15 Examples of How Different Life Was Before The Internet

Before the internet, life was very different than today. Although some things have not changed like eating, other aspects of life then are unrecognizable today.

Life before the internet for everyone, including engineers, was very different to today. Many who lived through these 'Dark Ages' will tell you how life seemed to be less busy, less stressful and, frankly, more enjoyable. 


ARPANET, or How the Internet Was Born

But, of course, other things were a lot harder. Today we have never had an easier time accessing any information, shopping, work or start a business.

In the following article we've collected some of the funniest, and most poignant, tweets, memes and other images that sum up life before the 'net'. 

Enjoy and feel free to add your examples in the comments.

1. Amazon was just a river

life before the internet mixtapes

Source: thechive

Long before Spotify, mp3's or peer to peer file sharing existed you had to either save up some money to buy official copies of songs or tape them off the radio. Many of us who lived before the internet would spend hours waiting for that one particular tune to play and hurriedly press the record button in time.

Sometimes we were 'thrown a bone' and could tape the latest top 10, 20 or 100 charts but for those less popular tunes, you had to put in the effort. The youth of today will never understand the satisfaction of perfectly timing it to cut out the DJ's, often inane, contributions.

Dark days.

3. You had to leave the house to socialize

life before the internet dating
Source: thechive

Long before the internet, if you wanted to go on a date you'd either have to pluck up the courage to ask in person, send the request by proxy (usually you long-suffering best-friend) or better yet slip them a pre-date questionnaire.

Of course, this still goes on today but to a lesser extent, thanks to apps like Tinder. The internet has changed the dating game forever

5. Encyclopedias, the Library, and Encarta '95 was Google

Long before Google was even a glint in Sergey Brin and Larry Page's eyes you had to work to find information. There used to be things called books, specifically encyclopedias, buildings with books (called a library) and for those more tech savvy the might Encarta '95.

These were dark times when you need to actually search, and read, through reams of text for the information you're after. How things have changed. 

Of course, it had its benefits. It would take an equally incredible amount of effort for someone to check any statements of fact if not common knowledge - which was handy at times. 

6. Web design was exclusive to Arachnids

Office life before the internet was a lot harder than today. If you wanted to look at cute cat pictures, and still look like you were working, you had a tough time. 

Activities like staring out the window or those 'inspirational' posters was a much riskier way to waste time in the office. Today you can check out that latest funny meme or watch videos on YouTube whilst appearing to be hard at work.

Procrastination has never been easier - aren't we lucky.

8. Social media posts were actually posted on a real wall

Before the internet, if you wanted to put up some information for everyone to see you actually needed to physically affix it to a wall. Yes, a hardcopy post needed to be printed carried somewhere and stuck to a noticeboard, wall or other surfaces. 

Granted this didn't mean you didn't receive 'grief' from this kind of activity. Oftentimes other nefarious members of the public could, and often would, deface you finely crafted notice or scrawl childish imagery on it. 

Some things never change.

10. Mobile gaming was very different indeed

When mobile (cell) phones have first released the idea you could one-day play games on them would be unthinkable. But when the first Nokia's came with games like Snake it would change the world of gaming forever.

Today, with games like World of Tanks, it is amazing to think people before the internet could actually glean enjoyment out them. The post-internet generations will never understand the satisfaction of playing them - a shame.

11. Did we mention things called books?

Before the internet, as we've already mentioned, people use to have to research stuff in books. But these strange objects could also be used for entertainment.

Yes, that's right, people used to actually read books for exposure to immersive storylines and fantasy worlds. Incredible.

12. Multiplayer games needed a table

Who remembers board games or Subbuteo? To play multiplayer games before the internet you actually needed to meet up with friends to play sports or board/tabletop games.

Although board games have been around for a long time the 70s to 90's saw an explosion in tabletop games like Subbuteo and war games like Warhammer and Warhammer 40K.

Although their popularity did fall after the mass-adoption of the internet they have started to see something of a revival in recent years. Long years, it may continue to exist,

13. Trolls were mythical creatures

before the internet trolls
Source: John Bauer/Wikimedia Commons

Before the internet, a troll was something out of children's stories or those ugly child's toy. Not just that you actually had to politely disagree with someone in public. 

Whilst the internet has opened up a literal world of opportunity to us all the anonymity of some platforms seems to bring out the darker side of human beings. How some behave on the internet today would be unthinkable in the world before the internet.

14. People used to send letters not emails

life before the internet emails

Source: benhallbenhall

Long before the internet people had to use a tool called a pen and another piece of equipment called 'paper' to actually write messages to one another. The finished message would need to be enclosed in more paper, called an envelope, postage needed to be paid and the letter sent and delivered by people.

The entire process would take days and you could never be sure the recipient received it let alone read it. Today we are spoiled with something called 'email' that does all this at the speed of light. 

Such amazing times we live in.

15. Selfies in the 90's required sophisticated tech

In the distant bygone days of the 1990's if you wanted to take a selfie you needed some highly sophisticated tech. Whilst some could use a Polaroid camera others found more ingenious methods of achieving this feat. 

One particularly ingenious method was to use a GameBoy, Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer setup. Kids today will never understand or care more likely.

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