What was life like before the internet?

  1. It wasn't like that at all. You first spent a good 15 minutes saying "wait, I know it! It's on the tip of my tongue! It's that guy...he's also in that other movie, with the flowers? I think there's a character named Sarah or something? Shiiiit, he was interviewed for a magazine too, he said something funny about a bear. Like the bear was up to no good. You don't remember? Ahhhhhh it's on the tip of my tongue why can't I....!!!

  2. Ha that happened to me far too often but I was stubborn, I'd wait until the end of the programme and hope and pray that the credits weren't going too fast for me to see their name, the amount of rubbish TV programmes I've watched out of stubbornness is unreal

  3. I saw one time that somebody said the Internet killed barroom debate, and I think that’s accurate. How often do we say “who’s that one guy” and then just look it up on our phone? Instead of debating on which actor played Who and what other movies they were in etc. sometimes I try to purposely not look things up as a matter of conversation.

  4. I was always a film fan. So, I owned film books. Printed TV guides sometimes printed casts lists of films which were really helpful.

  5. The biggest thing I remember is the fact that you used to be able to get lost. Going on a road trip involved going to AAA and getting maps printed out for your entire route, and you'd have to keep track of which map you were on and hope you don't make a wrong turn and end up off your maps. It's been ages since I've felt truly lost with no idea where I was or how to get back.

  6. Remember how, when you got lost, you'd finally have to give up and ask someone for directions? I miss giving people directions.

  7. And before cell phones, it was "meet me at the main entrance of the Smithsonian." And then you find out when you get there there actually is no main entrance. And you never meet up.

  8. I would argue that what changed this was GPS, not the Internet. GPS is truly one of the greatest gifts America gave the world, and for free no less (yes I’m aware that there were and still are certain limitations on non-military use, but IMO it’s the second most world-changing invention of the last 50 years after the Internet).

  9. Videogames were still a thing. Had about a 10-15 year gap there were videogames were popular, but internet was still not widely available.

  10. basically ahah. and also this was before everyone had cell phones, so parents wouldn’t be able to get ahold of you. you’d be out there with friends riding bikes or skating and no one would know where you were or what time you would get home. it was a whooole different time back then

  11. I don't know, I just read Goosebumps and played video games. Lots of Super Nintendo for me. The library was where you went to get knowledge...there was this thing called a card catalog you used to find books of a certain type, then you would find a book on the topic you were interested in and maybe read the index to find out if a specific thing is mentioned on some page, then read it. I had an encyclopedia set and I would just read it randomly to gain knowledge when I couldn't sleep. If you wanted software for a computer you would go to a store that sold stuff on disks. People wrote letters and mailed them to communicate or made phone calls on landlines. It cost extra money to call long distance. If you wanted an item you would call stores and ask if they had it then physically go there and buy it. It was different in the early 90s before the Internet.

  12. People would also show up at your house unannounced, and you’d just go with it. I’d have friends show up at my house saying “hey we’re going to (wherever) get in the car!”

  13. It’s crazy how you actually had to go out and look for pornography back in the days. Now it’s accessible in a click of a button. Less than 10 seconds and boom, you’re there.

  14. We used to draw pictures on the walls of our caves. And Torrock would tell of stories when the buffalos would cover as much land as the eye could see. And then they invented the Internet

  15. Think about the times you were out with your friends. Now imagine having no cellphones, which means no contact with anyone that isn't in your current area. That's what it was like, except all the time.

  16. I grew up in a violent and unstable home, and it was wonderful to be able to get out of the house with friends, because then I was free from it all. If I’d grown up in todays time, my abusive parent would have had constant connection with me, and it wouldn’t have felt like much of an escape. My mental health would have suffered much more greatly than it did, and I’m sad for kids today that are in a similar situation.

  17. I grew up with no phone at all, so on the weekend would just start walking to my friends house, and she's do the same to me, and sometimes we'd meet in the middle.

  18. It was super nice. I remember going through the woods, and getting thorns all over me and still kept going. The thorns stayed in until I got home.

