What? You’re not 30!
Yes, well I turn 30 this year. How old did you think I was?
I thought you were turning 24.
24? Seriously. Why?
Well, because you know so much about technology.
What do you mean? You don’t think people at age 30 know technology? It wasn’t invented in your lifetime!
I am reading The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution on my commute and I am continually amazed of how little I know of the digital revolution. It’s a humbling read because I seem to have this arrogant and narcissistic view of technology, and more specifically, the Internet.
We all have our memories of using a computer or accessing the Internet for the first time. I remember playing Minesweeper and Solitaire on my dad’s PC and Oregon Trail on the Macs at the school library. I remember going on AOL for the first time, spending hours in a chat room (A/S/L?), and tying up phonelines to my house’s dismay. I remember making webpages on GeoCities and Angelfire (so many angsty poetry was published on those sites!) and purchasing Hanson tickets on Ticketmaster.
Yet, the narrative doesn’t begin with me, and it surely doesn’t begin in the 90s.
I think it’s easy to believe your generation is the one who “gets” it or who owns whatever technology you’re using at the time. We forget that we stand on the shoulders of giants. We forget that there are generations of people before us who made such astounding innovations with such courage and determination, which ironically has made it possible for us to have this techno-entitlement.
I am still not quite done reading this book (I have entered the era of AOL on the timeline — my era), but I just wanted to recommend it because it has honestly changed the way I view history and myself.