Sunday, 24 January 2016

mulder and scully

Although Wired!’s sneak preview of the return of the X-Files only mentions the changing face of technology in its headline (“and now it has smartphones”), I am grateful that at least one other person is recalling the state of connectivity at that time. Admittedly, I was a late-adopter and really only had a cellular phone for emergency purposes, but back in college (when the original syndicate had its run) I can’t remember anyone having a mobile phone, much less using them ubiquitously and gratuitously.
The dormitories weren’t wired for landlines and we had a sheltered computer lab for word-processing and for those cognoscenti, to access the World-Wide Web. One day, queuing up at the cafeteria, I remember having to awkwardly juggle my tray to try to answer an incoming call and holding up the line behind me. The lunch-lady told me to take my time, “It’s alright—X-File.” I wonder if the show helped to introduce and normalise the way we use the wireless today—especially given that, for people of a certain age bracket, our only other formative exposure came with pagers—in MTV’s The Real World—which are not for presumptive drug-dealers. The cultural influence, spin-offs and perhaps distrust certainly cannot be underestimated.