Waiting by the fax machine – remembering a life before the internet

Waiting by the fax machine – remembering a life before the internet

One of the curious facts about the development of technology is that the fax machine was actually invented before the telephone. Eleven years before (in 1865). So this means we were sending electronic data across the globe many decades before the advent of the internet.

However, while the fax machine certainly made improvements to day-to-day life, it can hardly be said to have utterly transformed our existence in the way the internet has done since the 1990s.

It is actually quite difficult to remember what life was like before the internet, even for people who have still spent the majority of their life internet-less. Perhaps the greatest change has been the accessibility of information. The scope of this is vast, in that most people now walk around with a device in their pocket that can more or less instantly call up the answer to any question, text from virtually every book ever published, or listen to any song ever recorded.

Searching for these sorts of things in the early 90s meant visiting libraries or rifling through second hand record shops. Of course there’s much to be said for visiting them today, but for many this now is just for the sake of novelty factor.

Shopping has also been hugely transformed by the internet. Who would have thought 20 years ago that we would now be questioning the existence of physical stores? That is an enormous upheaval.

Maybe what is even more incredible is that it feels so normal now despite the fact this would have sounded fantastical a mere couple of decades ago. Waiting longer than a week for ANYTHING now feels truly archaic and going a few hours without checking our phones for social network updates brings many out in cold sweats.

The internet has heightened many people’s compulsive natures to the extent that we feel exposed without access to it. Twenty years ago when checking the details of a hotel, you may have been interested to know if it had a restaurant or maybe a swimming pool. Now the first thing people ask about is the internet policy. Is it free? How fast is it?

The result of this anxiety is that internet access is now being enabled in places that were previously deserts, such as planes, trains and underground networks. We are reaching a point where we are always online.

As such businesses need to be up to speed with the changing technological environment in order to remain competitive. Rosco Digital Media enables small businesses to create a smart, professional online profile for as little as £149. Contact us today to find out more.

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