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People Who Lived before the Invention of the Internet Share Some of the Things They Miss

There are very few things that are more potent in this world than nostalgia. Asides from the things that you remember about the things in the past, you also get to re-experience the emotions associated with those events. People online are reminiscing on the way life was before the invention of the internet and some of the things they miss are pretty interesting. If you were born during that time, you could probably relate with some of these things, while younger generations could learn about how different the times are now.

Catalogs in general, for me. Before the internet made mindless browsing of stuff you didn’t need really easy to do, we still liked doing this without having to drive to the mall. The solution? Sign your mom up for those cool seed catalogs, those not safe to browse at the office gag gift catalogs and then everything in between. That stuff was really nice to have when you grew up somewhere that was not even cable ready.

I miss my video game magazines. The thrill of getting one in the mail (often multiple because I had several different subscriptions) to read up on the next thing coming out, strategies for games that recently came out, and just the fun articles about related material were some of my favorite memories.

When you bought new music, you just had to hope it was good. The single might be popular but otherwise unless someone had it you just bought it and hoped for the best.

The instant win bottle caps / candy / chocolate bar wrappers where you could turn them back into the store and immediately get a free one. Now it’s just codes you have to register on their website so they can get your info, i don’t even bother anymore.

Reading the newspaper and magazines used to be just about one of my favorite things. Now it seems pointless to clutter the house with so much paper when I can access all of it online – but of course, I don’t. I choose just a few articles, I don’t really browse the way I would before and I encounter a lot fewer new or enlightening things. Getting the Sunday New York Times and then going out for brunch and reading it with your friends/dates was such a treat. I used to get so excited when my favorite magazines came in the mail, I’d immediately sit down and leaf through them and see what was worth reading right away and what could wait.

I have such good memories of going to our local Mr. Movie with my dad, renting a sci-fi flick and getting candy at the checkout. streaming is cool and all, but i do miss video rental stores, mainly for nostalgic reasons.

It used to be a lot harder to bail on things. You’d have to call the person at home and tell them yourself, or at least leave a message if you wanted to be risky. Typically, if you were going bail, you’d give at least 24 hours notice. Nowadays people can let you know they’re bailing last second since you’re always reachable.

You had to call someone’s home phone number and talk to their parents first before you could talk to your friend. Video game cheat codes either spread by gaming magazines or by word of mouth. Sometimes that word of mouth was crap.

The absolute absence of push notifications. Life just waited for you like a good person.

The Saturday morning cartoons and sitcoms I watched.

News only begins at 6pm. That was it. Now we have 6 hours of local news and 24 hours of cable news. Not being bombarded all day with “news.” And when you saw “Breaking News” on the screen you knew some serious stuff went down.

If you said you were going to be there, you made sure to be there. None of this Facebook invites that everyone blows off without any form of social repercussions. If you said you were going to go and didn’t go, you were the asshole and everyone knew it.

Leaving home and just being gone for the day. No cell phones. If there were cameras, it was really different. You used them to take pictures of things or had people take pictures of you. But there was no social media to preoccupy your mind. It was just doing something. And whoever you were with, was who you were with.

I miss having an attention span of more than three seconds.

Sitting down in the evening to read a book because there was nothing on TV. With today’s streaming services, there is so much more media being produced – and it’s all available at the click of a button whenever you damn well please. It can easily become an endless loop of what to watch next. I remember when there used to be 8 channels. You either had to watch “General Hospital” or find something better to do.

Not being accessible to my boss 14 hours a day.

People would forget things you did that were maybe not the smartest.

When you used to play outside and the only curfew you had was when it started getting dark outside.

I don’t even know how to describe it. Like my days were filled with playing outside or swimming or reading in trees out front.

The ease at which even a kid can gain access to the scariest of content (or super serious content) is such a drastic change from the 90s early 2000s.

The effort that people made to stay in touch. Now, it is effortless, but people don’t bother with anything but social media.

Waiting for the next episode of your favorite show or newest video of your favorite band. Looking forward to seeing people. The act of looking information up and being curious. Waiting for that phone call when you would take the long phone cord and stretch it around the corner, into the bathroom so you could talk in private. It seemed like there was so much more to look forward to.

The smell of Encyclopedia Britannicas.

Bike riding in the neighborhood and staying out till nightfall. Playing Tag, hide and seek, and having Nerf wars. Not to mention communicating via Walkie Talkies haha.

Don’t get me wrong, having nearly every form of media downloadable is great, but back in the day, i rented a video game and i played that video game as much as i could. Now, it’s hard to give it more than 2 seconds before I try one of the 20,000 games I have access to. New games used to be cool. Now, I’m happy if I just beat the game.

Staying up late to sneak phone calls with my girlfriend.

Every little thing is data mining these days, drives me absolutely crazy. And instead of dealing with the junk mail in the post that this got us a few years ago now it’s on our e-mails, text messages, robocalls and whatever else. You can’t get away from the damn things.

I miss the debates about random unimportant facts or details. You really had to know your stuff and/or be persuasive to win an argument. There wasn’t the ability to just instantly Google something to get the answer, you actually had to go find it in a book or an encyclopedia. I vividly remember many times when people would argue or debate on something, go home and research it, then come back the next day to resume the debate.

Being at a party and folks not checking their phones. In the good old days you had to interact.

People watching an event like a concert with their own eyes and ears instead of through their phone cameras.


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