My dad (b. 1916) would have loved the internet.
I’m not sure he’d deal well with all the technology side of things — that could go either way: frustrated with the fragility, or stubborn enough to not let it get the best of him.
I think of him often, and usually in the form of “Oh, he would’a loved that!”
My mom would have been all over communicating — from lengthy emails to video chats with relatives overseas, I think she’d have grabbed on to the possibilities quickly. (I know she was thrilled when my cousin and I started communicating via email.)
My dad, would have gone a different direction.
Youtube, in particular, would have fascinated him. Not all the random and goofy entertainment stuff, but rather the channels and videos that, when I encounter them today, seem right up his alley. All the how-to, and engineering, the various hobby channels, and even the videos showing things being destroyed under high pressure.
Channels like Blondihacks would have spoken to him on two levels: being about exactly what he started as — a machinist — and what he loved to do (putter around in his machine shop), but also confirming that the trade would be well represented and live on. Adam Savage would have been a huge hit. (I suspect the original Mythbusters would have been as well.)
Beyond just what you can watch, though, I can imagine him searching for obscure thing related to his interests, and not being disappointed. Be it for research for whatever he happened to be designing or dreaming up at the time, or just pursuing a thought or idea, he’d have eaten it up.
He was never particularly political, that I experienced anyway, so he probably wouldn’t have gone down any of the extreme rabbit holes. I Hope. Having lived in The Netherlands while it was occupied by the Germans, and having escaped from one of their camps, he’d probably have many opinions about current events, though. I’m not sure exactly if, or how, he’d go about sharing those.
I do suspect that he’d have spent some time looking up old acquaintances, or even old girlfriends, to answer the age old “whatever happened to…” questions, if he could.
In a way he was born a little too soon. But then, perhaps he was exactly when and where he was supposed to be.
As we see the world progressing around us I think we all have moments of realizing how much there is that those who’ve gone before us would appreciate.
My dad would have loved it all. Realizing that makes me appreciate it all the more, myself.