These days, (nearly) everyone carries a camera around all the time, and one that is quite probably much better than the one I had in 1992. They can take dozens, even hundreds of pictures without breaking a sweat, and it does not cost anything.
Nostalgia is a very warped mirror. Back then, I did not miss the ability to take dozens of pictures at no cost, because the option did not exist. Was it better? Worse? Neither, I think. But this is the first time I feel old and appreciate it for the history I have lived through. Getting old is weird, but it sure is interesting. (For reference, I'm 40. "That's not old", I hear someone say, but I have never been this old before, so for me it's all new.)
As a kid I used to play outside a lot, and my mother had no clue where I was, nor could she easily find out. I could be outside all day without her worrying that I'd be abducted or involved in an accident.
Now that all has completely changed, and my mother has too. Some years ago when I walked into the hallway of my house I coincidentally noticed a lot of people in front of my door. So I opened it, and it was the police that was about to bust the door with a battering ram. As it happened I hadn't answered my phone in a couple of hours. After multiple calls unanswered, my mom had called 911 on me. And my doorbell was broken, police didn't even knock.. they wanted the action, probably.
I was just freaking programming with the deep-work-destroying phone thingy on silence (where it should be most of the time, imho).
Some of my friends will freak out if I don't text back in as little as 5 minutes. A particular needy friend once tried to get me to "promise" that I would always return her texts within 10 minutes.
I said "hard no" explaining that it meant that it meant that I could never watch a movie uninterrupted, read a book, take a nap, etc. Also, Driving. I don't answer texts while I'm driving because I literally got in an accident texting (it was a freak circumstance, but these things do happen).
I have purposefully started training my friends by being erratic with my texts/messages/e-mails.
I have another friend who always calls on his commute home and gets offended when I don't answer. The idea alone that someone is obligated to answer the phone is insane. What if I don't want to spend an hour shooting the shit with you because I'm doing something else?
I miss the days when I could just walk away from contact.
I now have my phone on do not disturb 24/7. I will choose when I participate in messaging. I also disable iMessage on my Mac. If someone comes up to me and talks to me, I may not even respond immediately.
I took this to extremes and a couple of weekends back I actually went for a day long solo hike with zero technology with me at all past a torch, map, compass and alcohol stove. I didn't even have any way of telling the time with me. It was invigorating with the obligation to communicate and steal my attention removed. What was most surprising was the removal of a camera and watch. Rather than being focused on recording my journey and keeping to a schedule I was focused on enjoying it. This has led to considerably more vivid memories and a much higher level of satisfaction. A trip I will always remember.
Maybe I’m too old fashioned, but there’s world of difference between ignoring someone contacting you through an async communication channel like SMS and them literally standing next to you and speaking to your face.
However, I wish our culture considered it rude to just walk up to someone in the middle of deep work and ask them something - unless it’s really important and time critical. It could be a simple as sending a message first “free for a quick chat?”
She said that it upset her when she couldn't reach me--and that's one of the reasons she's an ex-wife. Her go to manipulation tactic was this sort of ask for some sort of compromise or make some sort of promise with absolutely not intention of keeping her end of the bargain.
She was the kind of person, if you weren't doing exactly what she wanted you to, you were a piece of shit. Once I realized what was going on (our early relationship was much, much different, I would have never married someone like this) I stopped paying this game and it infuriated her to not have power over me.
Could I throw something at you-- I am sorry to be rude-- could it be your wife thinks you are cheating or is cheating herself? This was what I think was driving my ex-wife's behavior. One, to verify that I was at work and not cheating, and to make sure I was at work so she could cheat herself.
Now she tries to use our child as a manipulation tool, as that is the only aspect of my life that she has any input to.
The ex moved 45 mins away and insisted I pick up and drop off the child. When I started refusing, she just abandoned the kid at her mothers house, betting correctly that I would comply (which i had to).
We had a legal agreement at my ex's insistence that we wouldn't disparage each-other. Now and then I hear from my daughter how I'm a "bad daddy"-- I have never said a single bad thing about my ex to my kiddo despite her cheating, stealing money, using my family and lying to not only our friends and family but the police to get custody.
If you need support or anything, I'm happy to lend an ear.
