As a babyboomer, I am still in awe at the speed with which normal everyday life has been changed by the internet. Here’s the latest jaw-dropper.
This entire transaction took 20 minutes! I had tickets to the NY Philharmonic last night but the Gem Queen, Susan, had a headache. I called the boxoffice (first a recording but – amazingly! – a real person within two minutes), and I was told I could handle an exchange over the phone. But what was the schedule?
Before going to it, I logged on to MOMA because of the “Contenders” film series; I didn’t want a conflict. I saw the complete schedule, and wrote down the dates. Then I went to the Philharmonic site and perused the schedule for the concerts. I picked three alternate dates, and called the boxoffice again. I selected a date in January – for Bruckner’s 8th under Zubin Mehta – and completed the exchange. It was a pure swap, at no cost.
When I think about how I would have done this – a mere thirty years ago! – I am speechless. I can say honestly that I would never have believed that I could have had such detailed information available to me – within minutes! – by using a small electronic device.
Can we place this in context? Looking at the arc of human history, I mean. Roughly speaking, the change in plain everyday experience in the past fifty years is greater than the leap from the 18th to the 20th century. I don’t think that people my daughter’s age can appreciate that. Not yet, perhaps, but possibly when she looks at the innovative leaps that will transform her own world, and that leave her as awestruck as I am today.