  19. I don't disagree in principle, but newspapers existed back then too. It took days or weeks to get information about the world which is now instantaneous, but it's not like the information just didn't exist. And if it was a sufficiently big story, broadcast news would mention it. When the Berlin Wall came down it was all you saw on TV news for weeks and everyone was talking about it, even though most of the people around me had never and would never go to Berlin.

  20. That's probably one of the main ones if we're being honest. All the dumb, regrettable shit I/we did that's gone forever rather than being documented forever is such a huge difference both in mental health terms and work prospects.

  21. As I get older, I'm sad there are no videos of me as a kid. As I get wiser, I'm happy there are no videos of me as a kid.

  22. Lots of time outside. And tv watching. Probably knowing a lot less about the world around us, which in some ways is a good thing.

  23. I personally think that people had a better idea of what was going on then they do nowadays. Facebook isnt the same as reading an actual newspaper u know

  24. So much time outside, we used to build things from random scraps of stuff we found and used our imagination to turn them into exciting things. Only 2 channels on TV so not so much with the watching.

  25. The malls were packed. There was a much greater variety of stores to see. Plus, just about every mall had a movie theater built into it. So, you could spend all day window shopping, hanging around friends who also worked at the mall, hit the arcade, grab something to eat and watch a movie. It was not unusual to have some sort of event every so often at the mall. Like live music, usually a pop music concert, a meet and greet with some celebrity, (they were usually there to either promote a movie or they were an author promoting a book) or a mini-cultural festival. (For some reason dancing was really popular at these festivals.) ...I kind of miss the old malls. They were really fun.

  26. Also as a teen during that era there were local dance places that had "Under 21" nights so we could go dancing and socializing after a day at the mall. Usually on a Sunday night. There doesn't seem to be anything like that now.

  27. I thought Frank Spencer was dead for years, killed doing his own stunt for Some Mothers Do Av Em. Then he turns up as lead in Phantom Of The Opera. And he can sing!

  28. For me, this was the most interesting thing. Like not just memes, but some of the games I used to play as a kid were the same ones another kid 1000 of miles away was playing. We only realize how similar our childhoods were when we met in college because there was no way of knowing it earlier without internet.

  29. I didn't even realize that was fake news, although I hadn't thought about it in years. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  30. being able to memorize not only your phone number, but your friends as well. Want to go hang out with your buddies? Well you damn well better know their number or drop by unannounced at their house.

  31. When you bought a video game. That was just it. No patches, DLC, micro transactions... If there was a glitch or an exploit. It was always there.

  32. In some ways better, in some ways worse. We spent way more time reading, being outdoors, being social, being bored (in a good way). Obviously the internet is great, but I think most of us spend way too much time on it. It's addicting.

  33. I was just talking to my daughter about this. We were watching this video where a kid does some stunt and gets hurt. I told her kids do stupid things and get hurt that's part of growing up the differences when I was growing up they were not cameras everywhere leaving evidence of your mess ups.

  34. Playing outside with lawn darts, bottle rockets and basically things that were extremely dangerous and fun. Riding barefoot on my Huffy bike. Playing on my Atari 2600 with friends. You called friends on a house phone and news was on 3 stations at night. It was amazing.

  35. You found ways to entertain yourself without immediate gratification or social attention. More sunlight...more trivia games won fairly... More television at the time it was broadcasted not whenever... More books for knowledge purposes... More phone calls... More late night cruising with friends because you're bored and taco bell is still open....

  36. I wasn’t alive before the internet, but I kinda wish I was born in the 70’s so I could see all the dinosaurs walking around everywhere

  37. The energy in the air was crisp The food was fast and CHEAPER Life seemed like you’d live forever Trolling wasn’t a career You couldn’t find facts in 5 mins

  38. You had to wait to watch what you wanted on TV. When I was at nursery (kindergarten) my mum would come collect me at lunchtime and we’d go home to watch Thomas the Tank Engine (stop motion animation in those days, voiced by Ringo Starr). Then after school there was another couple of hours of kids’ TV before the news and stuff came on. On Saturday mornings we’d watch kind of variety shows for kids, which was an hours-long show with presenters playing games etc. interspersed with cartoons like Batman and Gummi Bears. We loved watching the toy ads around Xmas time and would get up early to see them from around 6am. That was it. The rest of the time you just played, I guess.

