This week, Moshe Kasher interviewed a group of teenagers about their codependent relationships with their phones and the internet. As it turns out, those relationships are so codependent that their vision of a society without modern tech borders on dystopian.
Let’s take a deeper look into these teens’ visions of the not-so-distant past:
IT WAS A PLACE OF ISOLATION AND SILENCE.
The way one girl in the group sees it, until the advent of social media, the world was an isolated, newsless void — one where it was impossible to learn about anything outside of your immediate vicinity. As Moshe contends, newspapers existed back then to inform the people. But the internet’s claws have already sunk too deep; she simply cannot imagine a past where knowledge is consumed in any other way.
EVERYONE DID INFINITE PUZZLES.
Reflecting on the horror of existence before “TFW” memes and Snapchat dog-face filters, one teen guessed that the only thing humans could do to amuse themselves was solve jigsaw puzzles. All day, every day, dawn to dusk, children would spend hours on the floor sifting through puzzle boxes, searching for edge pieces. If they got up, their mothers would shove their faces into the floor, forcing them to finish the puzzle. It’s a “Candy Crush”-less fate too horrible to imagine.
Raised as they were on the internet, with all its utility and ubiquity, it’s not hard to see why these teenagers think this way. In their eyes, all of life up until AOL started mailing its first “500 Hours Free” discs was boring and pointless. To be fair, though, they’re right. Thank goodness that’s all changed.