You don’t actually need to be that old to remember the advent of internet, which celebrates it’s 25th birthday this week with so -called ‘Internaut day’.
It took years after that before it properly came to our attention and even then it was a concept which was somewhat foreign to those of us used to looking words up in actual dictionaries and waiting two hours for a computer game to load up via cassette tape.
Even in my technology-forward household (my dad was involved in introducing the first computers to school in the UK and has been owner of many, many, gadgets) I can clearly remember trying to visualise what was then known to all as the world wide web.
The words conjured up an image of a giant and complicated spiders web with lots of helpless, lost, people waiting to be eaten.
Thinking about it, I was probably spot on.
It certainly didn’t appear fully formed.
First there was coding, then there was searching via search engines like Yahoo.
But when Google came along, the world changed, and no school child with access to technology had to research their homework that hard ever again.
It was a revelation.
Since then, Sir Tim Berners Lee’s invention (though some dispute it was his idea) has completely taken over our lives to the point of changing society forever.
Unless the giant spider is exterminated or turned off and on again, we now do our shopping from a prone position on the sofa, gather our news right up to the minute on every device we can find and can chat with another person at the other side of the world without a second thought.
Speaking to each other in person with actual voices is so last week but, if we feel the urge, we can still argue in person via video even if they are trekking across an obscure desert with Wifi.
Trying to explain the concept of a handwritten letter to anyone under 21 is pointless.
They literally, do not compute unless it can be typed with one finger in one minute and contains the words LOL.
In other words we are sad loners who need never leave the house again.
Thanks for ‘internaut’ Tim.
And dear 1990s, can we have our lives back?