Book Note: Pamela Paul’s “100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet”

Pamela Paul, 100 Things We Lost to the Internet (New York: Crown, 2021). (Amazon; Bookshop)

Pamela Paul is the editor of the New York Times Book Review. Her book 100 Things We Lost to the Internet is a nostalgia trip for Gen Xers, Millennials, and I guess we can include Boomers too. It would make almost no sense to Gen Zers. To them, it would be a weird museum of outdated practices. But for those of us who remember the world before the Internet was in all of our homes, this book is a lot of fun.

Many of the topics Paul discusses are social, like experiencing boredom or losing track of ex-boyfriends; others are technological, like having your phone in the kitchen or having to use printed, paper maps. And many of them are a mixture of how our social and technological lives have changed since the Internet created our global hivemind.

There’s not a ton I can say about the book other than it’s enjoyable to read, most of the “chapters” are very short (almost like reading sort blog posts!), and the book is great for resurrecting old memories and creating conversation starters with your friends.

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