Life Before the Internet: How Did We Manage?

Medium.com has this great article reminding/educating people what it was like before this thing called “The Internet” came into our lives. I was alive back then and I have a hard time believing that we managed to survive. And keep reading until you get to the bit about music.

Actually, it was totally fine. There was a lot of really great, amazing shit happening. As a kid, I was pretty content with my Casio mini-keyboard and my backyard for entertainment. Even though we had no Internet, let alone iPads or cell phones, I was never bored because I would just go outside, talk to myself, and make pretend-tea out of dirt and puddle water. I also hadHungry Hungry Hippos so, yeah, life was pretty sweet.

And then the Internet came and shit changed. Some for the good, some I could totally do without. Like I don’t need Tumblr or Twitter in my life. But I do like Medium <insert winking whore emoji>.

So for those of you who were born in late 90’s or some made-up decade like the “aughts,” or you older folks who’ve mostly blocked-out anything that happened prior to say, 1994*, here’s a completely incomplete list of how the Internet changed the world:

1. Listicles didn’t exist as such. Oh sure, people made lists, but mostly things like shopping lists or to-do lists. Or even list jokes that they recited live and in person. Also, there was The Book of Lists which is literally days and days worth of entertainment that I haven’t the capacity to recommend enough.

2. Which brings us to Books. I don’t know about you guys, but I remember a little something called the en-sahy-kluhpee-dee-uh (or encyclopedia). I also remember grabbing the L-N volume and reading nineteen pages about the Louisiana Purchase. I then proceeded to switch back and forth between the encyclopedia and the thesaurus trying to find different words to use so I wasn’t accused of plagiarism while writing my 5th grade essay entitled “The Louisiana Purchase: Turns Out You Can Sell Shit You Don’t Actually Own!”

3. No one shared pictures of food. The only people who took pictures of food were food photographers who got paid to take pictures of food. It was a very confusing time.

There’s a lot more. You really do want to keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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