24 May 2010

free yourself.

free yourself...
Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
Thanks to incredible incompetence of AT&T, we had no Internet all weekend... and I lived to tell about it.

It's truly amazing how dependent we are upon technology these days.

I remember some of the very first personal "mobile phones," also known as bag phones because the portable phone and all of its required components filled up a big ole heavy bag larger than most purses (not that I had one, because who the heck could afford such a luxury!)... as compared to today's models which are smaller than a Pop Tart - and probably taste better too.

I also remember life before the Internet. (*Gasp!* Was there really such a thing?) Before personal computers and cable television...

What in the world did restless young souls do back then to fill our days you may ask?

We wrote letters, on paper and we passed notes in class, on paper. We made phone calls from home phones and talked for hours and our parents bitched about the high phone bills. We wrote our school papers neatly by hand or on typewriters if we had them and took Typing as an elective because it was a handy skill to have and it looked good on a resume. We ordered music through the postal mail from Columbia House on cassette. We watched TV but there were only three channels and we rented VHS movies at the country store. We checked the newspaper for movie showings and job listings. When we were out and needed to make a call, we used pay phones (can you believe it?!) and we had to actually memorize phone numbers, dozens of them. And if we were out and our car broke down, well, we just walked to the nearest house and used their phone to call for help. And we used maps to figure out where we were going. We rode around with strangers cruisin' Benson in fast cars and big trucks and drank bootleg liquor. We went skinny dipping in irrigation holes and four-wheeling on the tank trails at Fort Bragg. And yes, it's a wonder in Heaven no one ever grabbed us, did us harm, and buried in a corn field somewhere.

We didn't have cell phones and email addresses and Facebook, but somehow that never slowed us down.

I was 23 years old and married when I signed up for my first email account (and I still have it) and 25 when I bought my first personal computer for $500.00, used. And I was a 28 year old single mom when I got my first mobile phone.

It's impossible to imagine how different life would have been coming of age in the World Wide Web and difficult to envision life without it now...

And when Monday came, as it always does, I discovered after a weekend without the Internet, that not only had I survived, but I didn't miss a single thing.

"Information on the Internet is subject to the same rules and regulations as conversation at a bar."

...George Lundberg


  1. How true! I have been without cable since I moved to OK (I moved here Aug 1, 2009) - almost a year now. While I miss some things (I used to be a CNN junkie - miss it on Sunday mornings drinking my juice/coffee and being lazy) I realize you can lead a productive life without having a box yammer at you all the time! *gasp*

    I was 24 and in grad school when I bought my first computer. I used a dial up connection until 2000 when I moved to Dallas. My first cell phone was purchased at 27 when I got my car in case of an emergency and I have never felt the need to buy a phone that was "smarter" than myself (aka I want a phone to call and text - that is it!!!). I still do not have an MP3 player at all.

    My car, though is a 2003 model (still have my little Bugger), has a tape deck in it. One day my niece (age 5) pointed to the cassette in my tape deck and asked me what it was!?!? That is when I officially knew I was old...and also realized I reached a point in my life where "back when I was your age..." stories were going to increase in frequency and the kiddos would think I was making it up. Like when I told them TVs did not always have remotes...you had to get up and turn a dial. The kids *still* think I'm lying on that one... *shakes head*

  2. LOL @ getting up and turning the TV dial! I remember those days too, except *I* was the remote... "Crystal, turn the dial to channel 5..."

  3. Exactly! Kids were walking remotes for parents...and if you had older siblings...

    I have not yet told them my gift for my 13th birthday was a 13" black & white TV with NO remote. *gasp* If they cannot imagine not having a remote, I'm afraid their brains would explode if they knew TVs used to be black and white.

    When did we become...dare I say...old?!?!

  4. Hey! I got a little black & white for my birthday one year too! I used that thing for years.