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Do You Remember Life Before The Internet


Castiel233
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What did you do with your time...........how different was your life ?

 

 

Back then you had to go to a store to get porn.

We actually made eye contact with the people we talked to.

We were rarely in the house and usually blocks away in some vacant lot, in the woods, or at the river playing, hunting, fishing, building, making out, whatever.

 

All these comments cause me to think of what is known as nature deficit disorder — kids who know nothing of nature and the outdoors. I have one 11-year-old grandson who lives on 6 acres in a rural area but he has a special room in the house fitted out with two laptops, a desktop, an iPod, an iPhone and a large screen TV with a special chair designed to control all the video games. This is his exclusive stuff. I have seen him get up in the morning and, except for meals and bathroom breaks, sit there the whole day glued to the games on his multitude of screens, pausing from time to time to fill his face with Cheetos and soda. The adults in his life let him do it. I would not be the least surprised if he's never walked to the back fence of his property. He never, ever, rides in the car and just looks out the window — his head is always down into his iPod or phone. Unfortunately I live too far away to influence him in other directions.

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What did you do with your time...........how different was your life ?

 

 

Back then you had to go to a store to get porn.

We actually made eye contact with the people we talked to.

We were rarely in the house and usually blocks away in some vacant lot, in the woods, or at the river playing, hunting, fishing, building, making out, whatever.

 

All these comments cause me to think of what is known as nature deficit disorder — kids who know nothing of nature and the outdoors. I have one 11-year-old grandson who lives on 6 acres in a rural area but he has a special room in the house fitted out with two laptops, a desktop, an iPod, an iPhone and a large screen TV with a special chair designed to control all the video games. This is his exclusive stuff. I have seen him get up in the morning and, except for meals and bathroom breaks, sit there the whole day glued to the games on his multitude of screens, pausing from time to time to fill his face with Cheetos and soda. The adults in his life let him do it. I would not be the least surprised if he's never walked to the back fence of his property. He never, ever, rides in the car and just looks out the window — his head is always down into his iPod or phone. Unfortunately I live too far away to influence him in other directions.

 

Redneck Jr. had a tablet at one time.  He'd play on it for a couple of hours and then get bored and go outside.  Despite the lack of a gaming console in our house, those couple of hours still annoyed me.  Fortunately, Mrs. Redneck is prone to losing things, so when she took it away from him as a punishment, it was never seen again.  I expect I should buy him a new one sometime soon; it's been two years, now.

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     I didn't encounter the internet until I met the girl, who would become my wife, when I was in my early twenties.  So there's lots of stuff that I did before the internet.  And after I "discovered" the internet it wasn't publicly available for a few more years after that so there lots that I did after the internet too.  When it became publicly available I opened my own ISP to sell it to others and spent more time running the business than using the internet.  It wasn't until I closed down, after some health issues and the telcos took over everything, that I really just sit and use the net hour after hour for no good reason.

 

     I tend to get bored with the net.  I like to veg in front of the tv.  I don't make any pretense that when I'm wasting time that I'm being "productive" that most people do when they're using the net.  Just like people who pretend books are better, won't even own a tv, but they're just reading the equivalent of a sit-com.  Same shit different format.

 

          mwc

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Technology vs the outdoors?

 

Geocaching - made me hike up some pretty big hills (mountains) to snag that cache and place new ones. Technology mixed with the great outdoors.

Pokemon Go, Ingress, and a number of other smart phone/gps go-find-it games. Technology with exercise.

The Fitbit - Technology to make you walk. :)

Amateur Radio Field Day - Nerds in the great outdoors.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_Day_(amateur_radio)

Amateur Radio HFPack - Portable radio nerding. http://www.hfpack.com/

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What did you do with your time...........how different was your life ?

 

 

Back then you had to go to a store to get porn.

We actually made eye contact with the people we talked to.

We were rarely in the house and usually blocks away in some vacant lot, in the woods, or at the river playing, hunting, fishing, building, making out, whatever.

 

All these comments cause me to think of what is known as nature deficit disorder — kids who know nothing of nature and the outdoors. I have one 11-year-old grandson who lives on 6 acres in a rural area but he has a special room in the house fitted out with two laptops, a desktop, an iPod, an iPhone and a large screen TV with a special chair designed to control all the video games. This is his exclusive stuff. I have seen him get up in the morning and, except for meals and bathroom breaks, sit there the whole day glued to the games on his multitude of screens, pausing from time to time to fill his face with Cheetos and soda. The adults in his life let him do it. I would not be the least surprised if he's never walked to the back fence of his property. He never, ever, rides in the car and just looks out the window — his head is always down into his iPod or phone. Unfortunately I live too far away to influence him in other directions.

