Life was much different before the internet. And much less awesome.
We’re about 15 years into the real internet age. (I know, it started before that, but it was just some chat rooms and nerds.) I really only count the years since The Net, even though most of the stuff in that movie has never been possible. And how lonely do you have to be to the point that if a computer changed your information, nobody in the world could vouch for you.
Anyhoo, the internet has changed a lot of things. It has made life a little easier and a little more complicated at the same time. What would you do without it? You certainly wouldn’t have my charming wit to read. And for that, I would pity you. But there are a lot of other things that we’re now used to that would take a lot more effort. I came up with a whole lot that I had to whittle down. These are the ones that made the cut.
Who cares if they raise the price of stamps
How many bills do you still mail out? Probably not many. Only clueless companies don’t have a paperless billing and payment option. It’s easier and faster. And you can be totally lazy when you do it. No more going to the post office to get a roll of stamps for your mound of monthly bills, then trying to gauge the amount of time it would take to be delivered so you could wait until the last possible moment to send it.
There’s still a contingent out there who says it’s not safe. but here’s what I have to say about that: What seems easier to you: Hacking into a highly secure company website or opening somebody’s mailbox and removing an envelope? That’s what I thought.
Scrambled porn was bad for your eyes
You had to love old cable television. If you’re a man and say you never tried to watch scrambled porn, then you’re just denying your youth. You would strain to try to catch glimpses of genitalia. That is no longer an issue. Before, if you wanted anything other than that you would have to hide your face while you walked into the local adult bookstore. Now with a mouse click you can see anything you want, and a lot of things you don’t.
The thing about scrambled porn back when is that you know the cable company could have completely blacked it out if they wanted. They just wanted to give you enough of a taste that you would steal your parent’s credit card and order the unscrambled version for the night.
Some people are much more popular in their minds
One drawback to the internet is you’re sometimes forced to reconnect with people you have no desire to know anything about. Worse than that, it has given rise to the “friend fiend” type of person. The kind of person who says “Look, I have 3,458 MySpace friends”. All the while you know they haven’t left their room in a month and are totally socially retarded.
It has made good business for some people, but predominately in a bad way. Thanks to MySpace, we have had to put up with numerous stupid Tila Tequila shows. If I hear any more speculation on what orientation she is, I think I’m going to have to issue a standing kill order.
An updated Thomas Guide was in the annual budget
Oh, the days before Mapquest and Google maps. How did we manage? It’s gone from the getting writer’s cramp from jotting down directions to knowing that is 472 feet from one turn to the next, because that’s important. And without Google street view, there wouldn’t be fun things to look for.
The Dewey decimal system was required knowledge
I still go to the library a lot. I read quite a bit and why buy a book when you can rent it for free? Anyways, there aren’t a lot of other people there when I go. And most of them that are there are there to… use the free internet. When I think back about how much time I spent in the library and compare it to internet research, there’s no comparison. Plus, I couldn’t take a break and watch somebody get hit in the balls on Youtube. Now, you can do term paper research naked if you wanted to.
The kids today don’t know how good they have it. It’s so easy to do research now. I’m starting to understand the “walking to school in the snow uphill both ways” speech.
Does 777-FILM still get you Moviefone?
I don’t go to the movies a lot these days. I spent too much on my television, theater system, and comfy sofa. Why would I want to go spend $15 per person to sit in a big room when it’s going to be on DVD in a couple months? The sound and picture are better at my house. And I can pause it if I need to get more popcorn.
But I digress. A quick trip to Fandango now and your know the place and time of the movie, and you have your ticket as well. No more of the Moviefone guy telling you to enter the first few letter in the name of the movie. (In which case, if the movie started with “the”, it was a long list) It’s now to the point that whenever someone mentions Moviefone now, I just think of Kramer.
You would have never heard of The Blair Witch Project
I still haven’t seen this movie. Nor do I really have any desire to do so. This movie would have been nothing without the internet. It was the first viral campaign ever and worked really well. It was the first example of “if it’s on the internet, it must be true” examples. I remember talking to people who would say “Did you hear about this. It’s about some kids who disappeared in the forest and someone found their video camera. Nobody ever found them. And it’s REAL!” That’s part of the reason I never saw it. That argument just seemed illogical. I had really bite my tongue when the truth was revealed.
The viral campaign worked so well, it’s a normal occurence in movie advertising now. The most recent was the absolutely nauseating ad campaign for 2012. I love John Cusack, but I saw so much about it that I no longer want to watch it. A similar thing happened with the most recent Star Wars trilogy. They hyped it so much, even if it was really good (and it wasn’t) it still would have been a failure.
Work would be really boring
The art of looking busy while doing absolutely nothing is lost on us now. If you get bored and have nothing to do, it’s always fun to test the site blocking software your company uses. And fantasy sports would be almost nonexistent.
Many companies have become increasingly more stringent lately. I don’t really understand it. Don’t they know they would have much happier employees if they were able to read my posts once a day? The Man just doesn’t enjoy humor anymore.
There are so many more that I had to cut out to make this post a readable length. Netflix vs. going to the video store, booking airline and hotel reservations, applying for jobs, etc. I may just have to continue this one on a slow news day sometime. Things are a lot easier now, but it’s also made millionaires out of douchebags who didn’t do anything to deserve it. Oh well, I can only rant for so long. See you tomorrow.