The Today Show in 1994 was a lot different than it is “today.” A short, infamous clip of three hosts baffled by everything having to do with “the internet” is extremely laughable now in the “age of online.” Back then, it was Greek to people; now, it’s a universal language.
Technology and the internet have changed the way we do the most significant and mundane things in life. Here’s a quick snapshot of a few telling examples of that.
Back Then: Spun a dial, maybe messed that up a few times. Hoped no one else was listening on the other line. Had to go home and wait for someone to call at a certain time. “Mobile” cost you a nickel or quarter (payphone). No such thing as text and drive.
Now: Calling someone is one of a thousand things you can do with a “phone” including watch movies, listen to music, search for the best sushi in town, complain about it after, spy on your Facebook “friends,” text “Almost there” while paying your mortgage and going 90 on the Thruway (not recommended, by the way).
Gonna Find You
Back Then: flipped through a massive phone book and scanned “the yellow pages” for that thing you need. Called several places, on hold for 20 minutes. Couldn’t find it anyway? Drive-in movie anyone?
Now: Google it. 9,150,000 results in 0.28 seconds. 98% of people click use search engines and are satisfied with the first three choices 75% of the time. “What’s a phonebook?”
Back Then: Over coffee or tea, at the water cooler, or in the break room at lunch, between classes at school.
Now: Google+, IM, Facebook Messenger, what’s your Twitter handle? [Staring at phone, walking by people.]
Back Then: Large, leather-bound books, plastic peel sheets on sticky paper. Waiting for camera rolls to be developed at the drugstore (what?). Flipping through these books at Christmas and Easter at Aunt Mauve’s house for #TBT (throwback Thursday).
Now: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (nice filter choice!), Pinterest, YouTube, Vine, Snapchat. Scanning Aunt Mauve’s photos for #TBT (throwback Thursday).
Back Then: Resume, suit and tie, agency, shaking hands, stomping the pavement, smiling, interviews.
Now: That and LinkedIn, Monster.com, Career-whatever there are a million sites now.com , every corporate form fill out imaginable (“Where did you work before you lived at the last place you studied before you worked at the job you dreamed about applying for and who was your supervisor at the time you shot yourself from trying to answer this question?”). How many Twitter followers do you have? What is the price of tea in China?
You can’t get a job with getting on a computer these days.
Back Then: Word of mouth (“What’s good?”), reviews are either in the paper or in person with the manager.
Now: Find it and review it on Yelp, tell your friends you’re there on FourSquare or Facebook, Instagram and Tweet your every meal.
Back Then: Big mouth, striped jacket, smooth talkin.’
Now: That and Kelly Blue Book, AutoTrader, Craigslist. And “15 minutes could save you…”
Back Then: Drive. Look around. Try it on. 40 stores and bags later – “How is this going to fit in my car?”
Now: That and Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, One Kings Lane, Pinterest, next day delivery, Google shopping (near me), PayPal, price comparisons, trusted sellers, everything has a club (Dollar Shave Club, Trunk Club, Amazon Prime, Birchbox) – and all from my phone.
Back Then: Checking the paper for movie times, putting up posters for events, Blockbuster, VCRs, cassette tapes, mixed tapes, records, waiting for your favorite show or movie on TV. 5 channels.
Now: Some of that and Netflix binge-watching, Fandango, Flixster, Facebook events, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, a million channels, IMAX 3D.
Back Then: Letters to the Editor, “be the 19th caller…”
Now: “I’m a blogger,” Google reviews, Glassdoor, Yelp, RateMyProfessor.com, Facebook comments on everything, website comments, Reddit, Twitter.
Back Then: Weighty articles of length on paper only.
Now: That and this.
A former Internet Marketing Manager, Joe Cunningham is a dad, a screenwriter, playwright and all-around adventurer. He blogs for Kinani Blue and charms Google at Terakeet. You can follow him on Twitter at @IndianaJoe77 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.