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The internet we miss

Digital Writers' Festival 2016 logo

Are you a digital native (the generation of people born during or after the rise of digital technologies) or a digital immigrant (people born before the advent of digital technology)?  Either way the internet moves so fast: it can be hard to remember a time when YouTube Videos were limited to ten minutes and you had to wait for them to buffer at 240p. 

For the 2016 Digital Writers’ Festival, emerging writer Honor Eastly was part of an innovative and informative live streamed session titled ‘The Internet We Miss’.  The panel was hosted by Jane Howard (Digital Director – 2016 Digitial Writers Festival) and also included artists Elizabeth Flux, Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen and Marisa Wikramanayake. 

As we (perhaps) approach a country with a National Broadband Network, and as the internet takes over more and more of our lives, DWF artists look back over the parts of the internet which informed our early days here, and mourn what is lost.

You can watch a video of The Internet We Miss online or read part of Honor’s story below…

The internet we miss by Honor Eastly

I miss the newness, and the complete baffling stumblingness of the internet.

I miss time and disorientation. I miss chatting to strangers without faces online for hours. Those chat rooms still exist, but I do not exist inside of them.

I miss the innocence and intrepidness and the lack of any semblance of a consequence.

I miss Google Image searching the words “dick” and “butt” and “dickbutt”.

I miss the world where I didn’t understand what viral marketing was, when I wasn’t cynical because I didn’t know how to be.

I miss when my email address was [email protected]. I miss the time when that made sense, and my inbox was exciting instead of terrifying.

I miss the time when I visited the internet rather than lived on it.

What I miss is not the internet then, it’s my youth. I grew up with the internet, and the internet grew up with me. It made no sense when I made no sense. It was confused and misaligned and unknowable when I was those things too.

I miss the way the world was then, because I miss the way my world was then.

And I miss when a man trying to blend a crowbar got seven million views on YouTube.

I miss what my life was like then.


This commission was supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the 2016 Digital Writers Festival.

The Writeability program is a partnership between Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria made possible by the generous support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Grace Marion Wilson Trust.

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