Podcast | What we lost after the internet arrived

Author Pamela Paul recalls what the world was like before it was connected — and how privacy and personal memory have transformed since.

Hands typing on a laptop

A woman typing on a laptop on a train in New Jersey, May 18, 2021. (Jenny Kane/AP)

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the internet was there to help much of humanity keep going while maintaining a social distance. The transition was not seamless, but the interconnected world that had been taking shape in the decades prior made it possible for many people’s work and social lives to continue, if in a radically altered manner.

But while the internet has made this new normal possible, it has come at a cost. For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, author Pamela Paul tallies those costs, not just since the pandemic but in the decades before. 

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In this interview from the 2022 Crosscut Festival, Paul discusses her book 100 Things We've Lost to the Internet, in which she documents a history that younger generations may barely remember – if they recall it at all. Baby Boomers, meanwhile, will find in Paul’s work a nostalgia trip through a time when privacy and individual memory remained more intact.  

As a member of Gen X, Paul delivers a perspective from somewhere in between. While there was no internet during her childhood, she witnessed its transformative powers as it became central to her life.

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