11 Things We Did Before Smartphones Came Along And Ruined Everything

Kids who have grown up using smartphones won’t ever understand the freedom children enjoyed before these devices invaded our lives. Those of us who grew up without cellphones were free from the need to gain access into a virtual world and the complications it brings. We were free to enjoy our lives without comparing it with those who paraded theirs on social media.

Here are 11 things we did before smartphones came along:

1. We read newspapers

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Nowadays, our only source of news is the social media, be it Facebook or Twitter. Reading newspapers was a ritual, which gradually died out with the growing penetration of smartphones. The paper was our bible and revisiting it every morning kept our eyes from watering and our English unabbreviated.

2. We listened to music on music devices

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Tapes and CDs were the best. We could record over old playlists and not worry about running out of space. We recorded from the radio without any fear of piracy. Browsing for shiny vinyls and compilations in music stores and striking up friendships with fellow music lovers was also an experience. Also, did you know cassette tapes come equipped with a label in Braille for he visually challenged and could start exactly where it stopped without any fear of accidentally resetting the playlist?

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  • 3. We had maps, actual maps

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    Before GPS came along – and brought tracking with it – every long journey was an adventure. We learnt to read maps, we knew how to read positions from the stars, and we actually knew what those lines and signs meant.

    4. Dating was difficult, but fun nonetheless

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    We were free from swiping right or left. Meeting a stranger was exciting – having a face-to-face meeting and judging their character in person was less hard work than stalking a potential partner on the Web and leaving a trail of proof.

    5. Prank calling was a thing

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    Everyone who had a landline prank-called someone at some point in their life. The fear of getting caught through Truecaller was not something we ever worried about. Also, no one could ever block us…well,  because they couldn’t.

    6. We kept our thoughts to ourselves

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    This constant need to divulge information on social media really blew the lid off a person’s private life. The pre-smartphone era was easier as we were never privy to someone’s loo breaks or hangover tantrums.

    7. Then there were cameras

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    A picture was worth a thousand words minus the filters. Photos would find their rightful place in an album and not in a folder hidden deep within the smartphone memory, threatening to disappear into oblivion whenever the phone takes a fall.

    8. We used pencils to jot down notes

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    Stationary tools – whatever happened to them? Our hands never quivered while holding a pen to write down important, unexpected notes. The ‘Notes’ app came without notice and took away this freedom to use both our keyboards (we did have computers) and pencils.

    9. We visited libraries

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    Any bibliophile will tell you how captivating the smell of books is – old and new. Because borrowing books cultivated the art of sharing. Kindles and e-pdfs only complicated matters, robbing us of our visits to the library, a veritable heaven on earth.

    10. Those of us who drove, focussed on the road

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    Texting and driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving. People took to the wheel with undivided attention as if on a mission – a mission to reach their destination on time and not drive at 20 km/hr to annoy the hell out of another driver.

    11. We enjoyed the moment

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    We lived in the moment. The present. The now. We attended concerts without the check-ins and ate dinners minus the food pictures. We spent time on enjoying ourselves rather than pouting our way into selfies. We always had something to do. We never got bored. We never got lonely.

    They say change is for the better, but is it really?

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