One way to notice change is to notice the words people use to talk about changes. The online shopping of the 90s became just shopping. The online banking of the 00s became just banking. The online dating of the 10s became just dating. The online communities of the 20s, well you see where it’s going.
“The Internet has just killed hobbies. They’re dead. They’re gone. The concept doesn’t exist. The concept of ‘having a hobby’ died at the exact same time as the concept of ‘going online’. This was a phrase you heard constantly from 1994 to 2005. You get home and you ‘go online’. The big company was AOL, America ‘online’. Around the mid-2000s people stopped ‘going online’. Why? Because we were online all the time. The idea of not being online is now the weird thing.” – Marc Andreessen, CSPI podcast, August 2021
I remember this! You got home from school and you signed into instant messenger and entered the Yahoo euchre room. Good times good times.
Having a modifier doesn’t mean something will become the new thing, but it does mean it’s different and may be worth our attention. A few others: autonomous driving, crypto currency, digital wallet, online learning, distance education, internet friend, gig economy.
This time is different happens with technology changes and the descriptions offer a cutting edge hint.
3 thoughts on “The day the *hobbies* died. Bye, bye thanks-to-America-Online…. (To the tune of American Pie)”
[…] template for TTID is to ask if the technology has changed the system in an important way. For hobbies it was the internet. For air travel it was deregulation. For tickets it might be NFTs. For high […]
[…] used to be dictated by the physical space. We acted mostly like the people around us acted. Now, we hang out on the internet. The conventions are still dictated by the people around us but now it’s in the digital […]
[…] Related: digital modifiers like going online. […]
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