Life before the internet


It did exist once ;) Not too long ago. Do you think the internet has made your life better? If so, in what ways? Are there any ways in which the internet has been a negative influence on society? Would love to hear your input!
Well I have grown pretty much my whole life with Internet, my earlier years were indeed fun though. Activities included: Watching TV and playing with blocks, engaging in my imagination and playing tag lol.

I wish I could answer this question more clearly and easily . I can only compare and contrast from the observations of my parents and others.
As somone who used to have to do research through things like 'card catalogs' and 'stack orders', I'd say, hell yes!
To the extent that in order to get a job I now have to have a personal self-aggrandizing account on a social network, I say, hell no!
I remember these big brown structures that I used to climb. The higher I got the more the structure would split fom the main line and then end with birght green swaying thingys, and sometimes when the wheather started getting cold the swaying thingys would turn bright reds and yellows. I spent alot of time in those things before the internet. Some kids even built houses into the structure, I never got to though.
I only started using the internet when I went to University - back then (about the turn of the milenium) it was painfully slow and most of the sites were complete crap... so I only used it for accessing academic journals, etc. The only exception was a couple of visits to a site called "The Chathouse" which was basically overrun by trolls and perverts - I even "met someone online" and went on a few dates with her.

Life before the internet seemed a great deal more pleasant. Part of it is that the world back then was a much nicer place (socially). Whether the internet is to blame, one cannot know but people (in general, particularly those one would call strangers) seem a lot more impatient and impersonal than they did back then.

Libraries: it seems that libraries don't have the same level of funding and care (adjusted to incomes and inflation) that they used to. They also don't seem as well patronised as when I was growing up. It's a shame because the level of care and research that goes into a book really is a quantum leap above almost anything you find on the net. I hope the net doesn't kill the library system.
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I agree whole-heartedly FA. Libraries are sanctuaries and shrines to books, I hope we always have them around.

I suppose I am very qualified to answer this, being one of the older persons on this site. Like many man-made inventions (the Car and the telephone come to mind) the internet is a two-edged sword that can both serve and wound us. It reflects us perfectly in this respect. The negative would include things such as keeping people from more personal interaction, encouraging and nurturing bad (faceless) behavior, and giving porn a limitless base of operation. Anything man can invent, he can corrupt--and usually does.

That being said, the internet is an amazing creation and has also done some absolutely wondrous things. We now have online communities for every interest imaginable. Pre-net, many of these would be impossible. You just couldn't gather a large enough community of interest in something like MBTI in a city of even decent size. Now you can draw from the entire world.

Things like Mapquest are a savior to direction-challenged people like myself. I can instantly look up much needed info like prescription drug effects, movie times and reviews, or chili recipes. And the entertainment value is limitless too. I can fill my inner geek to it's hearts content. Much that is available for free on the net would have to be found in magazines (if at all) in times past. My college years had no computer interaction. That was for Comp. Science guys only. What took hours of research in a library, now takes minutes online. Imagine trying to correspond with someone via snailmail. The sheer amount of patience needed killed many a good relationship. We can now keep up many correspondences and get instantaneous answers. It has made us a less patience people though I have noticed.

One of the things I find staggering is the fact that no one saw it coming! I read Sci Fi for many, many pre-internet years. I never read anything about it until right up to the time it started coming into common use. Guys like William Gibson were hailed as genius's, but he just saw the trend and went with it. He didn't "foresee" it. If there is anything in my life that makes me feel that I am now living it the future, that gives me that feeling I used to get reading those books, it's the net.

One of my favorite sayings is "You can find ANYTHING on the "net"! That's both a good and a bad thing.
Before the internet I was less connected to others, which was a good thing (more independent thought, assessment, exploration) and a not-so-good thing (exploring shared enthusiasms, a certain sense of kinship with those far away).

Overall, I have been less then impressed with the quality of the information on the internet (the good stuff is still in books, imo) and, frankly, the sense of community is fairly shallow, too. Still, it is a convenient starting point and I have made a friend or two via the web.

