I've been having a lot of nostalgia for different time periods lately, which is not only a weird thing to say out loud to people, as Marci, Amber and Caitlin will tell you when I rambled about this very topic in our staff meeting, but also to write down in sentence form.
Most of this nostalgia started with TV shows I've found myself watching lately, all set in different time periods. The People v. O.J. Simpson, old episodes of Seinfeld, and Fresh Off the Boat have transported me back to a time period in my youth I can actually relate to, when cell phones were big bricks with antennas and dial-up Internet and page counters on GeoCities websites were the norm. Even though we were all starting to get access to the technology we know today, it didn't consume our everyday lives the way it does now, and there was something nice about having a foot in both worlds. Back then, you used technology to have a conversation or connect with someone until you could see them in person again, but the technology was clunky and less favored over in-your-face, person-to-person, human-speaking-to-human communication. Now, we use technology to have a conversation or connect with someone instead of seeing that person in person, and we've lost a lot of face time with our family, friends, significant others and even random acquaintances along the way.
My Apple TV is also full of shows like Downton Abbey and the new Hulu series 11.22.63 that have taken me to a world where the technology doesn't even exist yet, and it makes me wonder what my life would have been like in a time period and place I can't even relate to, because it pre-dates my own birth. In 11.22.63, the series follows a Stephen King novel about a guy — played by James Franco in a role I'm still unsure of for him — who goes back in time to try to prevent JFK's assassination. Without giving too much away, there's a scene in the first episode where Franco's character, who has time traveled with an iPhone left in his pocket, distracts and tricks a man that is trying to beat him up. He does this by playing a meme video of a pink parrot dancing to Icona Pop's "I Love It" on the iPhone. This, of course, completely bugs the early 1960s dude out.
In a couple other scenes, Franco can be found driving one of those late '50s, early '60s tanks of a convertible, and the noises it makes as it rattles down the road is shocking to a brain operating in 2016, when the cars we know today are practically silent and are about to start driving themselves.
I guess a lot of this nostalgia for things past is also prompted, in some way, by my upcoming trip to Cuba, which I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about at this point. But the idea that I'll soon get to experience a part of this "old world" makes me equal parts excited and nervous at the same time. I keep thinking about what it's going to be like to detox digitally in a country where wifi and cell phones are basically non-existent, where cash is really the only currency because finding an ATM or place that takes credit cards is impossible (even despite the fact that a card attached to a U.S. bank would never work there anyway). I have this vision of myself sitting in a car — just like the one Franco drives in 11.22.63 — and feeling the machinery of it, quite literally, underneath my ass. You hear these things about Cuba being a place stuck in time, and I am ready to see just how stuck it truly is, and maybe get an idea of what the world used to look like. Somewhat.
We all know time can't move backward, and so in the spirit of looking ahead, even as I'm looking back, I present you with this week's emoji horoscopes: