The Last Generation before the Internet

People “of a certain age” offer lots of commentary that bemoans the rise of the latest technology:  pictures of rotary phones; decrying the death

Michael Harris

The Last Generation

of print journalism, the decline in quality of network TV, the rise of “viral video”.  As generations age, it was always thus, but it seems more pernicious lately.  In fact, today’s adult population is the last to ever remember the era before the Internet. And as this generation, we owe it to our successors to remind them of how it was before, but also not to fight the changes that are both ubiquitous and irresistible.  We all share What it Feels like to be the Last Generation to Remember Life before the Internet.

If you were born before 1985, then you know what life is like both with the internet and without. You are making the pilgrimage from Before to After,” he writes. It is a nice conceit. Harris, like your correspondent, grew up in a very different world, one with limited channels of communication, fewer forms of entertainment, and less public scrutiny of quotidian actions or fleeting thoughts. It was neither better nor worse than the world we live in today. Like technology, it just was.

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