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I’m starting to think I may be getting too old for the internet.
I got my first computer in 1991. It was a 286 running DOS 3.1 and had a 20MB Hard Disk and an amber monitor. Playing on it made me feel like I was running the NASA space station. It felt awesome. A lot has changed since then. Not only are computers interconnected but so are we. With a smartphone in our pockets we have access to the total knowledge of the human race, at the tip of our fingers.
Just pause and think about that for a minute. Everything you ever wanted to know on absolutely any topic is at the tip of your finger. While many people reading this article will still remember having to use the Reference Section of the library for a school project, some younger readers may think it’s strange that I think that way because the Internet has always been there.
To put things in perspective: 100 years ago a letter from London to Cape Town would take three to six weeks by boat. And airmail didn’t exist. Now we Skype our friends and get annoyed when they haven’t responded to Whatsapp in five minutes.
So here are five signs to show you’re too old for the Internet:
1. You have no idea who Caspar Lee or Jack & Finn are
Caspar Lee is a YouTube celebrity. While he doesn’t quite have the amount of followers as Justin Bieber he has over a million subscribers on YouTube. Yes YouTube. Some people I questioned didn’t even know that was a thing and confused Twitter with YouTube. (Really people, you should be ashamed).
Vlogging is a real thing and is incredibly popular with teens. It has been for quite a while and the rest of the Internet is only catching up now and trying to understand the large captive audience. Since people like Caspar, Jack and Finn have broken out into mainstream media they’ve been treated with awe. However did they grow their follower base without anyone noticing?
Which begs another question: is Finn the better twin? (If you didn’t get it, you’re too old)
2. You still think email is cool
Do you think email is cool? Amazing how you can get a message, with attachments, sent around the globe within minutes? You’re too old. According to research done by Socialnomics it seems that Gen-Y thinks email is a rather outdated, like sending mail via the post, or fax.
It seems that Gen-Y and the Millennials consider social media and Instant Messaging the better form of communications.
3. You miss the sound of a modem
I got my first modem in 1993. It was an incredible 9600bps modem which made my friends insanely jealous as they were still sitting on 4800bps modems. To put that in perspective, it was a 0.0096Mbit connection. For me the internet just isn’t the same without the beeps and screeching white-noise before going online.
4. You still have a library card
Want to give away your age? Flash your library card around. While the concept of “sharing information” has been around since the first monasteries built libraries in the middle ages, it is a rather odd idea these days to get in your car, drive to a building, scrounge around for something to read and then give it back within 14 days.
Access to information has become pivotal in society today. And while libraries certainly have a role to play it’s become less relevant as broadband access rolls out. Young people don’t want a library with a smattering of books to choose from when Amazon has millions of titles available for immediate download.
5. You confuse Twitter with texting
There remains a sub-group of humans who still consider twitter as an oddity. They think twitter is all about telling people what you’re doing or what you’ve had for breakfast. They fail to see the potential reach or marketing power behind twitter. Or as a corporate CEO recently told me, “It’s like texting your friends all at once?”
No sir, you are too old for the internet. Go sit in a corner before you hurt yourself.
So, dear reader, what do you do if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being too old for the internet? Do you hand over the reins to a younger fellow and let yourself out to pasture? Early retirement? Prepare your Last Will and Testament and wait for the end?
Should you rebel against the trends? Insist that the internet is just a fad and stay true to the fundamental principles and foundations that has stood the test of time? (AKA Lehmann Brothers and General Motors)
Or do you look at marrying the zeal of the young with the wisdom of the ancient?