The notion of rewinding is dying.
My colleague teaches a course involving video production and editing. At the beginning of the term, he takes his students through the ins and outs of the equipment. Going through how to use the video camera, a students would record their clip, switch the camera to playback mode, and hit play.
It is there they would run into trouble: blank space. Why would this happen? Any of us who have a memory that recalls years that begin with the number 1 can explain.
The cameras being used are digital, but still use tapes. For those unfamiliar, tapes are wound up magnetic strips that have information encoded on them as they move. So in order to get back to a previous recording, one must physically rewind the tape to the spot containing the desired information.
But beyond this exercise, when would these people born around 1996 use anything on a tape? You don’t have to rewind a CD or DVD (a fact I was slow to learn about DVDs). And there is nothing to rewind on a computer. In fact, computers will soon no longer need any moving parts at all thanks to solid state hard drives.
This idea left me wondering: what will become of this word? There is nothing left to rewind. Time will forever remain still. There will no longer be a continuum. I will say to my children, ‘Woah there; let’s rewind a bit and start over.’ and they look at me and wonder if I’m talking about that stone wheel that was constructed when I was a kid or if I remember where I was when I heard Man discovered fire.