Since the appearance of the internet, the world has changed in ways I could never have imagined in my childhood.

I suppose that my youthful self could have envisioned some of the more obvious and celebrated online conveniences and necessities. I would have understood the desirability of email, a single-point, globally-accessible source for the delivery of written communication. Like letters, but with immediate delivery? And you can log in from any point where you have a computer and an internet connection? (Or, y’know, a sufficiently clever phone?) Younger Elsa would have understood — and maybe even have predicted — the basic outline.

I could have imagined having immediate on-demand access to an encyclopaedia indexing matters of all kinds, that we could just call up a user-submitted page rather than debating trivial questions all weekend long: was Copernicus Polish? Was Burgess Meredith in How to Marry a Millionaire? What are the chief ingredients in gremolata? It would have blown my young mind, but I would have realized that it was both feasible and beneficial.

What I could never, ever have foreseen, and what blows my mind every single time: sitting on my couch and getting an email announcing a package delivery before I can even register the footsteps on the porch as “probably the UPS guy.”

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