Spent today hanging with relatives, and ended up going to a German beer festival with my 93yo grandfather. I honestly find it hard to deal with the idea of how old he is: he's healthy (if a very slow walker), pretty sharp mentally, and full of stories like going to French Algeria before shit got wild or wandering around a stable, unified Yugoslavia. I really enjoy talking to him, but there's such a gulf between our life experiences that it can feel like hard work to find common ground
So much of my life experience comes from being Extremely Online: dumb memes, weird communities that fit into too narrow a niche to ever self-assemble offline in a single location, a faith in my ability to access almost all human knowledge from the device in my pocket. It's genuinely fucking weird to spend time with a guy who sees all that shit as inscrutably alien, but who can talk about the time a V1 flew over his head while he was cycling home and took out the row of houses opposite.
Idk. I feel bad for my grandparents spending a lot of time sitting around at home drinking tea, doing sudoku, and watching the BBC in the evenings. They have friends in the village so aren't hugely isolated, but living with such a low level of information flow feels like it would drive me insane (of course, Being Online is hardly a good thing for sanity either).
I can't help but wonder if that's a result of one-time c20th cultural change, or if I'll be just as relatively isolated in my old age.
@spinflip I think it'll prove to be a generational thing, going out with the technophobic. (No disrespect; my mother is in that number. Perfectly capable, but *knows* she can't use a browser - it's too alien a concept to bridge)
@porsupah that might be the case, but I'm sure you could have found people in the 1960s marvelling at their grandparents' discomfort around electricity and television. Many of those bookers are just as unfamiliar with the internet now. Web 1.0 in the early 2000s already feels like a lifetime ago (imo part of the success of Mastodon is due to it feeling a bit like that era): it seems likely that within my lifetime, the internet will change in ways I'll find alienating and hard to accept
@spinflip Might he be up for being recorded? Feels like it'd be pretty cool to actually capture his /personal/ recollections - history books can offer the broad picture, but not so often that from beneath the great and glorious leaders.
@porsupah as to recording: I like the idea, but that kind of plays into why I've been thinking about our disconnect. It's easy to imagine a conversation along the linea of "So, you're… really old. I bet you have some interesting stories from a long time ago. Would you like to talk about how things were… different then to how they are now?", followed by awkward silences.
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