My personal experience of the eclipse today was much like I remember the last one when I was in eighth grade. Back then the only option to view the eclipse was a “pin hole” viewer, and that was all I had today. Basically, all you see is a bright dot on a sheet of paper, which is the sun, partially covered, which is the moon.
The big difference today, however, thanks to the Internet I was able to see what the total coverage looked like while it was happening. After what I saw online, I get why people drove hundreds of miles to go see it. If I lived closer, I would have considered doing it myself.
The next total eclipse visible in the United States will be 7 years from now, and the path of totality with be closest to where I live during my lifetime. If I am alive in 2024, I will make it a point to be in the path of totality.