There is no imagining what life would be without the internet. We are so in tuned to the world through the World Wide Web that even a few minutes of disconnect can feel disastrous.
But a little over two decades ago, there was no web, but there was life.
Today though, as we celebrate the internet’s 25th anniversary; it’s difficult to imagine a time when there was no YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia or Google.
So, looking back, here are five things we used to do when we did not have the internet:
We Had Bulky Encyclopedias And Dictionaries Lining Our Shelves
Phonebooks, encyclopedias, reference books and dictionaries would fill our bookshelves and bedside tables. Getting information was a tiresome and lengthy procedure before the internet and Google became common.
We Remembered Phone Numbers And Addresses
Not many people born in and after the 90s would remember the bulky Yellow Pages or the indexed diaries that were kept by the phone. Since the phones were dialed manually, most of the numbers were etched in our memory. That is a rare thing in the days since everything is online and done by pressing a few buttons.
Songs came in CDs or cassettes. There was no music downloaded directly from the web or heard on Soundcloud and YouTube.
And oh, you had to pay for it.
Letter Writing/Pen Pals
A handwritten letter from a friend or a relative has become a rare and nostalgic event. Before the internet; letters, birthday and anniversary cards were handwritten and posted. They took their merry time reaching the other party and then one had to wait for a reply.
No instant traveling of news from all over the world back then. Even for nationwide news, one had to wait several hours and at times even the next day to keep up with current affairs.
The most amazing thing is that the world didn’t come to an end - people survived, in fact even thrived.
But quite honestly; imagining life now, without the instant news travel and getting things done at the touch of a screen within seconds; is pretty difficult.
It may not be an exaggeration to say that for the children born in the 2000s, all these things may just as well sound like tales our own parents tell us of walking miles to school, mending clothes and ‘leaving home with a dollar in my pocket.’