It’s easy to start reminiscing about the past, particularly when you see the world as it is and you know it used to be better. The summers longer and always sunny, the TV was better and so on.
Back in the day [here we go again] you’d half-remember something, whether it was the name of an actor who used to be on such-and-such a show or you wonder whether a chocolate bar you used to like might still be available, somewhere, and then spend hours trying to remember the details, the names, the design, until eventually you started to think you’d imagined the whole thing.
I found the other day that again our connection to the world’s knowledge is there to help. I have looked for a few of these things recently, for the life of me I can’t remember what most of them were but one was an exact quote from Linda Smith and another was a particular chocolate bar I liked in the eighties. To find the quote I searched using a search term that included as much of what I could remember of the quote and the fact that it was from Linda Smith, Google instantly provided me with dozens of pages quoting the exact, er, quote. It wasn’t that old a quotation but with my memory it felt like it.
The chocolate bar was less successful, in a way. I could remember the name but no matter how I worded it there was no sign of it, as a side effect though the Google image search did bring up many memories of other long-lost chocolate products, often from newspaper articles entitled “21 Chocolate Bars You Wish They’d Bring Back”. Half and hour lost looking at photos of old chocolate wrappers. I have done the same after looking for a history of a building I used to live opposite and finding a whole archive of historic photos of the town in general – just one of the internet’s many rabbit holes to fall down.
It does seem that as time goes forwards, as people upload pictures of old packaging, digitise books, photos and even old Argos catalogues the internet’s repository of knowledge is stretching further back in time. So today reminiscing isn’t just enjoyable it can be more accurate than ever.