We had an agreement that the kid will go a certain school, after I bough her half of the house, someone changed their mind. I complied and moved to be in the zone of the new school, then someone changed their mind again. But the 2nd time it is go as court/lawyers sided with me.
I never discuss her with the kid, but I get same tidbits from him as you from your daughter. Children know a good parent, so just do your best. They will love you regardless of what they hear.
The latest thing was her not wanting to handover his medication on handover.
Of course, today only old people like me wear a watch. Curses!
Except that's not how other people would perceive it. I've since learned that it can be incredibly annoying to others, to the point where some people would actually get distressed thinking they would have to answer the texts. Couple that with a bad habit of sending many short texts (it's how you'd write on messaging in the old days) and you have one REALLY REALLY ANNOYING FRIEND (regrettably I was that annoying friend).
So I guess I just want to apologize profusely from the other side of the fence. I'm trying to be much more mindful these days about whether that chit-chat message REALLY needs to be sent RIGHT NOW, or can it just wait for a conversation at a later time?
I'm trying to be much more self-aware in this regard.
In my circles text is generally for when you want to get the message to someone right away, and email is for when they should read at their convenience.
I wish messaging apps gave the sender the ability to hint at urgency, like the priority header that some email clients support, and then the recipient would be able to use that (or choose to ignore it) instead of the relatively rudimentary controls typically available today.
A recipient can put their whole phone silent mode, vibrate mode, or ringtone mode; use DND mode, perhaps with a schedule, perhaps with exceptions for contacts; specify a ringtone per contact; mute specific group messages -- all of these have one thing in common, which is that if the sender has something unusually important or unusually unimportant to say, they're stuck with generating whatever type of notification the recipient already decided is appropriate for a typical message from that sender.
Using phone calls for higher urgency and email for lower urgency is usually good enough, but achieving that same effect in-band through a messaging app for continuity of history would be even better.
It was life and perspective changing. I hate that because of work and personal circumstances I cant do it now, but there is so much value in completely disconnecting when you need/want to.
We shouldnt feel ashamed that this feels wierd to us ~Xennials(+-10yr) having grown up in a time of landline only pots (and phreakin!)
Frankly, as Snowden recently said, our phones are probably our greatest security threat as a country. Going off the digital grid is almost impossible, but knowing how is a matter of national security...
Which is why breaches like OPM etc are so egregious; because once the data is out there, its too late to take back.
My problem is that listening to Drake and Binney, it seems greed was allowed to take over policy decisions in order to maximize kickbacks while failing to protect americans privacy.
I'd like to address this in a non-judgemental way: not answering texts while driving should be the norm. It's not possible to operate a vehicle in motion and text simultaneously in a safe manner.
This statement has been proven true by multiple studies now, many of them coming to the conclusion that texting while driving can be as dangerous or more dangerous than driving drunk.
Please don't put other people's life at risk because you feel smarter. Don't text and drive.
There are many reasons why the chart of auto fatalities is dominated by those with less than high school degrees, but one is that accurate risk assessment and good choices matter. For example, "Should I send a text one word at a time once an hour on a straight road going through Nebraska in broad daylight, or should I text continually with both hands in heavy traffic?" The first is a risk easily worth taking, even with other people's lives.
This was also probably no more than 2009 anyways as I was literally trying to get a date with my now ex-wife.
That being said it was a dumb thing to do.
This is the way. My whole family is like this, and it's awesome. Sometimes people are too busy and don't reply, but no one gets offended. It can be annoying when planning, but overall it's great.
> I have another friend who always calls on his commute home and gets offended when I don't answer.
Similarly, we have a rule that it's not rude to call to shoot the shit, but it's also not rude to send the person straight to voicemail for any reason. It's so nice to just be able to call my sister out of the blue and know that if I'm bothering her, she won't pick up.
I would very much like to do what you say but with a million interrupts a day, it is now or never. If I neglect / defer something now, I would likely get back to it next week. Even for work. I do find time to focus 4 hours on some work activities but those are just the high priority visible stuff otherwise maybe if someone did not remind and make it a priority maybe it was anyways not a priority. But then things slip through the crack once in a while.
The secret is to not be interrupted. If you're already reading the text, you might as well go and answer.
