The internet in its classical sense is only thirty years old, yet now we have no idea how to live without it. But life was also pretty good in the days before the internet! And in this life, there were a lot of really cool things that we now miss so much.

Actually, the word "we" refers mostly to people who remember those times well. When Facebook was just a collection of photos of your classmates and Amazon was just a kind of parrot. When Pacman was the big game of the year and Michael Jordan was just a budding rookie.

There is an incredibly popular thread on Reddit with 45.5K upvotes and over 17.2K different comments answering just one simple question: "People old enough to remember life pre-internet, what are some less obvious things you miss about that time?"

Bored Panda made a selection of the most nostalgic and warm memories of those wonderful times of cassette recorders, Bird - Magic rivalry and the Back to the Future movie. We guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your parents are going to love it.

More info: Reddit

#1

No Cell Phones

No Cell Phones Leaving home and just being gone for the day. No cell phones. If there were cameras, it was really different. You used them to take pictures of things or had people take pictures of you. But there was no social media to preoccupy your mind. It was just doing something. And whoever you were with, was who you were with.

NakedKittyAlucard , Taavi Randmaa Report

BadCat
Community Member
1 month ago

Technically, we can still do this. We, as a society, have to put our foot down and create our boundaries when it comes to being contacted. Not available. Too bad, so sad.

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#2

Facts Were "Curated" In The Sense That Information Came From People With Expert Knowledge

Facts Were "Curated" In The Sense That Information Came From People With Expert Knowledge Before the internet, facts were "curated" in the sense that information came from people with expert knowledge and was distributed by journalists or teachers who were held accountable for accuracy of information. The internet has allowed crazy people to spout rubbish with hardly any filter.

Mark_Zajac , Marco Verch Report

Kalevra
Community Member
1 month ago

The snake oil saleman has not left the soap box. He simply found a stage. Its stil your job to make your own decisions about information presented to you.

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#3

Playing Outside From Morning Till Night

Playing Outside From Morning Till Night When you used to play outside and the only curfew you had was when it started getting dark outside.

SnooDoughnuts231 , Donnie Ray Jones Report

Lisa H
Community Member
1 month ago

When the street lamps come on, it's time to come in.

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#4

Simplicity. Just Simplicity

Simplicity. Just Simplicity Simplicity. I don't even know how to describe it. Like my days were filled with playing outside or swimming or reading in tree out front.

eschuylerhamilton , oandu. Report

Kalevra
Community Member
1 month ago

Glad my childhood turned out this way.

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#5

The Saturday Morning Cartoons And Sitcoms

The Saturday Morning Cartoons And Sitcoms The Saturday morning cartoons and sitcoms I watched.

LilacEtoile , Mike Mozart Report

Demongrrrrl
Community Member
1 month ago

Don't forget Schoolhouse Rock! Conjunction Junction, what's your function?...

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#6

Less Negativity

Less Negativity For me it would be less negativity. Back then I was less aware of what was going on around the world outside of where I lived but now it’s almost instant coverage of the bad things happening everywhere.

BiffChildFromBangor , John Brighenti Report

Julie C Rose
Community Member
1 month ago

This is a double-edged sword - if you have too little awareness of what’s going on in the world, you won’t be motivated to help put it right, but if you hear too much about it, you get burned out. You have to learn to find that balance.

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#7

Having An Attention Span Of More Than Three Seconds

Having An Attention Span Of More Than Three Seconds I miss having an attention span of more than three seconds

twomorelambbhunas , Romain Toornier Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
1 month ago

I often find that the problem is..... sorry, forgot what I was about to say.

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#8

Not Being Accessible To Your Boss 14 Hours A Day

Not Being Accessible To Your Boss 14 Hours A Day Not being accessible to my boss 14 hours a day.

AUSavage77 , Sascha Kohlmann Report

Kalevra
Community Member
1 month ago

Just, dont answer your phone. It what i do.

