When social networking was face to face

2011-12-31 00:00

IT’S time for New Year resolutions. Time to take stock, reflect on the past year as one looks ahead... but have you ever thought back further than the year that has just been?

As 2011 draws to a close the ether is full of interesting trends, one of which has been the hashtag #10yearsago on Twitter. It poses some interesting reflections. A decade ago we were rocking the year that was 2001... can you even remember that far back?

Twitter didn’t even exist. Neither did Facebook or Myspace. (Myspace began in August 2003, Facebook in February 2004 and Twitter in March 2006.)

The iPhone (2007) wasn’t even on the market. The Blackberry was a phone by a Canadian-based company that had been in the market for just two years and was owned by wealthy people. Laptops were scarce commodities among professionals. In short, 10 years ago, you probably had a life!

Ten years ago social networking was face-to-face: you were more likely to say you were “in” a social network than “on” a social network. In fact, come to think of it, was “social network” even a term years ago?

An e-mail usually stretched further than 140 characters, the grammar and sentence construction were better and it was a private affair between two people, not broadcast publicly online. It was also a time when people created a lot of embarrassing Hotmail user names, which they regret to this day.

Ten years ago people spoke about a celebrity called Justin and everyone knew it was Timberlake. The other Justin was just seven years old at the time.

Nokia was the popular cellphone choice, and Snakes was the mobile game of choice. Angry Birds hadn’t even been created yet. For some people the only reason they started up their computer was just to type a Word doc, check their e-mail at the end of a day or week or, in the absence of anything else, use MS Paint to concoct a graphic.

You might think back to 10 years ago and think that those were the good old days, when life was less stressful, when music made more sense and a bag of chips had more chips than air in it.

Ten years ago you probably thought your current age was old, right? Little did you know. Ten years ago you might have pledged an oath to yourself that you would never turn out like your parents ... little did you know.

Ten years ago, just after the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers, this newspaper’s front page headline read “Armageddon”. There we were, 10 years ago, and we all thought the world was going to end. And here we are, ready for 2012.

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