If you want to change something you will need to stop being interrupted (close the IM window, put your phone on silent, ...) and check once you have time. If you don't have time for a while, possibly give it a quick skim in case something important happened.
Things will always slip through the cracks. If you attend every interruption, it will once in a while interrupt an interruption itself and you're at status quo. At worst, put things on a todo list.
It's possible to do it.
It would work like this:
A list of firewall rules about who/what was able to send notifications. The firewall would be able to bump up or down the priority of a message, or discard them. Including rules being able to match say a regex inside the text, sender, time of day filtering.
And then at some specified interval (I would use 25 mins), I get all my notifications that didn't meet the emergency criteria in the firewall.
The iOS Focus mode does seem promising though.
As someone that lives life like this, yes, that's the point. If it's really important, they can ping me again and remind me to respond. Or when I have some downtime I'll peruse through my messages and emails again and stumble upon it and remember to reply.
(Sometimes I genuinely missed something interesting but this is rare.)
I also wish there were a way for me to send a low-priority message to my wife so that it didn't notify her regardless of her notification settings. We send each other news articles throughout the day but don't really want to interrupt each other. It would be great if there were a sender-side option that could enable this.
I've thought about using a shared document in the Notes app, or just use a different messaging app for low-priority stuff, but it seems like too much overhead. Does anyone else have a way of handling this?
IMO, no one should have have email that sends notifications.
If it's urgent, the sender will call.
Text messaging is asynchronous communication, if someone is expecting an immediate response, they should be calling.
ADDED: Where I work, chat is a more time sensitive than email but basically no one phones out of the blue.
I would much rather someone press a button to say "This is very important, send it now" over calling me where I have to scramble to turn off my music, put my headphones on, etc before answering.
This is on you. Plenty of people manage it. Try turning your phone of.
Like in 1984. People who want to "spend time alone" are deviant, diseased and antisocial. And must be stopped.
At the end of the day, we as people have to react to this environment that's been created, but the people who created it knew what they were doing.
When I had a smartphone, I never told my employer. I told him I only had a Landline, and I had a chatty roommate.
On the days I felt they might call, I just took the phone off the hook.
Not quite. Tech and social media companies have spent billions to make their devices and apps as addictive as possible.
Consider the soft forces of marketing, distraction, conformity, attraction and temptation. They are as real as a twisted arm.
When you live in a world that requires bills to be paid via mobile, rent to be paid via mobile, mass transit tickets bought via mobile, physical location reservation via mobile, as well as any customer service only available via mobile... who cares about personal addiction; normal life isn't feasible without a mobile phone at that point, and very few (if any at all) mobile phones are designed from the premise that they should respect your attention.
The mobile phones that are designed to preserve the users attention are widely incompatible with any functions that the user needs (billpay/specific group apps, whatever) to stay integrated with the systems being forced upon them, so those options are already non-starter.
That means this problem is worth discussing -- non-compulsive normal people as well as compulsive addicts are being affected by the lack of 'respect for attention' that mobile phones have, and this problem intersects with the 'required prevalence' of mobile phones across the world.
I dunno man. That sounds weird.
My overall point, however, is that there will never be an external negative reinforcement to look on your phone. We all have it internalized already and that's far more compelling than any external pressure ever could be.
In a similar vein, if you were in the wilderness you were on your own. If you were in a group, you could send someone for help. If you were on your own you self-rescued or hoped someone found you. Now, the default assumption is you can call for help--which isn't always the case. More likely with a personal locator beacon but even that isn't a guarantee in canyons or in bad weather.
I was on a sea kayaking trip in Alaska in the early 90s. The guide had a VHF radio but, basically, had anything happened you'd have been waiting for the bush plane to return in a week.
Exactly. I had an emergency situation where I needed to be taken to the hospital over a decade ago. I had a satellite phone on me, yet it was still difficult to get help due to a combination of satellite coverage (Iridium phones would have periods of no coverage due to satellite orbits) and just having a number to call (great thing about 911 is that it works from almost any phone in the US, except satellite phones).
Something I have done (accidentally at first, now on purpose) is to not respond to messages (personal) quickly, most of the time. People adjust to that rather fast and stop worrying so much. People in my circles know now that I am rarely going to answer within a few hours and expectations are adjusted. So then going outside for a few hours with no phone is no longer a "thing" - you just do it and people will expect you to get back to them when you do.
