What Was Life Like Before The Internet?

Posted on October 25, 2006 at 02:35 AM

As time marches forward it is becoming increasingly difficult to remember what life was like before the Internet. For some of today's youth the Internet in it's current form has always existed. So let's take a moment to reminisce about what life was like before the Internet (and what has changed since it's conception) before we all forget.

Before: Family time was spent watching TV or playing board games together.

After: Family time is spent in separate corners of the house, each on their own computer instant messaging one another.

Before: People could properly spell and used decent grammar.

After: Now thx 2 IM and SMS, they spel lik dis. LOL!!!!!!

Before: We wrote letters to friends and loved ones far away, and maybe even the occasional Pen Pal.

After: Now we just forward joke e-mails and Internet hoaxes to loved ones and friends while not even bothering to remove the hundreds of forwarded addresses contained within the message. By the way, what's a Pen Pal?

Before: Door-to-door Encyclopedia salesmen.

After: Wikipedia donations.

Before: Recording industry execs making fat profits all-the-while complaining about the bootlegging of their music.

After: Recording industry execs making fat profits all-the-while complaining about illegal downloading via p2p networks.

Before: We used the Dewey Decimal System and Microfilm to find information at local Libraries.

After: Google

Before: Phone books

After: Search engines

Before: Teen lines

After: Cell phones, IM, SMS, email, Skype, etc...

Before: Floating checks to avoid overdrafting your checking account.

After: Immediately bouncing checks (or maybe you're asking yourself what is a Check?)

Before: Getting caught looking at your Father's Playboy.

After: Catching your Dad looking at Internet porn because he forgot to clear his browser history.

Before: Kids would hang out at Video Arcades, Malls, Roller Rinks, and pizza places.

After: Kids hang out at MySpace.com

Speaking of MySpace...

Before: I have a friend named Tom.

After: Everyone has a friend named Tom and no one realizes they can easily get rid of him.

Before: People went on blind dates or met people at the bar to find romance.

After: Now we sit at home alone and surf Match.com to find romance.

Before: We scoured the neighborhoods for Garage Sales with the best junk to buy.

After: eBay and Craigslist.

Before: VCRs and TV Guide

After: Tivo

Before: Walking billboards, bumper stickers and print advertising.

After: Viral videos and forehead advertising.

Before: Gossiping about a friend, neighbor, family member, or cow-orker.

After: We google people to get dirt on them.

Before: Shopping the day after Thanksgiving not quite sure of the deals you will find.

After: Planning your Black Friday assault in October thanks to web sites like BlackFridayAds.com.

Before: Newspapers, Radio, and TV.

After: Social news sites, Podcasts, and YouTube.

Before: Commuting to work by car, bus or train.

After: Telecommuting to work in your underwear.

Before: We got our news from the likes of Rather, Jennings and Brokaw.

After: We get our news from the likes of Stewart, Colbert, and Drudge.

Before: Children wrote letters to Santa Claus and mailed them to the North Pole.

After: Children send email to Santa Claus at northpole.com and track his progress Christmas Eve via satellites on NoradSanta.org

Before: Dear Diary, ....

After: Don't you read my blog?

If you have anything you'd like to add to the list, feel free to leave your contribution in the comments below.

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Verry entertaining indeed.
I recently got my hands on an old Pioneer turn-table.
Spent the an hour explaining to my kids what vinyl was...


Posted by: Evert Bopp | January 15, 2007 12:41 PM

Verry entertaining indeed.
I recently got my hands on an old Pioneer turn-table.
Spent an hour explaining to my kids what vinyl was...


Posted by: Evert Bopp | January 15, 2007 12:42 PM

Before: people in the same house used to talk

After:People in different sections of the same house e-mail or text each other

Posted by: Julz | June 24, 2008 03:24 AM

This is so true...most of our generation never had to endure life without the internet...but hey we'll get through it

Posted by: Tootsieroll | September 23, 2008 07:41 AM

zomg teh funneh

Posted by: Funktron | October 2, 2008 08:44 AM

SAGAR sridevaprasanna@gmail.com

Posted by: Sagar Shenoy M | October 15, 2008 10:02 AM

This is awesome! In fact there probably is no reason something nostalgic could not be added every day. :)


Before: It took months to decide what type of home you wanted, where it would be, etc.

After: You use augmented reality from your mobile device to take a virtual tour of the house in front of you all while getting pricing information, local crime statistics and more.

With more choices it causes fights, anxiety and drama, "Do we really want to live here?"

Posted by: thecolor | June 24, 2009 05:46 PM

Before: People outside. We knew our neighbors.

After: People inside. The only neighbors we are familiar with are those on Facebook/FarmTown.

Posted by: Dee | August 16, 2009 03:03 PM

Before: older generations could only complain to their own kids about what life was like "back in my day."

After: they can complain to the whole world on blogs like this.

Can you really not see any positives about the advent of the internet, Joe? Collaborative knowledge sharing and creation, access to scholarly articles and books, personal access to communication tools (like blogs!) that can share information with multitudes of people, access to information never before possible, etc.

Sure, there are negatives, but do you really want to go back to microfilm? Really?

Posted by: Sean | October 9, 2009 09:19 AM

Great site yeah I'm thinking of getting rid of internet I'm sick of Americans trying to tell me, an Englishman, to spell colour color and other moronic spelling.
screw them..Right now they have colour underlined...jeez I hate that.

Posted by: tony westbrook | November 4, 2009 03:08 PM

Before: sought after things and information were harder to get but the rewards in finding what you were looking for all the more enjoyable.

Now: now everything is just there, but those things don't have as much meaning anymore.

Posted by: manouche | February 14, 2010 04:59 AM

Love how the article points to the nostalgia, but I wish it was not meant to bash the internet. Atleast a little note at the end that the internet does have positives, life will go on, and there will eventually be generations after the internet generations.

Posted by: Harry | April 12, 2010 09:51 AM

Before the Internet it might take me years to find a piece of information.
Now I can find what I need to know in minutes.

Posted by: P | May 15, 2011 12:52 PM

I'm going back to writing letters - I hate the future.

Posted by: Paul | May 18, 2011 08:23 AM

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