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#9

When You Left Work Or School It Was Over For The Day

When You Left Work Or School It Was Over For The Day Privacy. When you left work or school it was over for the day. There were no further interactions unless they were close friends. Hanging out. Teens and young adults spent a lot of time away from home with friends, at malls, movie theaters, parks, arcades, etc. Dating. You met someone at school, work, at a party, at a bar, or through friend. Money. Cash was king, debit cards didn’t exist, and many businesses didn’t accept credit cards (fast food, for example.) Planners and Address books. Write it down! Appointments, birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, reminders, etc. Photo Albums. Taking the time to buy film for a party or special occasion or just because and having 24 photos you could take (with no way to see the final photo until you took it to be developed.) Road maps. Going anywhere you haven’t been before? Better stop at a gas station and buy a map. Shopping. Go to the store and see what they have. Do the local stores not have what you need? Try looking in a catalog, maybe you can mail order it. Music. On the radio and on MTV. Buy records, cassette, or CDs. Make mix tapes to create your own playlists. If you don’t record it off the radio or buy it there is no way of finding it again. There was so much “not knowing” which made the world seem so much bigger and exotic. Now everything feels noisy and petty.

Jane_doel , Metro Centric Report

KB
Community Member
1 month ago

All of this!!! I really miss those days

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#10

Complete Control Of My Own Destiny

Complete Control Of My Own Destiny My formative years were the 1980s. I remember like yesterday going to study in Paris my junior year of college. I got off the plane with no cell phone, no internet, a Let's Go Paris book, and just a hostel address written on a piece of paper I'd stuck in a French dictionary. I did not know a single person in all of France.

I had $500 of cash stuck in a money belt. The belt was tight and sweaty but that money had to last me for at least a month until I could find a part-time job with my lousy French. My "credit card" was my father's credit card numbers written down on a piece of paper. He told me I could only use it to buy a plane ticket home in an emergency.

I remember standing in the airport and having this powerful emotion of being 21 years old, scared shitless, but in absolutely completely control of my own destiny. There was absolutely nobody who could come rushing to my aid if I needed it. I was 100% on my own.

I'm actually very thankful for that experience. I found the hostel. I found a job. I made friends. I learned French. I made it all on my own which was just a big boost in life confidence.

I have no doubt if I'd had a cell phone I would've called my parents on Day 2, told them it was too hard, and been on the next plane home. But I had no other choice but to succeed.

gold_and_diamond , Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
1 month ago

For all the anxiety inducing thoughts this post has given me, ironically it also feels exciting and great.

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#11

Going To The Library To Research Things

Going To The Library To Research Things Going to the library to research things. I loved getting a big pile of books on a table, taking notes, getting photocopies. It was an experience in itself.


Also, not being available to everyone all the time. I hate that almost all apps show people when you read their messages or are online. No one needs to know that I read a message and didn't reply for two hours!

InelegantSnort , Stewart Butterfield Report

Ivan H
Community Member
1 month ago

Was at the library the other day, had been many years, still love it.

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#12

Memorizing People's Phone Numbers

Memorizing People's Phone Numbers Living in the moment. Memorizing peoples phone numbers. People were less flaky. No manufactured drama over likes and dislikes.

StomachAche121 , Rawpixel Ltd Report

Lene
Community Member
1 month ago

My dad recently stopped having his landline phone. I was actually really sad about that because my parents divorced when I was very young and I learned the number to my dad's pretty fast and it gave me some sense of security that I knew his number by heart and thus would always be able to call him. That is all gone now. I still remember his number and I just can't use it anymore. My dad doesn't know how important his number was to me.

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#13

Being At A Party And Folks Not Checking Their Phones

Being At A Party And Folks Not Checking Their Phones Being at a party and folks not checking their phones. In the good old days you had to interact.

Jiltedjohn , I G Report

Antz Online
Community Member
1 month ago

Even in a restaurant, heads are down when there is good company all around the table.

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#14

The Sears Catalog

The Sears Catalog The Sears catalog. That was how I found out about all the cool new toys.

CatapultemHabeo , Claudette Gallant Report

BusyLizzy
Community Member
1 month ago

In the UK we had the Argos catalogue.

