FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Roughing It In 1992

To many of us, 1992 doesn't seem like all that long ago. But then we watch a retrospective like VH1's I Love The '90s that brings back memories, and we start to see the disconnects between then and now.

Now, an essay in the New Yorker illustrates how much times have changed by profiling a family who, as part of one of the children's class project, lived like the typical family would have in 1992. Hardly sounds like roughing it, but that meant no cell phones, no DVDs, no text messaging, no iPods, no TiVo and no Internet. It also meant rediscovering vintage technologies like newspapers and VCRs. For kids and parents alike, it was a real challenge... and a real eye-opener.

UPDATE: The New Yorker article is available here, and a comprehensive discussion of the essay is available here.

Granted, the differences the essay focuses on are technologies that many might regard as optional, but the difficulties this family encounters in giving them up illustrate how deeply these technologies have ingrained themselved into our daily lives, and how important they really have become. It also makes one wonder how different our lives will be in a decade, simply based on new technology.

Sources: The Shifted Librarian, Techdirt