10 Things People Miss About Life Before the Internet

Steve Cummings

Camping with friends

The internet has brought about new things, new ideas, new adventures, and a wealth of information. It has also brought us to a standstill with staring at our phones every waking moment, being distracted by notifications, and constantly needing instant gratification. Many people miss life before the internet. Here are 10 things people miss about life before the internet. 

1. Hanging Outside Without Distractions

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Kids, teenagers, and others would go outside for adventures on bicycles or even for bbqs with neighbors. There was no worry about time or what else could happen. Now groups of friends hang out with their phones, constantly monitoring what is happening. Some, of course, don’t, but the world was different before smartphones.

2. Boredom

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You would not think boredom would be good, but it inspired people to get creative, dive into books, and figure things out. Now, with a phone or the internet in our hands, we no longer feel the need to get creative or live in boredom.

One poster mentioned on a popular online forum about boredom, “that was time to get creative, try something new, make up a game, get really into a book, practice drawing, wander around and explore, or just hang out and talk about whatever random stuff, etc.”

3. Wonderment

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The answers to everything were not wrapped in one phrase “Google It.” It was the excitement of wondering if a movie would be good, a new CD would have good songs, or if you were to have some great plans for the weekend. Now everything is so easy to do. You need answers; you Google it; you want to know if a movie is good enough; you Google it. 

One poster commented, “There is something… exciting(?)… about not having everything available immediately.” The truth is that not getting the answers right away allows us to think outside the box and wonder, explore, and seek answers to our questions. 

4. How Big the World Felt

Edinburgh, Scotland
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The world is a big place, and it gets smaller and smaller the more we hear about world events. Before the internet, you would listen to about war or atrocities happening in other countries and feel how far away things are from your world. Now everything has gotten closer with the internet. You can meet people from halfway around the world, become colleagues and friends, and feel emotions by what happens abroad.

5. Conspiracy Theorists Kept Their Opinions to Themselves

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It is sad to say with the dawn of the internet and social media, many people with crazy, illogical theories have a platform to spread any idea that they may have. If it catches fire, they will have an audience and a following. Before all of this, many people kept those crazy ideas locked away due to social backlash. Now any hate or crazy idea could be taken seriously. 

6. You Don’t Have to Be Constantly Connected

connected to phone
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Back in the day, if you wanted to contact someone, you would need to call their house. If they were not home, you either left a message or called during a better time to try and connect to people. Now people can constantly connect through many different messaging or social media apps. 

Now people may feel outraged if you do not answer their constant contact that very second. It was a different world when people had the patience to wait. 

7. Discovering Video Game Secrets By Playing

video games
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Finding new codes, secrets to video games, and ways to dominate the game took the action of playing it or asking a friend. Now, you can go to the internet, find the answers with a click of a button, and be on your way to conquering games much more quickly. 

8. Time Was Slower

Time was slower
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Time moved much slower for many people, but it could also be that as we get older, time seems to move much faster. For those of us that were young when the internet was not around, many events happened, like waiting for a friend to call or even getting from one place to another without swiping on your phone.

9. Neighborhood Kids Playing Hide and Seek

hide and seek
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Kids would go outside and play hide-and-seek in the neighborhood. When the weather would get warmer, communities would be full of kids playing various games. Now the world has changed. Kids are still outside, but they were out much more before the internet. Now they sit at home on their devices, just staring at the screens. 

10. Doing Research in the Library

The library
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Libraries still exist today with countless opportunities for learning, but before the internet, libraries were like a primary source of information. People would use libraries to research specific topics. Libraries allowed kids to find a new book each week to learn, dive into a story, or look up information to a question they may have. 

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This article is inspired by this thread.

1 thought on “10 Things People Miss About Life Before the Internet”

  1. This is a thought-provoking article that captures the double-edged sword that is the internet. While it has undeniably opened up a universe of possibilities, from information access to global connectivity, it has also created a culture of distraction and instant gratification. It’s fascinating to consider the aspects of pre-internet life that many people miss, like genuine face-to-face interactions and the joy of anticipation. Your list serves as a poignant reminder that while technological advancements bring numerous benefits, they also come with their own set of challenges. Thank you for offering a balanced perspective on this topic.


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