Long before the days of email, websites, social media and really the internet, the world was a simpler place. People sat down and had conversations, seeing a friend meant making the effort to drive across town. The world was more beautiful because we lived in the moment instead of constantly trying to document the moment. While these 14 things listed are somewhat universal, I’m sure a lot of you readers miss the simpler days.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Watched the world go by on the front porch.
In parts of rural North Carolina, you can still catch some front-porch sitters reading a book, watching the world, or chatting it up with their neighbors. While this mentality still applies to all generations, the younger ones usually have to Instagram, Facebook, or generally document their relaxed nights on the front porch. It's time to put the phone down, or leave it inside, and enjoy simple beauties, simplicity, and good company!
2. Let their kids just be kids.
I remember my childhood revolving around playing with neighborhood kids until Mom called me inside or until the sun was just below the treetops. Today, playdates consist of video games, iPads, and plenty of TV. While kids are playing with each other (via their iPad game) they're not interacting like in the old days. And even in today's world, it can be scary to let your children roam around by themselves without parental guidance.
3. Got a little lost.
Sunday drives meant hopping on the highway and exploring winding, beautiful roads by yourself, with your partner, or with a few friends. If you got really lost, you'd have to pull out that giant, bulky paper map and find your way out. While GPS is a great, helpful invention, sometimes "you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of nowhere you find yourself."
4. Drove to the beach in hopes there would be a vacant hotel room.
I remember my Mom telling me how her family would pack up the car and make the four hour trip to the beach. The whole car ride, she was filled with uncertainty (and a bit of childhood terror) that there would be no vacant rooms and they'd have to return home (I think this happened to them once). In today's day and age everything is online. We can read reviews of hotels, take virtual tours, and book vacations months in advance. While this is a good thing, a little spontaneity and a whole lotta hope is never a bad thing.
5. Read the newspaper for all their information.
Before the days of scrolling, people had to pick up the paper and read it to figure out everything going on. While the Internet makes the world available at our fingertips the art of reading, really reading, and patiently waiting for stories or event coverage has been lost.
6. Sat around the radio.
I'd like to think that former generations had much better imaginations as they usually had to take words and formulate their own ideas of what was being told to them. Sitting around the radio was usually a Friday night tradition for many families.
7. Took the time to sit down and pen out their words.
The art of letter writing is far gone and it's rare to receive anything more than a Facebook Notification. But for most of us being born in the south, cards, letters, and thank you notes are still something we hold dear. I know my Mom taught me to ALWAYS write a thank you letter, but sadly this common courtesy is dwindling.
8. Formed our own opinions.
Remember the day and age when people could think for themselves and didn't have to be so politically correct all the time? As southerners, we're a proud bunch, and usually that comes with a firm set of ideals. In today's times we're being told to question everything, to judge but don't judge everything, to hide our beliefs and change our ways. There's no way to be politically correct or even to not offend someone in today's times. While progressive thinking is a great thing, sometimes when it's shoved down your throat every time you scroll down, you want to run and hide!
9. Trusted our neighbors.
Is it just me or do people seem a bit crazier in today's times? Maybe it's the fact that we are constantly bombarded with news stories of crazy people doing crazy things (and usually the news publications exaggerate for the cringe factor) but it's hard to trust anyone these days. While it's usually still common to be close with your neighbors, you still never know who could be hiding what just down the road. Back in the old days, we would simply ask them or confront them if something wasn't right (not stalk their social media).
10. And with that being said, really, truly got to know people.
Today, all you have to do is scroll through a person's Facebook or Instagram and you suddenly have this pre-constructed idea about the last 10-12 years of their life. But a lot of people post only the positive on social media, or (especially my generation) construct their social media to make their lives appear perfect. It's hard to really get to know someone when we already have these preconceived notions about who they are. And even today, it's hard to get someone to really open up. We used to be open, honest, and always willing to talk with another.
11. Grew our own food or went to the market.
Of course farms and farmer's markets are still a thing, but back in the day some families didn't have a choice and were heavily dependent on the seasons crops to pull them through the winter. Today, you can order meals straight to your door or use an online resource to even get "farm-fresh" ingredients sent to you monthly to make meals for the next month. Honestly, a little dirt, a little digging, and a little hard work doesn't hurt anybody.
12. Learned to appreciate who we were as people.
It's so hard to not compare yourself to others with the Internet. I mean, it's literally impossible. There have always been movie stars, models, and people who just seem better than we are, but we learned to appreciate who we were and what we had. We live in a world of comparison and doubt, and it's really not healthy!
13. Went out and fought for the causes we believed in.
Now we just make a status about it.
14. Spent quality time with friends and family.
Before the internet, you had to make an effort to see distant relatives and even close friends. You sat around with your family and talked about your day, or the news, you weren't distracted with technological devices or what someone else was doing (via a Facebook status). It took effort to catch up. It's amazing we can easily keep in touch with those we love, but actions always speak louder than (digital) words.
The Internet is not totally evil (I mean hey, you are reading this on the internet) but it has changed a lot of things. What would you add to the list?