The 27 Things I Miss from a Pre-Internet World

Posted Sonlight Press Author Blog

The internet is amazing. For the first time in human history, information and global access are at our fingertips 24 hours a day and the technology providing that access has us connected like never before, altering how we live our lives from sunrise to sunset.

mapBut, living through the pre and post internet eras, I can say there are some things I truly miss.

  • Undivided attention
  • The smell of libraries
  • AAA Trip Tickets
  • Conversations with people who look you in the eye and not at their phone.
  • The child-like wonderment of new innovations
  • That I set the expectation on how long it should take me to get back to you.
  • Going outside because there was nothing to do inside
  • Video arcades
  • The uniqueness of people from different parts of the country and the fashions that followed
  • Reading the sports section of the local paper and seeing that some West Coast scores weren’t available at print time
  • Spotting a celebrity was rare and exciting, making award shows important.
  • Being at or hearing about an event that only the people in attendance could witness
  • Oral story telling
  • Memorizing important information, like phone numbers, multiplication tables and U.S. history
  • Porn was rarely available and hard to obtain
  • Knowing your neighbors
  • Engaging in a respectful debate of ideas
  • Photo albums
  • If something was important to you, you bought it and kept it on a shelf
  • Technology designed to last decades, like home phones.
  • Mechanical solutions that last forever, like typewriters.
  • The sound of the wall phone ringing in the kitchen
  • Language that was far less generation specific
  • Encyclopedias and National Geographics
  • Large music album covers
  • Report cards
  • Cursive handwriting and good penmanship

Those are some of the things I miss.  If you grew up prior to the late 1990’s, what do you miss before the world was globally connected?  Let me know in the comments section!

2 Comments on “The 27 Things I Miss from a Pre-Internet World

  • Paul Bauer says:

    Purchasing a map at the gas station and using it to get back on course.
    Understanding how the newest technology worked.
    Being ‘unavailable’ meant you were going to be unreachable for weeks, not 30 minutes.
    Long distance calls used to be special.
    Putting coins in a payphone to call long distance.
    Directory assistance.
    Using Reader’s Guide to find quotes for your report.
    Trying to decide what to write on your 3X5 cards for your big speech tomorrow in class.
    Slide shows using either individual slides or slide rolls.
    The smell of ditto paper.
    The sound of movies playing in the class projector.
    Stacking a bunch of 33s on the record player and watching them ‘magically’ drop down onto the turntable while leaving the other records in place.
    Artfully pushing the stylus past a skip in the record.
    The excitement of the new fall TV schedule.
    Watching theater-released movies for the first time on TV.

  • Sonlight Press says:

    Ah, ditto paper. Yes. Such a distinctive smell. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *