Billy Joel wrote, “The good ole days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems (Keeping the Faith, 1983).” I think back to the “good old days” and the more I ponder, the more I agree with Hicksville’s favorite son. I said in my last blog that I started my public relations career in 1983 without a word processor and no Internet or fax machine. There was a slower pace and more face-to-face communication. Yet, come to think of it, our work was quite a bit less connected. No instant messages, instant mail, instant data, instant information. Far fewer tools to get the job done as quickly, accurately and effectively as we do in 2011.
As our Week Without the Web approaches, there are many folks who still avoid much of what the web has to offer. They don’t use Facebook and smartphones, and never bank or buy things online. Some might call them Luddites, a term that draws its name from Ned Ludd. Mr. Ludd was among those whose actions led a social movement against mechanized looms in 19th century Britain, fearing they would take away jobs and change their way of life. Today’s Luddites eschew much of the computer age for many of the same reasons, and while in some cases they’re not wrong, I think their resistance is ultimately a poor choice.
So I, too, will attempt a Week Without the Web and for me, it’ll be a trip down bad memory lane. I’m thrilled by the amazing, diverse, head-spinning tools we now have at our disposal. And tomorrow’s not as bad as it seems. Your thoughts?