 

 

That's sad. I read the other day that Steve Jobs wouldn't let his kid have an iPad for the reasons you mention here: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/steve-jobs-apple-ipad-children-technology-birthday-a6893216.html

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when porn were (still is) illegal, get the vendor to send porn VCRs to doorstep to rent

 

face time means face to face time

 

stacks of unsorted photographs of various sizes

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I also remember when a cars turn signal was a white light & the dimmer switch was on the floor.

 

I miss having the dimmer switch on the floor. That was quite convenient.

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When I was a kid, LOTS of TV. I remember begging for a quarter to play PONG in a local store (I could control the dots on the TV!!!!). Flashlight wars in the park after dark. Magazines were a lot more common in the house. MAD magazine, Cracked, lots of comic books. Nudity wasn't easily available unless you knew someone with a stash of magazines or found one in a trash bin, or "art" photography books at the library. Played with a pitch-back baseball device (springy net that would send the ball back when you pitch to it). Glow in the dark stuff was very cool. Black light stuff always had a sort of "grown up naughty" feel to it. Phones were from "the phone company", and they could tell if you were messing with their stuff or had extra phones on the line you didn't rent from them. The Carpenters, John Denver, Saturday morning cartoons and kids shows, Planet of the Apes movies, all the disaster movies and later the Airplane spoof movies.

 

Later in life renting videotapes and a VCR. I remember the first CD I ever heard (Dire Straits Money for Nothing) I couldn't believe how crisp and clear the sound was compared with phonograph.

 

These days I spend rather a lot of time online, but barely ever watch TV. Magazines are only in a dentist's office waiting room.

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I found it impossible to learn anything. Make 20 phone calls to get an answer to a simple question. Ask professors for answers to questions we have now if we can type a search. Oodles of effort to learn one little thing.

Contacting a distant friend had to be done via writing letters to previous addresses, or searching records for phone numbers and making a few calls.

Newspapers and classifieds there were your link to the rest of the world. That and word of mouth.

Libraries had to send letters to request things from other libraries, but how did you know what you wanted to request? You didn't.

To buy anything you had to find and go to the right store. God help you if you needed something they didn't want to ship from NY when you lived in Chicago. Road trip!!

 

As a kid I played outside. Played. Yah. I was fucked up. An arson, a vandal, a thief, a disturber of the peace, and I beat up my girlfriend. Not that the internet would have helped with any of that. Maybe. But I was creative too. Had hobbies. Studied Native American culture. The noble savage.

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Before facebook, my friends and I had "the notebooks."

 

One of the funniest guys in the group would buy one of those 99 cent spiral notebooks, and he'd write a question on top of every page. Sometimes it was the opening line of a joke, sometimes a specific question and sometimes just a random question like, "What's your favorite time of day?" We'd pass the notebook around, answering all the questions and reading the answers everyone else wrote. I remember rolling on the floor with laughter (literally, not "ROFL") at some of the answers. Man, the good old days.

 

We'd also sit around the train station or someone's house and talk, listen to records, play instruments. We'd take mini road trips to the woods and explore "haunted" locations. We'd walk around downtown and play hacky sack wherever we felt like it. We hung out in 24 hour diners a lot. We'd go to music shows in back alleys. And we'd just show up to people's houses and see if they were home.

 

I think I just miss the 90s.

 

Oh yes, and before blogs, there were zines. My friend and I used to make them.

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When I was a kid, I would wait for the radio to play songs I liked and would try and press the record button on my cassette player quickly enough to not lose too much of the beginning of the song. This is how my friends and I made our mix tapes. 

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When I was a kid, I would wait for the radio to play songs I liked and would try and press the record button on my cassette player quickly enough to not lose too much of the beginning of the song. This is how my friends and I made our mix tapes. 

 

Oh yes. I had so many of these.

 

To this day when I hear certain songs, I also hear the DJ talking over the beginning or end of it the way it was on my recording. It's burnt into my memory from playing it hundreds of times over.

