10 Things That People Used To Do Before The Internet Era

Can you imagine living in a world where there is no Facebook, Instagram or YouTube? It must be unthinkable for those who have grown accustomed to them. But back before all these even existed, people during the pre-Internet era had to make do with the limited technology and whatnot. Well, here are the 10 things below that they did:


1) Create Mixtapes… Physically

Making your own playlist is pretty easy these days. You can do it via music apps like iTunes, Spotify and Windows Media Player. But back then, it had to be done the old-fashioned way. You would need a blank cassette tape that typically plays up to 45 minutes on each side (Side A & Side B), as well as a dual cassette deck or a boombox (the one that comes with one or two cassette decks, radio and/or CD player) to create a mixtape.

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2) Ask For Directions

Not sure how to go to the particular shop that serves the best nasi lemak in town? Or perhaps, you lost your way while trying to locate your friend’s new home? You are lucky enough to live in today’s era where a little thing called GPS is convenient enough. But the pre-Internet era required people to ask someone¬†else for directions. Otherwise, you need to pay attention to the name of the street or rely on a paper map, particularly if you are driving out of town.

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3) Do Research At The Library Or Bookstore

Need an answer to a particular question? Google or other search engines are your best friends that you can count on. Too bad there was no such convenience back in the pre-Internet era. Looking for answers meant that you need to get up and head to the nearest library or bookstore.

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4) Buy Music Or Movies At The Store

While we still can get our favourite music or movie in a physical format, most of us these days have grown accustomed to digital media. That means getting what we want via an app store or media service providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime. And as long as you have a strong Internet connection, you can download it in a short period of time. But back during the pre-Internet era, we had to make our way to the store that sells music and/or movie collections.

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5) Photos Need To Be Printed Out

Nowadays, you don’t have to print out a photo unless you really want to. You can easily post them on social media like Facebook and Instagram. Not to mention smartphones and digital cameras these days enable you to adjust settings like filters, white balance and ISO levels. But the old-school era means after taking your photos with your camera, you need to get them printed out at the photo store.

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6) Waiting For News

Social/digital media like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are typically a go-to source to get all the latest news… instantly. If you lived in a pre-Internet era, you had to wait for news to be reported on the TV, radio or newspaper.

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7) Doing Actual Shopping

Okay, physical shopping still matters but there are many people who would prefer the convenience of online shopping. You can practically buy almost anything from clothes to gadgets and groceries with just a few clicks. But the word “convenience” barely exists in the old days. We need to get out and do our shopping at a physical store or mall.

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8) Making Phone Call Using A Public Payphone If You Are Outside

Remember those coin-operated payphones in the public area? There are no smartphones back in the day where we can easily call, text or WhatsApp a person. If you are outside and you need to make a phone call to someone, you just have to locate a nearest public payphone. Those who live through the pre-Internet era before would sometimes understand the frustration of using a public payphone. For instance, there are times a payphone is missing a handset due to vandalism.

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9) Writing Letters Or Other Things By Hand

The Internet era made writing easier and more convenient than ever before, thanks to the likes of emails, note-taking & messaging apps. But the old days require us to use a good old-fashioned pen and paper to write things down. This includes everything from school assignments to formal/informal letters. Although things like word processors and typewriters did exist back in the day, they weren’t particularly common.

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10) Physical Meet-Ups

There is no such thing as “online friends” back in the day. Even if you are too lazy to meet up with your best friend, you can’t just settle with online chats using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. None of these exists. Meeting a friend or someone means you need to set a date and hang out at a designated area.

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