I often wonder what is was like to grow up before all of the distractions.
I caught the beginnings of it. Our first computer in the Knowles household was an old Amstrad. It was an electronic typewriter really. It had a couple of games. One was 'Hal'. I think my Dad nicknamed him that, referring to Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. You typed in questions to ask this artificially intelligent being on the other side of the screen. It was great. You'd receive a clever answer back. More often than not it would say "ask me another" .
I remember getting the first Windows PC hooked up to dial up Internet. I was big into Cricket at the time, and was looking up my favourite teams online. I remember my Dad looking over my shoulder and telling me that this Internet thing was just full of absolute rubbish. He now has a Facebook account. Just like the rest of us.
As a professional musician, I spend more time answering emails, taking and posting pictures, and generally working online, more than I actually play guitar. It's a fact of life, it's part of the job, and I actually really enjoy it. I love people. I love interaction. I love how easy it is to interact. I love the people I work with, although it took a while to find them. My songs are about people, and if I didn't meet anyone... well I'd have nothing to write about. So I don't think it is necessarily a terrible thing. This very post is a distraction I guess. These distractions are, at their very best, utterly inspiring. At their worst, crippling.
I just wonder what it was like before them.
My generation is a grey area. I'm 27. We still remember saving our pocket money and having to decide which album we could buy with it. We couldn't download the ones we wanted for free. It doesn't matter what the medium was. CD, cassette, vinyl. The same principles applied. But we're also an online generation. Our whole adult lives. It's how we keep in touch. We spend more time socializing with the clicking sound of a keyboard than with our voices.
I don't wish things were different. I really don't. I just wonder what they used to be. When reading a book on the subway was what playing a game on your phone is now. When we wrote letters in our own handwriting, and not in binary.