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Before the internet, my life sucked much more. Libraries are full of books I can't read and I find being stuck in a car (aka enclosed metal box) for hours on end painfully under-stimulating. I'd socialize much less if I couldn't use sites like meetup to find groups who shared interests with me. Having only face-to-face contact means that I can only communicate with people in locations I can get to, which are few. And of course if I wanted to use mass transit to find some new place, I couldn't look up directions. So before the internet, my life consisted of limited books, limited information and limited contact with like-minded people. Finally, the internet gave me enough information to kill my belief in god. I can't imagine wanting to go back to a life of ignorance, enclosed boxes, people who make no sense to me and books I can't read. The internet has saved me!

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Interesting question Castiel. I often think about how the Internet is essential to every day life (for me both personal and work). We carry smartphones in our pockets which allow us to access the Internet from pretty much anywhere, and being very much the phone aficionado, the role that the Internet plays in my life is not lost on me. But I seldom think about what life was like without it. I was into science and computers from a pretty early age, and my dad was an engineer, so my Internet-free life amounts to a fairly small fraction of my time in this world. I'm 32 now, and I think my parents got their first Internet subscription when I was 10 or so. Even before that, I was into programming, so my eyes were never far from a CRT screen. I suppose that before the Internet, much of my time used to be spent playing outside with friends, or playing indoors on the good ol' NES. I still play NES on at least a monthly basis, by the way.

 

What I find more interesting than the days before the Internet is the early days of the Internet, specifically the World Wide Web. Gopher, Usenet, Telnet and BBS services were around for years before, but the advent of the WWW is when the Internet really became commonplace and accessible to those outside of academia. I was one of those weirdos with websites on GeoCities and and Tripod, and who spent countless hours discussing astrophysics on Usenet newsgroups. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that the Internet was a much more fun place back in those days. Back then I could find personal websites dedicated to whatever I was interested in, whether it be sci-fi, tech, or the latest novels. Seems to me that these days, personal websites have been replaced with Facebook and other social media. I'm certainly all for social media, but I do wish that the personal home page had survived into this decade.

 

Alas, I suppose it's of limited value to lament an Internet long forgotten. Suffice it to say, I remember a time before the Internet, but nonetheless think that life has been enriched by it rather than diminished.

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When I was a kid, I would wait for the radio to play songs I liked and would try and press the record button on my cassette player quickly enough to not lose too much of the beginning of the song. This is how my friends and I made our mix tapes. 

 

Oh, I remember doing that, as well.

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When I was a kid, I would wait for the radio to play songs I liked and would try and press the record button on my cassette player quickly enough to not lose too much of the beginning of the song. This is how my friends and I made our mix tapes. 

 

Oh, I remember doing that, as well.

 

Radios were one of the ways the devil and his minions entered our home when I was a kid; so they were verboten.  I suppose the internet has now replaced radio as the portal to hell.

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Ah, you young'uns crack me up. Most of what you post is recent history. I'm old enough to remember using a wall-mounted party-line phone. Lift the receiver, crank a few turns and wait for the operator. Tell her who you want to talk to and she'll plug you in. A long-distance call had to be made through the l.d. operator. Give her the number and in 10 minutes or so she'd call back after the connection was made. In today's money, it would be about $30 for three minutes, so such calls were only for very important stuff.

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...

 

Regarding going out and doing stuff, contemporary technology has enhanced this for me as opposed to the opposite. GPS and online trail guides have allowed me to plan and plot many outdoor adventures and wearable technology has enabled me to train knowing how much I'm climbing and it gives me an idea of effort levels. I've been able to plan multi day bikepacking trips out into the wild with the confidence that I have an idea of what to expect and can venture out into the "wilderness" better prepared.

 

...

Be careful out there with GPS. There was a very serious search and rescue in the wilderness near here for some guys who got lost because the GPS they had failed. They could have died. GPS is fine but always back it up with a paper topo chart and a compass and the knowledge of how to use them.

I learned land navigation in the Army and am reasonably good at using topo maps and a compass for basic movement across terrain and terrain feature identification. This is basically what you do when completing land navigation courses. You find the distance and plot a heading, then identify major terrain features close to your point. Finally, you close in and identify the number on the marker placed at said point, then rinse and repeat.

 

However, if I'm to be honest, nothing comes close to GPS when moving long distances on singletrack and double track trails at speeds that generally exceed what I'm able to do on foot.

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