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#15

Video Rental Stores

Video Rental Stores video rental stores. i have such good memories of going to our local Mr. Movie with my dad, renting a sci-fi flick and getting candy at the checkout. streaming is cool and all, but i do miss video rental stores, mainly for nostalgic reasons.

good-witch- , Grant Baldwin Report

Boredpandahatesme
Community Member
1 month ago

That Mohawk is bitchin

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#16

Being In The Moment

Being In The Moment Being in the moment. There was little temptation to be stuck in front of a screen or a phone all of the time.

TV had a schedule and wasn’t in demand, so if something you didn’t like came on you usually went to do something else, like go outside, read a book, or whatever. Life didn’t revolve around screens, and everyone was better off for it.

It sadly seems to take far too much self control to do those things these days.

anewhand , Stephen Bowler Report

Nolgoth
Community Member
1 month ago

Tv being on demand imo means more freedom as you can watch what you want when you want instead of adhering to the schedule. Back in the day life *did* revolve around screens becausr if there was a show you were into, most people had to be right there when it aired (getting a tv and vcr with the option to be able to record live tv on vhs wasnt always a possibility for people due to cost and tech saaviness to pull off. plus it was technically illegal)

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#17

Reading Newspapers And Magazines

Reading Newspapers And Magazines Reading the newspaper and magazines used to be just about one of my favorite things.

Now it seems pointless to clutter the house with so much paper when I can access all of it online - but of course I don't. I pick and choose just a few articles, I don't really browse the way I would before and I encounter a lot fewer new or enlightening things.

Getting the Sunday New York Times and then going out for brunch and reading it with your friends/dates was such a treat.

I used to get so excited when my favorite magazines came in the mail, I'd immediately sit down and leaf through them and see what was worth reading right away and what could wait.

zazzlekdazzle , Magnus Karlsson Report

Vonny
Community Member
1 month ago

Still do...

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#18

Simply Getting Lost

Simply Getting Lost This is gonna sound dumb but... getting lost. Like, it was bad a lot of the time too but sometimes not knowing exactly where you were going led to unexpected and awesome consequences.

KickpuncherJ , liquidcrash Report

Lene
Community Member
1 month ago

I sometimes make myself be lost. I do have my phone with me, usually, but I won't check google maps to see where I am. Sometimes it's nice to just explore and be in the present. Sure, my anxiety will go bananas while I am lost.... but when I figure out where I am/how to get to my destination, I feel like I conquered something bad in my self. And that feels good! :)

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#19

When You Bought New Music You Just Had To Hope It Was Good

When You Bought New Music You Just Had To Hope It Was Good When you bought new music you just had to hope it was good. The single might be popular but otherwise unless someone had it you just bought it and hoped for the best.

LewisEFurr , yomayoma Report

Kalevra
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Columbia Records Subscription.

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#20

The Instant Win Bottle Caps / Candy / Chocolate Bar Wrappers

The Instant Win Bottle Caps / Candy / Chocolate Bar Wrappers The instant win bottle caps / candy / chocolate bar wrappers where you could turn them back into the store and immediately get a free one. Now it's just codes you have to register on their website so they can get your info, i don't even bother anymore.

SuperNobody-MWO , Daniel Spiess Report

Boris Long-Johnson
Community Member
1 month ago

Walkers crisps (Lays?) used to do a giveaway with actual cash in little sachets - quite often you’d get £5 or £10 notes. Some people even claimed to have got £20!

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#21

The Smell Of Encyclopedia Britannicas

The Smell Of Encyclopedia Britannicas The smell of Encyclopedia Britannicas

theWildBore , Ponenski Report

Demongrrrrl
Community Member
1 month ago

The smell of newly printed books and newspapers.

