Arizona November 11, 2015
10 Things People In Arizona Did Before The Internet Took Over Our Lives
I remember back in 1998 when my family first connected to the Internet. Shortly after my parents signed up with AOL, I discovered email, instant messaging and fan fiction. Oh, yeah, and there was that fun dial-up
intro song we all grew to love.
Since the Internet required a phone connection back then, any time spent online was severely limited in my household. I suspect most people didn’t spend their lives connected to their computers as people seem to be with their smartphones today. Let’s take a step back and remember some of the things we used to do far more frequently in those pre-Internet days.
1. Cruise Central or whatever other main drag you had in your town.
My dad used to do this as late as the 1980s before the city began cracking down on this. I'm sad I never had the chance to experience it.
2. Back then, you would never know someone hiked up and down Bright Angel Trail unless they personally told you.
Now, you can see their Facebook status with a series of photos and even a GPS live tracking for everyone to watch.
3. You could also enjoy a meal with a real conversation and without someone snapping a photo of their meal before eating.
I snapped this photo one day while eating alone at a restaurant. These two men walked in, sat across from each other, and spent their entire meal looking at their phones. By the way, I am guilty of taking pictures of my meals...
4. We got our news and weather information from the daily paper, the morning news, or the radio.
When I was a kid, I used to plan my daily outfit by checking the backpage of the “Valley & State” section of the
Republic. These days, a quick look at the weather app on my phone does the trick.
5. Kids spent a large part of their free time outdoors instead of hunched over a screen.
That is, unless you were a weird kid like me who spent nearly all free time reading. My siblings and cousins, though, always came home dusty, messy, and sweaty--a sign of good times.
6. This also meant having to figure out what to do when playing in the dirt became boring. We may have been a little more creative before the Internet.
I mean, there's only so much you can do with dirt before you're pushing around stinkbugs in the dirt yet AGAIN.
7. Disagreements and debates could be blunt yet civil.
Ever read the comments section of any website? Some people can be downright rude by saying anything and everything that comes to mind because it is easy to hide behind the computer. I know we Arizonans tend to be opinionated and passionate, but showing respect for others when in disagreement is a larger testament to who we are than being able to randomly throw insults.
8. We made mixtapes and recorded our favorite songs off the radio.
Timing the song perfectly was always difficult because your cassette was either just short on time or the DJ talked over the song. I didn't keep any of my cassettes, but my sister has a few still floating around.
9. Work was a little easier to leave behind.
There used to be a time when reading and responding to work emails on your phone or completing projects via a cloud wasn't a daily habit. These days, who isn't guilty of this?
10. If we wanted to watch a new movie, that meant having to drive to the local theatre, buy tickets, buy snacks and wait for the movie to start. Otherwise, you had to wait for it to come out on video.
Or, if you're older, you had to hope it showed on TV one day. We have it easy these days where movies are streamed right to our TV, sometimes even the same day the movie premieres.
How many of these things do you still happen to do? I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!