A 1992 Take on the Birth of Social Networking

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A segment from the 1992 documentary series The Machine that Changed the World, produced by WGBH and the BBC, looks at the early social web and its implications. An engineer from AT&T's Bell Labs, Robert Lucky, describes the new feeling of being connected: 

One of the things that's happening is the disappearance of place as an attribute. What someone has said is the 'passing of remoteness.' You know you're no longer remote. When I'm sitting at home in front of my terminal I'm connected. I'm plugged into the world.

Tech 2020

In addition to prescient observations about how technology would change finance, education, and social life, the series includes some charming vintage motion graphics. It's a fascinating time capsule of how we were beginning to think about the Information Age in 1992. The entire series can be viewed at the Internet Archive.

To watch the series in its entirety, visit the Internet Archive. 

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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