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#22

Sitting Down In The Evening To Read A Book Because There Was Nothing On TV

Sitting Down In The Evening To Read A Book Because There Was Nothing On TV Sitting down in the evening to read a book because there was nothing on tv. With today’s streaming services, there is so much more media being produced - and it’s all available at the click of a button whenever you damn well please. It can easily become an endless loop of what to watch next. I remember when there used to be 8 channels. You either had to watch “General Hospital” or find something better to do.

jsoliloquy , Pedro Ribeiro Simões Report

Kaz
Community Member
1 month ago

I remember when we just had 3 channels in the UK

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#23

Video Game Cheat Codes Spread By Word Of Mouth

Video Game Cheat Codes Spread By Word Of Mouth You had to call someone's home phone number and talk to their parents first before you could talk to your friend

Video game cheat codes either spread by gaming magazines or by word of mouth. Sometimes that word of mouth was b******t. I'm looking at you Tomb Raider nude cheat code

TheRealOcsiban , Niels van Reijmersdal Report

Mayra
Community Member
1 month ago

⬆️⬆️⬇️⬇️⬅️➡️⬅️➡️ B A Start…if you know you know

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#24

RSVPing mattered

RSVPing mattered RSVPing mattered. If you said you were going to be there, you made sure to be there. None of this facebook invites that everyone blows off without any form of social repercussions. If you said you were going to go and didn't go, you were the a*****e and everyone knew it.

APotatoPancake , Garry Knight Report

Kalevra
Community Member
1 month ago

Not sure how this changed. Ill roast the hell out of you on FB for missing my party.

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#25

No Absolute Memory Of The Internet Cache

No Absolute Memory Of The Internet Cache People would forget things you did that where maybe not the smartest..

AioliApprehensive433 , Bradford Fults Report

sofacushionfort
Community Member
1 month ago

Not if you lived in a small town

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See Also on Bored Panda
#26

The Effort That People Made To Stay In Touch

The Effort That People Made To Stay In Touch The effort that people made to stay in touch. Now, it is effortless, but people don't bother with anything but social media.

rjm167 , Marco Verch Professional P Report

Panda Who Mumbles, Constantly
Community Member
1 month ago

Back then, when people made appointments, they make effort to turn up for the appointments at said time. Now, it isn't uncommon to get a text that say 'Will be late' and turning up an hour later. Or just plain not turn up.

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#27

News Only Being On At 6pm

News Only Being On At 6pm News only being on at 6pm. That was it. Now we have 6 hours of local news and 24 hours of cable news. Not being bombarded all day with "news." And when you saw "Breaking News" on the screen you knew some serious s**t went down.

Edit: My old brain interpreted "pre internet" as "when you were a kid". So yeah cable news was a thing ore internet. But you all know what I mean. When I was a kid local news was noon for 30 minutes and 6pm for 30 minutes, then Network news was 6:39 for 39 minutes. I think local might have had an 11pm too but I don't remember for sure.

Drumwife91 , frankieleonFollow Report

A.
Community Member
1 month ago

I used to be a news junkie but weaned myself down to local weather in the mornings, no mid-day news, & evening news until I get bored or sick of the stories being run.

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#28

Innocence. No Easy Access To The Scary Content

Innocence.

The ease at which even a kid can gain access to the scariest of content (or super serious content) is such a drastic change from the 90s early 2000s.

TGS_Holdings Report

RK Barbo
Community Member
1 month ago

I will say specifically the amount and variety of porn available at a click to kids who definitely should not be viewing it is frightening. These aren't just booby pics in a magazine.

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#29

Mix Tapes

Mix tapes.

happyjappypappy Report

Lene
Community Member
1 month ago

I still have a tape player. And I can make mix taoes on it. AND I have a few tapes that hasn't been opened yet. Some day I'm gonna make a mix tape of all my fav music of all time and I'll give it to my kids to hear. They won't be able to just skip the songs they don't like. Lol.

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#30

The Absolute Absence Of Push Notifications

The Absolute Absence Of Push Notifications The absolute absence of push notifications.

Life just waited for you like a good person.

MacarioTala , KylaBorg Report

Ivan H
Community Member
1 month ago

Just turn them off? My partner was always freaking about notifications from her work outside of hours....told her to turn them off and shes been much happier since.

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