In the beginning, the world was offline. The past was just what we could remember. Conversations faded. Introductions to others slipped into the realm of unnamed faces and disconnected anecdotes. Jokes were heard and forgotten. Photos bleached out and negative film turned to dust. News clippings crumbled. Documents misplaced were unfindable. Address books lost were irreplaceable. What happened in Las Vegas really did stay in Las Vegas.
Then there was the Internet and all that began to change. The World-Wide Web came to be, and we all became potential publishers. With few exceptions in the larger-business realm, the first websites were no more than billboards. Then they were brochures. Then in the late '90s blogging began. In the '00s, walled-off chatrooms siloed off within services like AOL and Compuserve were replaced by more open communities ... and then social networks. (Walled-off social networks like Facebook opened up into full-blown social networks.) Before we knew it, we were emailing, chatting, shopping, researching, bookmarking, socializing, podcasting, showing videos, sharing, advising, asking, boasting, laughing, crying, raging, raving online.