Living a week with tech from 2002

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By Sera Wong

So what did we even do way back in 2002, without all of this fancy schmancy tech stuff? What did we do without YouTube? Google Maps? Did we actually have to talk to people, face to face? Did we have to use actual maps?

With only the primitive technology from 2002 to rely on, we’ve got a long week ahead of us but let’s break it down just to see how screwed we are. I’m going to warn you now, literally the only good thing about this will be the return of Blockbuster.

Day one: In the morning, you’ll wake yourself up using an actual alarm clock with a shitty noise and not iPhone Ringtone Number 45, because there’s no such thing as a smartphone yet. When you go downstairs, maybe you want to read the news, so you pick up a dusty newspaper and skim the pages. You’ll turn on the TV to watch while you eat breakfast. The internet is scarce thing and the world seems harsher.

Spotify hasn’t been created yet, but iPods are around , so you get started on your shitty commute to school. You bring a literal physical actual book to read on the TTC. You’re wearing a watch because otherwise, you have no clue what time it is.

In class, you take notes with a pencil and paper while the professor writes on a whiteboard. By the end of it, your hands are cramping, there are eraser shavings in places there shouldn’t be, and you missed half of the material because the professor wrote too fast. At home there’s nothing to do so you stare at a wall for six hours.

Day two: Much of the same, except you forget your watch and lose all concept of space and time.

Day three: You forget how to spell a word while (hand)writing an essay. It takes you 15 minutes to find a real dictionary and then it takes you two whole minutes to find the word.

Day four: You try to download Eminem’s “Lose Yourself“off LimeWire but instead the audio file is just the entire script of the first Shrek movie.

Day five: You miss your bus stop and have no clue how to get back home because Google Maps is dead and by extension, so are you.

Day six: You visit your local Blockbuster and the next thing you know it’s 9 p.m., the store’s closing, and you’ve just spent four hours walking up and down those aisles. Time well-spent but you didn’t even find a copy of American Beauty.

Day seven: You want to make plans with your friend. You call their number (you’ve memorized it, because that’s what everyone did back in the day) and they don’t pick up. You log on to MSN Messenger and they’re not online. You have no idea where the fuck they are so you send a carrier pigeon to deliver your message. It’s absolute chaos because the pigeon is the literal embodiment of hell.

As you hang out, playing catch and discussing the ins and outs of Paul Martin’s election campaign, life is good. Despite all you’ve learned from your week, you really fucking want Twitter back.

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