Life before the Internet

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by DakotaGuy, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    South Dakota, USA
    #1
    Being 31 years old, I remember life before the Internet and I wondered if there are any other people who remember what it was like. It seems like we communicated differently. I remember relying much more on the telephone and handwritten notes. When I was in high school we still did not have an internet connection at my school. Computers were used for running programs like ClarisWorks and you saved your files on a 3.5" floppy. When I went to college in the fall of 1996 it was my first experience using the Internet.

    Information that is available to us over the Internet used to require visiting the local library. Friends were people that you actually knew. If you did not want to be bothered there wasn't any way to get ahold of you (this statement kind of includes cell phones). Communication was slower and more deliberate. You had to read newspapers or watch the evening newscast to get information on current events. You bought music and movies at a store and if you wanted to order something you used a paper catalog.

    I love the Internet and it has really changed the world, but sometimes I think society will someday become less productive because of it.
     
  2. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #2
    I disagree with your productivity statement. The internet has aided us in getting things done more quickly. Say a college kid needs to write a paper. He can access all of the articles he's citing from his home instead of digging for them at the library. We can order things online now instead of having to mail in an order form. The internet hasn't made us less productive, but it's definitely made us lazier. Like any other piece of technology (dishwasher, dryer, microwave, etc.) it's given us more free time that we don't seem to take advantage of.
     
  3. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #3
    I'm younger than you, and while I remember life before the internet, we got an internet connection early on and therefore I was pretty young before we got it. That said, of all the things you mentioned, the only one I really wish was still true is the part about people not being able to get ahold of you. How I wish I could just turn my cell phone off and not be bothered without having to hear from several people the next day, "Where were you?!? I called you ten times, why wouldn't you answer?". I highly value the occasional peace, quiet and the ability to just be alone and think or do something I enjoy without interruption or worry.

    In general though, I can't imagine life without the internet. I love being able to get essentially any information I need, anytime, anywhere, almost immediately. I do still buy most of my music (including a lot of vinyl) at a store, but I love the convenience of iTunes too.
     
  4. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #4
    I agree with both of your posts. I too am a bit younger than the OP, but I do remember those days pretty well.

    The internet, in my opinion, represents an extension of the community. Like the telegraph, telephone, radio, and television, it serves to increase our ability to communicate. Perhaps the best thing about the internet is our ability to participate in it directly. With the others, one simply consumed the information (except for the phone, which allows limited communication).
    Even for all the filth, for all the useless youtube videos, the internet has amazing potential. If there is any single invention that will help spread ideas quickly and broadly, it is the internet. Perhaps it will finally bring and end to the toleration of dictatorships, of oppresive regimes, of genecides, and maybe an end to crushing poverty.
    Then again, it has been around for a while now, and none of these things has appeared to improve, so maybe it's just a hollow-hope:(

    </social commentary>

    All in all, I think I would sorely miss the internet if it suddenly disappeared. It gives so much and asks for so little:p
     
  5. DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    South Dakota, USA
    #5
    Oh so would I. I am not sure how things got done before it, however there are times that I feel overwhelmed. Text messages coming up on the cell phone, VM, email from this and that. I work all day at the school just to come home and find 10 new messages in my Army AKO email with all kinds of issues popping up with my other job.

    I agree with one of the last posters. If people can't contact me now they are freaking out and wondering what is wrong and why in the world was I not available right here right now.

    Actually I could not live without my cell phone, however I find it much more distracting then the Internet is. I guess you could call it a love-hate relationship.

    What I meant by productivity is the fact that I waste a lot of time on the Internet when I could be doing other things. LOL
     
  6. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #6
    I agree. I'm honestly considering trying "lockdown" for a week and turn my mobile off and only use pay telephones when necessary. My sister's friend did this, and I think it would be an interesting experience.
     
  7. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #7
    The biggest change I noticed is that I have no need to visit public libraries anymore. Any bit of information I want to read up on is a quick Google away.
     
