I was in graduate school, working on a project at my desk, with my computer running in the background. (According to my kids, this was a time when dinosaurs must have roamed the earth. The computer was connected by dialup – widely available high-speed internet access wasn’t even in the public imagination, and the applications were all text-only. There was no mouse, there were no windows – you get the idea.) I had a listserv for graduate students in psychology running, and a post came in asking for the address of a publisher of psychological tests. I had just seen an ad for the company in a magazine on my desk, so with a quick impulse to be helpful I looked it up and sent the information off.
It was only when I looked again at the requesting post that I realized what I had just done. The requester was a student in Argentina, looking to make a purchase for his graduate program – and I had answered him with exactly the same time delay as if he had been across the room rather than on a different continent. In that moment, I realized that the world was much, much smaller than I thought; that electronic communication would change the world forever; and that I was living in a time when global interconnections would become a reality rather than an idealistic dream. My world would literally never seem the same.
- Les Kertay, Chattanooga