It’s still somewhere on my brother’s desk, I think on the dusty middle shelf: a small, silver, Integral-branded USB stick. I can’t remember the exact price of it, but I once mentioned that my school had started to sell the 128mb things and asked whether he wanted one. I had to eke out saving and transferring my work on floppy disks for a little longer before I was promoted to these revolutionary little marvels. Now, everything’s backed up to the mysterious clouds of our tech overlords.
It’s just an example of one of many things whose ubiquity comes and goes with time. The most personal demonstrations of this can be seen through the phenomenon from the early 2000 onwards, of people sharing what was in their backpacks, starting with Flickr and reaching all the way to tech sites and Instagram tags.
I tend to focus on the tech a little not just because of my own nerdiness, but the fact that iPods, PDAs and dreadful laptops were adding so much bulk to our backs and shoulders in recent years. Ephemeral, important information being stored inside delicate electronics.