Also I go outside without a phone on occasion. That feels like you leave a burden behind, and you are somehow more free. The phone is that easy thing you just grab to do a quick check of something on Wikipedia, or you happen to notice a notification. It is a distraction-device, keeping you busy. And among strangers, feeling less comfortable, well you can grab your phone and start staring at it. This behavior is like with smoking. Just like the relaxed cigarette cowboy in the ads, but now you casually light up the screen and be cool.
It has WiFi but no cell phone. Really looking forward to just being out for runs, with no possibility of contact or checking notifications etc.
 I know I still have IMs, but mails tend to be things I need to do at a computer and seeing them only stresses me with things to do for later.
Or you could be at home and ignore the phone. People used to arrange a time to call or know when to call. It used to be considered impolite to let the phone ring more than 4 or 6 times unless the call was urgent. People never expected you to call back after an unanswered call, since answering machines and caller ID were rare.
> Now that all has completely changed
I find the change immensely frustrating. It isn't so much the expectation of others for an immediate response that bothers me as an internal desire for an immediate response from others. Sure, those feelings may only pop up when something genuinely important pops up. On the other hand, the other person doesn't know that until they check their messages.
Although my experience, especially pre-answering machines, was that a phone call was something that many people felt absolutely had to be answered no matter what you were doing.
One would hope the cops at least apologized for nearly destroying your front door all because you didn't answer the door. It's not like they had a warrant for your arrest or something!
We had a SWAT team destroy a fence with an armored vehicle during a standoff and they were just like, "not my problem."
Apparently they don't want to have to make decisions based on cost.
Personally, I'd just have the state cover it, but explicitly not have it come out of the police budget. A reimbursement check or tax credit could work.
In the event that malice is suspected on the part of any involved party (police department, property owner, 911 caller, home invader, etc.), it would be on the state to press charges and recoup its loss.
Unbeknownst to me, my mom on the other side of the country had been calling intermittently throughout those days (I keep my phone on silent). After a certain point, she called security at my apartment complex to check in on me. Of course she was then informed that my room mates hadn't seen me in several days.
By the time I noticed and returned the missed calls, apparently my mom was just about ready to call the police.
Almost everyone texts or emails and I’ve never had anyone freak out if I didn’t reply quickly.
email/text response time is very much a metric on many employee evaluation systems.
you might not have gotten anyone to 'freak out', but I guarantee that slow response times will get you lower performance reviews at many establishments.
(should it? absolutely not, I am entirely against the practice.)
It really depends on the crowd, some people don't mind and get on with their lives and don't answer until next week. I love these people.
Because he's specifically talking about smartphones, not cell phones. He's talking about the information and attention economy, not the more simple highly available reachability.
People our age only have a few childhood pictures, and they are warped by time on analog media. Those pictures of us as a kid look really old because they are naturally filtered. Soon people will wonder WTF old-pic filters are for, and some historian will have to explain why it's blurred and the colors are faded. Also why did people have clothes for each decade?
Our kids, by contrast, have had pictures taken of them every week at least. With metadata so you know where you were. And they're digital images that won't fade. When our kids are 40, they can look at an archive of how they looked pretty much every week of their lives. Not only that, they can already search the archive for particular situations.
They might still wonder "Why only 8K resolution?! Why aren't they in 3D and interactive?!"
So there is a load of data but ever improving AI will get better at showing you the cool stuff.
They might not fade, but they are augmented by noise filtering algorithms, HDR and other tech that still subtly affects the picture quality and perception.
I try to keep that in mind when snapping photos or taking videos of my kids, and pan over to the oldsters in the room from time to time, even if all I want is to record the kids.
> What I really want are pictures of the halls in high school, street racing, parties with giant bonfires and beer.
Can confirm that a couple really, really long shots with the camera rolling for no particular purpose and capturing normal stuff happening (mostly just the audio) were among the best parts of the home videos, IMO.
...and in the end I forget to enjoy the view. Before digital cameras and mobile phones, I would just marvel at the view and enjoy it. Now I only really see it when I'm back home, flipping through digital photos (and sometimes not even that, how many photos we take that we never look at again?).