  8. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #8
    I'm not old enough to remember life without the internet, but I do remember when it became fast and therefore useful to me :)
     
  9. iDAG macrumors 65816

    iDAG

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Athens, Ohio
    #9
    Same but its hard to imagine life without the internet now. It's a scary thought!:eek:
     
  10. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

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    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
  11. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

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    Sep 30, 2003
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #11
    Really? I find the library has a lot of stuff I can't find anywhere else. I guess it just depends on what you're looking for.
     
  12. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    I remember back in the day, when I needed to buy a plane ticket I would haul out the phone book and call all the airlines to find their rates for my desired travel days. When AOL made it possible to make travel reservations online through their system I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.
     
  13. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #13
    I used to actually drive to the beach three times a day to check the surf and stay for a tan even when it was flat. Now it's click, click, and then back to MRforums if it's flat.:(
     
  14. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    #14
    Oh my, don't remind me of dial-up and AOL (which is much weaker now). That was pain, and when computers used to have modems... yick, so slow. Fast internet is great be it DSL or broadband, I'm just thankful I don't have to trick 'doze 2000 to load a page anymore (my mom's old fashioned, she replaced said machine 2 years ago w/ a Dell, but still used dial-up for a year after that before I begged her to get something faster :eek:). FYI, the internet has always been there in my memory, I'm only 16.
     
  15. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #15
    Agreed. There are a lot of resources there that the internet simply cannot match.
     
  16. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #16
    I go to the library whenever I need to write a paper, but if I just need or want to look up a random fact for the hell of it, I'll use Google (but not wikipedia.)
     
  17. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    Hmm.. when I lived without the internet I didn't know double digit addition. :cool: Then things picked up between 2nd and 3rd grade.
     
  18. lofight macrumors 68000

    lofight

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    #18
    i was born a little before the internet started becoming the internet.. (i'm 13) life would be strange without internet :p
     
  19. mrfrosty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    #19
    If people struggle to live without the internet for a week imagine what life will be like when oil gets too expensive to get out of the ground.
     
  20. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    Now I remember.. I got dial-up when I was probably 6 or so. Then came DSL in 4th grade and now I have 1.5Mbps DSL. (I want gigabit now :p)
     
  21. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    #21
    What you get at the library is quality-controlled information, and access to navigators (librarians). I work in a library, and you'd be surprised how many people really need and want help - not only to find information, but to evaluate it. Of course it's possible to disagree with or disprove something written in a book or article, but at least you know that someone qualified to have an opinion about the subject felt it should be published, and someone else chose that book or periodical for the collection.

    I've got news for you, the Internet was alive and well before you were born. ;):p

    From what people are writing, I think I'm older than most posters in this thread. I graduated from university in 1987, and computers were not any part of our everyday life then. Landlines / pay phones were the only alternative if you wanted to call. I remember being fascinated when I found out what a fax was, in about 1986. I couldn't believe how convenient it was. :D
     
  22. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #22
    the question should also be , "Life after the internet" am i really going to be posting here when i'm old and grey?:D
     
  23. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #23
    Sure unless there's something better to post on. Brain to disk community bulletin boards.... :)
     
  24. Spanners macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells, UK
    #24
    God I must be getting old!

    I remember when BBS's where all the rage and 1200 baud modems did the trick. A "fast computer" had an 8086 processor and "Windows" was pointless because I was already at the command prompt, what was the point of loading another really complicated program just to copy a file!

    What scares me is the thought that there are people alive now that have known nothing else but the internet. That includes some of the posts above.

    And I am only 29! :eek:
     
  25. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #25
    older than dirt...

    First time I used computers they were mainframes and I accessed them remotely over teletype lines, that was in the 70s.

    First personal computer I owned was in the 80s. Somewhere in the back room in a drawer there's a 300baud modem that was my window to the bbs world. Talk about text messaging. And flames. People who put a sig longer than 25 characters and used it more than twice were practically charbroiled for it.
     

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