  39. I’m 19 and sorta wish I was born earlier to experience people talking to each other and not being addicted to their phones.

  40. Mmmmm... I get what you are saying, but I feel like communication has increased a LOT since I was a kid.

  41. Smaller. You weren't really concerned with global events that weren't major events. Your life didn't extend much beyond your own state. People also had to improvise and come up with back up plans when things didn't go right because there was no phone unless you got to where you were going and that's not guaranteed and you still have to know the number to call help.

  42. The internet was magazines and newspapers and newsletters. If you wanted to know what was going onwith your favorite band, you needed to buy a magazine or join the fanclub. I learned about new releases by hearing them on the radio or going to a record shop.

  43. Given how addicted I am to my ohone, it surprises me to say it was better. Focused more on the activity at hand, more socializing...

  44. We had to live with our own thoughts in our heads with no distractions. Waiting for a bus? You'd amuse yourself by looking around, watching the world, thinking your thoughts without being able to shut them out. We had to be satisfied with ourselves and what was around us in a way we don't now.

  45. We spent 3 hours after youth group running and rewinding a cassette tape to transcribe We Didn't Start the Fire because someone lost the liner notes. Then it was on the radio on the way home and we sang at the top of our lungs in the country at midnight.

  46. The best when people would talk shit they had to face that person and either back it up and fight or sit the fuck down and say it wasn't true. Now to many keyboard warriors who run their mouths and not worrying about catching that ass whoopin

  47. I miss the simplicity of life back then. You’d see a cool band’s video on 120 Minutes and then go to your local CD shop and hope they had the album. If you wanted to watch a show you made sure you were in front of the tv at the time it aired. There wasn’t a constant torrent of news and information. Newspapers and magazines were vital for learning about things. There were no devices or social media clamoring for your attention. There was a lot less comparing yourself to other people, because you weren’t exposed to a million strangers’ lives. I feel like things just moved more slowly, and there was more time.

  48. Netflix is facing this problem. We have like 100 times the content of cable or tv. And we never have enough content.

  49. Solid assessment. Life before the Internet was profoundly different, but for the vast majority of people it wasn't fundamentally better.

  50. When I was a child, from 5 to 12, I would play soccer with the neighbours as soon as we got back from school. From 12 to 15 I would go to the park and play basketball til dark. From 15 to 18 I dated a lot, this is when internet started.

  51. Yes to all of that. Plus, calling time & temp & movie phone. Oh & party lines. My mom often argued with the ppl we shared a line with to "get off the line already, other ppl need to use the damn phone!"

  52. I don't think we raced to answer it, but we were always on the phone. Our kitchen phone had a super long cord and u had to follow the cord to find my stepsister.

  53. Slower. If you wanted to know something you had to go to the library to look it up. For a high school project I went to the research annex of the NY Public Library from Queens because that was the best source.

  54. People were generally less influenced by dumb mindless rhetoric, were more considerate of each other, and you had to have guts to bully someone since it had to be face to face. You knew if you did you might get your ass handed to you. Researching things was more difficult, for homework and stuff. Usually you had to actually go to the library, unless your family had money and could buy encyclopedias and other materials. Friends actually interacted with each other instead of sitting in the same room playing on their phones. A lot more time spent outside playing sports or just exploring. I feel like there was just more of a sense of community.

  55. If you liked a band you would listen to the radio for hours hoping to hear the new single. If you were lucky you had a cassette player that could record the radio so then you could get a taped copy of the single. Hopefully it didn’t have a long intro that the DJ talked through.

  56. Peaceful. Folks got more sleep. Reading out of an actual paper book was a common thing. Coffee in the morning with your delivered newspaper. Television news was blaring every night and when it ended it was a signal for most to turn in for the night. You had to learn about and connect with people via conversation and experiences. Folks wrote checks for their bills and mailed them days in advance to make the due dates. Everyone had a white pages and a yellow pages in their home. Restaurant delivery menus filled a junk drawer and you had to call your order in and pay with cash or check when it arrived. Students wrote notes to their friends on paper and swamped them between classes. You had to shop in stores or out of catalogs. Songs were always at the tip of your tongue because you couldn’t google them. Research was done at the library, via the card catalog. Simpler, yet more complicated times.