Even when going someplace new as a tourist, it's tempting to worry too much about photos. If I really want to play the aspiring travelling landscape photographer it would be work, a lot of it.
With a modern phone camera, for the purpose of a "I was here, I did/saw this" snapshot for posterity, it's pretty hard to mess up a photo so bad that it is worthless as long as it's pointed in the right direction. Take a few shots, but don't worry too much about quality or quantity.
I do a lot of photography and this is a conundrum that many in my circle are aware of. My solutions:
- Use a (pseudo)rangefinder camera like a Leica or Fujifilm X100/X-Pro with an optical viewfinder. Even pre-digital SLRs would subject you to, in the moment of photographing, looking at the photograph. With an uncoupled optical viewfinder, you look at life . While the photograph is a powerful simulacrum, it is not life itself; the wall-sized print of the sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji that hangs in my living room is merely a visual paraphrase of the experience.
- Shooting film and the friction that goes into handling, developing, scanning, and (hopefully, eventually) printing brings some of the Benjaminian aura back to the visual record .
- Reading about Japanese aesthetics, specifically the notions of imperfections and impermanence, has helped me be more present and aware of the transience of the moment .
I have a deliberately created Year in the Life type book from a company I used to work for that was made a couple of years before I joined the company. But it's a very atypical work.
Nowadays, a physical album seems to have taken the place of your camera in the 90s. Not quite a luxury item, but you'd have to be "into that" to go to the trouble of making a physical album.
My kids have limited screen time, not unlike my parents pushing me outside to play. Until they have mature impulse control and a variety of experience I'll continue to guide them. But without all the judgemental 'lessons' and talking down to that I experienced.
...and despite that, pictures of UFOs are as awful as ever. ;)
Today if you hovered a UFO over any city over 1000 people you will get endless footage of the event.
I’m waiting for said event.
My brother (2 years older) and I had a mechanical camera with rolls of I think 12 or 20 photos (with this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110_film ) . We've got at most 30 pictures of that trip in our family albums. I wish we had taken more pictures as my memory of the trip has faded away quite a bit.
I deeply believe that we need structures and limits otherwise it's too easy to become metaphorically obese.
I do take significantly more pictures than I would with a film camera, but this also affords me the freedom to take the pictures right there and then, and not agonise over whether "a shot is worth it".
And yet, I don't end up with thousands or even hundreds of pictures. Almost a full year of 365 challenge somehow taught me to look out for actual good shots, and not obsessively hold the shutter button to everything.
And oh, I've seen many: I worked at a pharmacy, where one of my duties was developing film and helping folks print digital prints. As digital cameras grew better, cheaper, and more widely distributed (thanks in no small part to smartphones), regular film just dropped sharply.
A few folks care, and will sometimes get a fancier digital camera if they can afford it. The vast majority of folks, though, don't seem to care as long as they have the pictures. Realistically, all a lot of folks want is an instant point and click.
Most parents I know are deliberate about limiting screen time and ensuring their children don't substitute screen time for other activities. It's actually not that difficult to do so as kids are really good at finding entertainment in their environment even without electronics.
However, some parents give their kids all the tablet, TV, and phone time they want. As they grow up I can see them failing to learn how to play with others their own age because they'd rather reach for a screen than make an effort to do something. They can be frighteningly grumpy when separated from their electronic devices and can even throw tantrums until their parents cave in and give them more screen time.
FWIW, I've also watched parents reverse this trend by slowing weaning their kids off of screen time and substituting other entertaining activities. It doesn't take a whole lot to nudge people in the right direction, but putting that phone down and doing literally anything other than stare at a screen can be a difficult first step to take.
You'll never be more interesting than a smartphone. It's virtually impossible. You're a single human, and that device contains the entire world. If you meet a woman, she has her friends on there. She has her instagram account. Snapchat, TikTok, whatever. You are instantly contrasted against the entire world (against only the highlight reel) and you don't match up. And you never will. You're dull and uninteresting. Just wait until you find yourself swiping on Tinder while your date is in the restroom. No one is immune.
The same is true for children. I'll never be as interesting at a Twitch stream or a flashy YouTube channel. Because no one is "on" at all times. Even at my most interesting, I'm not edited down.
