Download—how old is this term? I was seriously curious today. So, I went to the Oxford English Dictionary to find out. It appeared around 1977 (in Scientific America). So the word itself is only about 36 years old, but really only came into everyday usage with the rise of the internet in the 90s. Now, you can’t go a day without hearing it multiple times a day. Downloading is prominent through our lives. We download the latest news, weather, status updates to our phones. We download books, poetry, and documents to our ereaders. We download music, podcasts, and audiobooks to our mp3 players. We download games and all of the above to our computers or tablets. Download is a verb that rules us.
“Hold on, honey, I have to finish downloading these files to my back-up drive before I can leave the office”
“I’m going to download these pictures so I can then upload them onto my blog!”
Downloading makes life easier. With a few clicks or touches, you can download almost anything. Want a new book but don’t have a store close by? Download it! Don’t want to fight the crowds at a midnight release of a game? Download it! Need new music? Download it! Downloading is the path to instant gratification.
It makes me wonder what a life without downloading would be like. I wouldn’t be able to read most of my bookclub books. I wouldn’t be able to listen to audiobooks while working out. I wouldn’t be able to jam to my favorite 90s alternative while I clean the house.
Then again, I’d probably get more reading, working out, and cleaning done if I didn’t have all these damned computer games downloaded.
Amazing how something that didn’t exist 40 years ago is so prevalent and necessary in our everyday lives now. Maybe I’ll unplug tomorrow…