conversations destroyed so many adolescent barriers.

When I was in elementary school, we had a letter mailing system  for everyone to participate in and we wrote our friends in different classroom's letters, properly addressed/stamped them, dropped them in a mail box, and then other kids played postman to deliver them. In intermediate school, I had a pin-pal in New Jersey and she asked me if we rode horses to school. 
Patrick and I used to write each other emails when we first started dating. I would come home late at night from bartending and write to him about something crazy that happened, or share a part of myself, or just say something mindless and silly to let him know I was thinking about him. By the time I woke up the next day, I'd have something waiting for me in return. Texting was on phones with actual buttons that had 3 letters assigned to each number, so it was slow, but it didn't slow us down from saying "hi" throughout the day, or "I like you" if we were feeling brave. I'd just discovered Myspace and I eagerly created an account so I could get on and stalk him, investigate his friends, analyze the songs he picked to be on his profile page, and ogle over his pictures.
Off and on, since I was old enough to know how cool a diary was, I've put a pen to paper to spill my feelings out in a journal, until a little over 2 years ago, when I started this blog. Remember those ancient old heavy outdated encyclopedias?Arguments over factual topics are never very long when Google search comes to the rescue. Now days we aren't even computer bound, we have our smart phones! Emails are shorter and more prompt as a result, texts more personalized; our friends overseas can take us to their kid's soccer games on Skype. My ability to spell adequately without the help of spell check automatically correcting my every typo is quickly circling the proverbial drain. When I got married, we still used paper charting at the hospitals and so I quickly became accustomed to signing my strange new last name by writing it out a million times a day at work. No one ever tells you how weird that will feel, until one day you forget how to sign your maiden name.
I wonder if the art of actually writing will eventually become near extinction. Ever wonder why we had to learn cursive, like as an adult, print wasn't allowed?

In retrospect of how our communication as changed over the years, what stands out the most for you?


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