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17th September 2010 |  Written by Justin Butcher

6 Things We Used To Do Before The Internet

It’s my birthday today I am in a nostalgic mood. Being the oldest person in the office (although Dave is rapidly catching me up) I remember a time before the internet and digital marketing and it got me thinking about what life was actually like before everybody went online. The internet has changed all of our lives, mostly for the better although personally I do miss some aspects of the old days. So for the purposes of nostalgia for the old gits like me and as an education for the youngsters out there here are 6 things we used to do before the internet:

1) We used to use teletext


Teletext was brilliant. It was a resource for news, sport, horroscopes and crap quizzes. For those of you that don’t know, it was like a rubbish internet that you could access through the tv. Whereas you can now watch pretty much any football match you want via a dodgy internt stream, many a Saturday afternoon in my youth was spent refreshing page 303 on teletext to see the latest football scores. No, really.

2) We used to spell words properly


In the golden age before text messaging and the internet, people actually used to write words properly. While I blame the advent of text messaging for such monstrosities such as ’2day’ and ‘m8′, I blame the internet for spreading this habit across the world. Does it really take that much longer to type ‘today’ and ‘mate’ on your keyboard? Lol.

3) We used to buy porn in newsagents


In times gone by one of the most nerve wracking experiences teenagers used to face was the moment when you were peer pressured into attempting to buy a pornographic magazine from the local newsagent, it was a rite of passage. The easy availability of porn on the internet has put an end to this activity. Also the ‘porn in the woods’ phenomenon appears to have come to an end. If you are too young to know what I’m referring to, ask someone older.

4) We used to watch television as families


In pre-internet days, especially in the winter, there really wasn’t much to do in the evenings except watch television. These days the internet and the advent of on-demand television mean that families rarely sit together to watch television in the evenings and it is no longer the shared experience it once was. There was a time that families used to gather round the tv every night after dinner to watch such classic television as ‘Wogan’. As I said before, the internet has mostly improved our lives.

5) We used to have to remember things


A good memory used to be something that society valued. However with so much information a few mouse clicks away simple storage and retrieval of information from your own head is not so important anymore, what is more important is how you use the information. Thankfully for me today, it seems no one needs to remember birthdays anymore either – Facebook does it for them.

6) We used to write proper articles and not endless lists such as this one


Attention spans have become short. Due to the sheer amount of information instantly available to us these days if we see an entire page of text we are in all likelihood going to click off and go to another site with images and videos. The way article writers have got round this problem is to break their articles down into easily readable chunks or lists. For example I could haveĀ  written a more in depth analysis about how the internet has changed all our lives but it’s Friday and I suspect none of you would have read it, would you?

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