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THE LAST GENERATION (before the internet)

The Moment Of Internet Conception.
Easy, take it easy. Be gentle, the internet is fragile. via

Easy, take it easy. Be gentle, the internet is fragile. via

Being the last of anything signals a changing of the guard, but the last generation before the internet?

Is this special?

It’s not the last Civil War, or WWI, veteran. It’s not the last generation before electric lights.

If baby boomers are the last generation before the internet, then we’re the first to ask a kid a question and get this answer: “Google it.”

Of course the internet has changed life as we know it, but some things still need work.

Ask the internet to open a tight lid on a jar. Google that and see if the lid pops off on its own.

The Internet Of Everything?

Ask the internet to take out the garbage. If you’ve been to a college student’s house, then you’ve seen how well that works. There’s a reason they have a rat loose in the kitchen.

If the internet doesn’t take out the trash, then who?

Tell the internet to bring you a new watch band, the sort with the indented ends to fit around the watch pegs. When you get the opposite number three times in a row, do you ask again? Or do you head down to the jewelry store and pay twice the cost for the right band?

It’s More Than Tapping A Keyboard.

I remember the first time I got online. I burned the memory into my brain. What is the memory? I pushed a button on a keyboard, the return button. Talk about moving the world.

Ask the internet how the paperless workplace is turning out? If it’s an online life with no paper trail, who keeps sending all the junk mail?

From the peak of dot com hysteria in 2000, to the valley of dot bomb the same year, the internet showed it could take a hit and bounce back.

From Old Fashioned, To New, And Back.

What we learned back then is not everyone desires the shut-in lifestyle where everything gets delivered. Some people still like going to the store and making their own choices.

Ask the internet to put a new roof on your house and wait for the results. Most likely a roofing crew shows up and gets after it. There’s nothing magic about hard work.

I remember the internet opening doors to archives far, far away. Now they’re on the screen, which prompted the question, “Do you always believe what you read online?”

If You Never Learned To Share.

The internet gave birth to a peculiar version of the sharing economy with apps for housing (Airbnb), transportation (Uber), and dating ( What more do you need?

Just everything. Google it to be sure.

Being the last generation of anything feels like the curtains coming down and the lights dim in a fond farewell. And it is for some.

If you start looking for your mourning gear, you’re not paying attention. Being the last generation before the internet sets boomers up with the sort of authority once granted to our esteemed elders, the people who once had all the answers because they lived through the hardest of times.

You Didn’t Live Through The Great Depression? Don’t Tell Anyone.

Instead of mourning lost youth, celebrate the new authority.

Q: What did it feel like before the internet and smart phones?

A: It was tough, let me tell you. We had to actually talk to people and some of them had bad breath. It wasn’t pretty.

Q: How has the internet changed your life?

A: It gives a greater insight into things you once thought didn’t matter, like what someone had to eat or drink, or where they’ve been. This used to be the torture of the neighbor’s home movie night, now it’s every day.

Q: What would you change about the internet?

A: Once in a while I’d like to find what I’m searching for instead of click-bait that leads from one page to another so some damn blogger can up their analytics for percentage of visitor’s time on page, how many pages they click to, and ads to sell seminars and classes on how to keep people on your blog.

Q: What are you talking about?

A: Google it, smart guy.








About David Gillaspie


  1. Nancy Lewis Swendsen says:

    Hey Dave,
    Have you read the book( or downloaded it) ‘Generations at Work’?
    It is fantastic. Nancy Lewis Swendsen

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