The old Internet

Believe it or not, there was a time where Internet didn’t exist. It was a time of letters (written letters, with pen and paper), a time of phones with cords, a time where shopping meant going into a crowded mall and fighting over merchandise that wasn’t always available. These were the years of yore; despite they weren’t that long ago.

Then there came the time of internet where banners pop-ups were flashy and all over webpages, where Google was just a tiny webpage, where Yahoo! was the leading search engine. Instead of Firefox or Chrome you used Navigator. These times were the ones in which you either used your land line to call someone, or used your modem to surf the web (I’m glad this metaphor is still valid – surfing the web rules!).

This was Navigator, my first browser

Ye old Netscape Navigator

We are now in times of turmoil, of fast paced change, with social media sites taking over people’s minds and life’s. Where the rise and fall of companies depends not only on the product they sell and their operational costs, but also the way they market and position themselves in searches, in digital channels, in multiple screens, controlled by users. As Seth Godin recently wrote: “Marketers have a huge role in this, because we are the amplified culture creators…”  This idea keeps on reminding me how close and how far are we from an Orwellian-type of society.

We live in exciting times, in times in which Facebook has more users than the U.S. has citizens. In which newspaper has been declared dead (but it hasn’t happened yet), in which war is being fought through information, breaking the old model of James Bond-like secret agents, now we have Snowdens, Pirate Bay, Kim Dotcoms.

These are times of acronyms that were born through Internet Relay Chat (IRC) that the younger don’t remember. Of measurements like SEO, CRM, CRT. Times of the Hashtag culture #truethat #bestday #nofilter, and of the immediate information. This is the time for information, the dreaded Revenge of the Nerds, these are quite interesting times indeed.

mIRC - the old messenger

mIRC – the old messenger

There is a curse that reads: May you live in interesting times. This is where the gods play games with the lives of men, on a board which is at one and the same time a simple playing area and the whole world. (Terry Pratchett, “Interesting Times”)

We are there, in that playing area in which the world is Internet, and Internet is the world. Now, the time is measured through hours on social networks, and number of screens available to convey messages. In interesting times we live, where information is owned and shared, and given for free – but always with some strings attached.

We live in interesting times with an incredible technological advance, but are we happy? Is that enough to boost our culture, our knowledge? Leave your comments and subscribe to weekly posts below.