I'm glad to have experienced life before the internet and cell phones. We'll never be back to that point and we may not be fully aware of what was lost for some time yet.
Honestly I think if you are feeling this way then you might want to traverse deeper into your relationships, if someone is looking for an entirely shallow relationship than this could certainly apply.
Maybe it's because my age bracket still remembers flip phones. Maybe it's because I'm upfront about my own tech habits. Maybe it's because I swipe left on profiles that have linked IG accounts.
Whatever the reason(s), you don't need to be as interesting as an app, because you are not an app. Plenty of people just want to connect and relate with someone else, and there's nothing more relatable than not being able to live up to the standards of a glossy influencer ad campaign.
I think Nicholas Carr had a great point in The Shallows (2010)  -- our brains have a lot of plasticity, even into late adulthood. The way we use the internet probably has a much larger impact on the way we think than we are currently willing to acknowledge. There is a healthy way to integrate electronics into our daily lives, but I don't think many of us have found it.
I also heavily limited the types of things Facebook will send push notifications for. It used to be that if I got a notification, it was because one of my friends actually interacted with me in some way. Now I get a bunch of junk notifications that I feel are designed to pull me into the app and not really inform me of anything, to get me back to scrolling a feed. Like I’ll get a notification that someone I don’t know made a post in a group I’ve been in for years without ever getting a similar notification in the previous years. So I basically turned off everything that doesn't involve my actual friends doing something relevant to me.
I often go out with only my watch, and it feels so freeing to have only the good side of technology accessible.
I am very strict with the notification settings, otherwise the constant buzzing on the wrist would be worse than a phone.
That answer for me would be everything. (Except messenger which basically one friend uses for me because of where she lives.)
Also, my NNTP list:
Sometimes I interact over NNTP on https://synchro.net (they have a web/BBS interface too). As the pace is much slower, I can comment once or twice a week and everything is still good.
Finally, Gopher and Gemini sites. A really slow pace, no ads, no likes, no bullshit.
Thankfully, crawling out of the first year of our second child and sleep, routine, etc. is all getting easier (not being in COVID lockdown helps too) and I'm finding it more common for myself to leave my phone in the bedroom while I enjoy my day with the kids.
I've also realized that the sole reason I bring my phone to the kid's park is in case I need to contact my wife, or vice versa. I've been tempted to get a smart watch w/ cellular just so I have less bulk to carry around, but a "dumb" phone may be just as sufficient ...
And then I collapsed your comment. It’s worse than I thought.
Behaviour-wise, following the prompt, I've replaced checking Reddit with checking Hacker News (similar enough to work, without getting too engaged with the content). I've also replaced Twitter with curated Tweetdeck streams, and Facebook for the news feed with newspaper apps (a free one like AP could work, though I pay for newspaper subscriptions).
Cognitive-wise, in terms of thoughts, I also recognize that social media is designed to hijack your attention and maximize engagement, so I've chosen to frame it as a negative (versus a neutral) habit for my own personal goals.
In short, replacing the habits with similar ones with better consequences, and understanding why I'm doing this has helped.
If we're talking about how social media shortens our attention span then it may be prudent to reduce usage.
I need to look for more examples of the art of the future. The one paragraph short story (4chan greentexts I guess), the 20 second hit single.
> I memorized phone numbers, jotted things down in notebooks, had conversations with taxi drivers, talked to random people at bars, wrote checks, went to the bank, and daydreamed.
I did all of these (except the phone number one) in the last week.
More than technological advancements or anything else, all of this nostalgia is really just about getting old.
"The human civilization peaked when I turned 12 and started declining when I crossed 25. I pity today's youth." – every generation ever.
There is a serious smartphone addiction problem. It is seriously worrying to see so many of my peers craning their necks, starting at their phone for hours on end. On the bus, in class, while hanging out, it is an observable fact that everyone is almost always on their phone.
I personally believe we are in a watershed moment for human civilization. The harms of this smartphone addicted world will snowball down into later generations who have never known a life without every need catered for and every boring moment seized by entertainment.
Fast forward 30 years, and we are doing OK. Things are different, but OK for us. "Videogames" have been replaced by "games" and we take them for granted and don't pay that much attention.
