so what's the point?
uWe (myself included) tend to have a romanticized idea of what life was like the in the past. We think that times were simpler and that people were more meaningfully connected. And true, there's no doubt that smart phones and the Internet has revolutionized society and culture. Just the sole fact that I can write this blog post and put it out for anyone in the world to read within minutes is pretty extraordinary.
But let's face it: it is technology that has changed, not people.
If our ancestors had access to a smartphone or the Internet back in 1930, you better believe that they would be sharing pictures of mediocre homemade meals or the amount of snow in their driveway.
I bring this up because a) I love researching family history history and stumbled upon these newspapers blurbs last night and b) I finished reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr . Those two seemingly different junctures came together so clearly as I looked at the old newspaper articles and thought "who in the world would post newspaper accounts of playing Bunco or visiting an uncle in a neighboring town?" and then I realized that I have posted anything from enjoying a walk during my lunch hour to a picture of a napkin with a funny quote. And for all intents and purposes, it's the same thing.
Yes, technology has the ability to change people and how we function. For example, papyrus scrolls and clocks have significantly shifted the course of human history and the Internet is no exception. But when it comes down to it: humans are social people who want to share their lives, ideas, and opinions with others. Always have and always will.
(P.S. In my spare time, I like to get my geek out and research family history. In fact, something really cool that I'm investigating right now is a century-old romance that is detailed at length in my aunt's diary. Read my tips for getting started on genealogy research here.