  57. There was this great big room we used to go to that had trees and grass and sunlight and breezes and we could do anything we wanted out there like play games and ball and dig in the dirt. Then the internet came along and the door just seemed to disappear.

  58. People were more honest because it was easier to catch them in their lies or in the act. I think people were less complicated, too. Definitely less sexually complicated!!

  59. Imagine being able to do about 80% of the shit you do on the internet......but only you did it at the public library. And it took all day just to look up one stupid piece of bullshit trivia about some movie you weren't actually 100% was real and not something you just dreamed up.

  60. My family got a computer when I was about 10, so before that it was playing outside, playing with toys, playing video games on N64, actually going places just for fun, hanging out with friends or whatever, having to watch tv shows at the time they aired, having my friends and family's phone numbers memorized. Even after we got caller ID I still had a lot memorized. A lot of those things slowly faded over the years after we got a computer. And the computer connected to the internet via dial-up, as slow and as crappy as that connection was I still kinda miss those days, lol.

  61. If I needed information on how to do something or wanted to learn about something, there was the dictionary or encyclopedia and library, or I would talk to someone much older.

  62. Waiting at the doctor's office was torture. I remember reading whatever old magazines they had around to keep myself distracted.

  63. Look, Im glad of no camera phones, and even no security cameras. My teen years were hectic and Im glad of zero proof of it, it is in the past for a reason folks. Just memories and only those few mates that remember what went.... on as god intended!!!

  64. There wal less paper less gossip and a lot less pure bull shit and stupid evil bullying less fake information the useless gossip used to be at the check out stand in the scandal sheets where it was easy to ignore now it is every where creating hate and discontent

  65. Magazines were much more popular, same with comics, people had a lot less interactions with content producers as well eg: the whole sonic looked like shit thing, it would have been released looking like shit.

  66. Better. Play sports until you were so tired you laughed uncontrollably. Had friends you had to go walk to see if they were home. Neighborhood people would yell across 3 blocks to say “your mom says go home dinners ready!” No digital zombies staring down into their phones. Bands had to hawk their tapes to venues and agents, they didn’t have followers.

  67. I was a lot more present. Didn’t multi task. Was in the moment. More curious. Now everything is about instant gratification. I can’t do one task at a time, I need constant mental stimulation but it’s so much more superficial than before

  68. Maybe it was just me and my friends, but none of us cared a bit about politics. The only people that seemed to care or know about political stuff was punk rockers and such.

  69. Lots of manhunt, legos, dodgeball and baseball, trading cards (i didn't but my friends did) some video games, in the winter you'd walk the neighborhood to the best hill for sledding and stay there til you couldn't feel your finger tips anymore or someone offered to have everyone over for hot chocolate. Oh and going to the movies in a group was a rare treat.

  70. Played outside a lot. Street hockey, shooting bb guns, riding bikes in the hills by our house. We spent a summer building an RC car track once.

  71. Closer. Meaning your mind was on your close friends that you saw regularly, your neighborhood, your city. National news, international news, things going on in another state, there was a distance. Fringe ideas were just that… out there somewhere far in the distance.

  72. Most of these comments are tinged with fond nostalgia, references to hanging with friends etc. because, for the people making them, before the Internet = childhood. It’s all true but it’s a child’s remembrance of a carefree life.

  73. Despite the convenience and entertainment the internet brings, life seemed a lot more positive and optimistic pre-internet. The toxicity of social media in particular has made the world even more divided.

  74. We were much more comfortable with not knowing things, and social awkwardness was an outlier among friends, rather than the norm. As an outgrowth of these two things, the stupid shit we did was far less documented, and nobody knows the things that I won't speak of.

  75. People were more tolerant, girls were more feminine than feminist, out of proportion ass and tits were not popular, kids played more outdoor games, men didn’t wear skinny jeans, phone was for text and call only, no taking pics of the food before eating, better tv shows and movies, better music, people were more content within their town or country unlike now you compare yourself with the entire world that’s on your screen.

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