My take is that, for Generation Alpha kids, all the technology will be like bicycles or cars for us: It will be ubiquitous and they will all now how to use it. So there won't be any question about their use.
Exactly. No one is safe. Everyone I know in my age group (15-26) can not exist without opening up their smartphone every 5 seconds to check social media or watch YouTube.
There was a good documentary about this topic called The Social Network. You may have heard of it. I think it is a good starting point to this way of thinking.
Are you talking about the movie about Mark Zuckerberg? Because this movie is not bad, but it's definitely not a documentary.
I wonder how they will live their day by day when they are pensioners and their old friends which they haven't seen in decades still will be around inside their phones, asking how they're doing, how their day was.
Then they'll make a trip and visit them because they are nearby. Not much different as it was in the past, but better connected.
These are two completely different things.
Well, it was a visual version. But if anyone has a link to the article I remember, I would appreciate it.
I predict the next one is a contact lens with a ticker-tape of entertaining information, and machine-learning driven "ad placements" which are phrases/sentence structure designed to call one's mind to a product's slogan without directly printing it.
The other side of this is that only people who are older can actually notice when things have changed. So, of course it's older people who talk about it the most.
Getting a call in a restaurant. Only happened to me once but I certainly felt like a VIP.
Carrying a tiny map book of London around with me while cycling around. Missing turn after turn until finding there was a canal which basically took me from the center to my uncle's house.
Arranging to meet a friend and then being late. Really late. 1 hour late. He was still there, waiting for me.
My parents told me they spend evenings at the phone booth talking to each other - but even that is ultra convenient compared to my grandparents sending letters :D
But I think it's better anyway - we sample mating candidates more, we cycle through faster, we can stop and try anew nearly any time until 50, and with some difficulty above.
I mean my aunt had a crushing divorce when she had 3 young children and stayed alone working with all 3 until the internet arrived and she could find a partner much faster...
On the other side, we self report more isolated, depressed, friendless and dissatisfied than ever in the past decades, have record levels of depression prescriptions and opioids, and people get discovered dead after a month or so when somebody complains about the smell...
Did we track depression before like we do now? Were folks comfortable talking about it or would they lie when they self report?
I'm pretty sure that in the past, folks got discovered dead because of the smell.
No need to get to the grandparents' generation, I was the letter writer of my family :) I wrote letters to uncles/aunts/grandpa - mostly at the command of my mum or grandma and sometimes for myself. I remember rushing to the window when the postman yelled and dropped letters through the grill - sometimes there would be more than one! The excitement was palpable - now we sigh with annoyance at the barrage of nonsense and spam that flows into our inbox. Truly a case of quantity over quality.
These days, I feel like that when I get a physical letter that isn't sent by a machine.
We had also written to Czech friends from grad school (U FL) that we would show up in Olomouc on such and such date (Jun 1989, interesting times). They were visiting relatives and we showed up. And were whisked off to 5 days of whirlwind touring the soon to be de-Sovietized Czechoslovakia.
We hosted quite few Eastern Europeans in the '90s, all arranged over snail mail. There was a sense of responsibility that we don't really experience today when dropping in on travels. All the modernity in the world, and nowadays we occasionally get ghosted, even after making repeated prior arrangements using the latest hottest smart phone technology.
I will say this: google translate + maps are the two great inventions we appreciate most. The rest is a solid meh. We have a theory that maximized immediate convenience has an unanticipated effect of atomizing and devaluing some relationships.
Per the parent, I too remember those paper maps while cycling. As in, riding from the Portland Airport to Arcadia and down to LA, using a tour guide, quite tattered at the end. Most of the times before an extended trip (100+ miles) I would memorize the route the night before. This worked fine for 25 years.
similarly it was amazing to smoke in bars, but it's great to not have smoke filled bars
We were 16+ so basically drinking free booze on the plane while smoking our hearts out. We actually drank all the beer on the plane. It looked like a smoke bomb went off.
It must have been the flight from hell for other passengers. Completely unimaginable right now. Thank you Sabena Airlines for this core memory of my youth and not having us arrested in Athens.
There have to be other daily habits now that going to be seen as disgusting in a few decades too. Maybe things like eating non-cloned meat.