In the end, I could take it or leave it. As it is, I limit my use so as to not create a massive misuse of time.
Been on the internet since I was an 11yo.
Umm, read in the town and school library?
Make bows out of green tree limbs and shoot at neighbours?
Flirt with the neighbours daughter?
Go camping?
Internet very useful. Veeerrry useful. Don't really feel like making a huge list of all the things I use the Internet for :m155: but it's a long list. Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I'm staring into a screen. For many years actually. It causes depression I think. Cuz you forget about other stuff that is part of a balanced lifestyle.
Good question. I believe technologies like the internet temporarily bring us together but eventually cheapen human relationships. Things like facebook, myspace, infj forum, etc. seem like they are bringing us together but in reality they are tearing us apart because they help us to accept a very impersonal lifestyle.

My speculations: Humans evolved in an environment where the only form of communication was face-to-face and most of us had a close family that we relied on to survive. I think that when people are placed in a different environment, perhaps one where there is little face-to-face interaction and no friends/family they get very depressed and have trouble knowing why. We don't know how to handle an impersonal environment because we are not evolved for that environment. When I think of it this way I think cars, internet, phones, text message, and internet all make our lives less personal. They also add a lot of mental clutter and confusion to our lives.

On the other hand, I consider myself a happy person and I use the internet A LOT. Just sometimes when i'm trapped at my computer too long I just get this urge to go outside and it makes me think there has to be a better way of living then this digital world we are in.
I'm 20 and have been using the internet since 1995. Basically, I don't know a life without the internet.

The internet can be a wonderful learning tool. Information can be accessed in a matter of seconds from publications around the world (legitimate ones, not like wikipedia) in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, many people just use google to find information, which often bypasses the quality information altogether. It seems that very few of my peers read books or go to libraries for purposes other than studying for class and/or using the free wifi. The internet is not solely to blame for this tragedy, but it plays a huge role. It is also quite a shame that some individuals have become overly reliant on the internet to the extent that they have a conniption fit when their internet or a beloved website is down. What makes me particularly sad is to see people who are addicted to the internet and those who use it excessively. There is a vast and beautiful world out there, don't waste all your time online! Much easier said than done, I know.

The internet is also useful as a means of communication, be it conversing with those who come from different cultures and backgrounds or keeping in touch with friends and family. For someone who has suffered from crippling social anxiety since the age of 10, this is a godsend. I have made a few friends and even met several people to date thanks via the internet. I never would have crossed paths with these individuals without it, even though many of them are living in the same town as me. Naturally, one has to be extremely careful about this since not everyone is who they say they are online. I try to shy away from using the internet as my primary or even secondary means of communicating with others, as it causes me to feel disconnected from reality. Face to face interaction will always be the most fulfilling.

Despite all the inanity, false information, porn and time wasting websites, I do think the internet is a mainly positive addition to our society. Though I wouldn't say life is better or worse now because of it, just significantly more connected.
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I can remember life before the internet, but I was still young at the time. I do remember the first time my mom took us online though. I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread (I still do really, I would not be able to live without the internet). By the time I was around 8 or 9 it was common place to be on the internet every day.

I don't remember life without computers though. I remember a time without them, but not life. My mom got her first computer in 1994. I remember when she came into the kitchen jumping up and down because she got the 5k loan to buy it.
you think porn is a bad thing?

Are you referring to me? No, I do not. I very much enjoy watching porn, but it's not particularly useful in the big scheme of things, aside from arousal and masturbation. Plus, there is so much of it and it is everywhere, which can become a problem when I'm trying to write a paper or study.
Yeah, classic sci fi. 'Robot' seems to have captivated the imagination right up until we became part of the cybernetic structure, instead of the other way around.
I'd love to see an episode of the Jettson's remade, where the characters all just sit in separate rooms all night typing and reading (and other stuff) on some faceless network named Rosie. That would be funny.

We shouldn't lie to the kids, though. Back before the Internet, none of us really knew how to do anything. We all just kind of wandered around unable to spell things, build cabinets, or solve statistics equations. We spent hours writing with things called 'pens', huddled away from the dark under our incandescent light bulbs. It was a dreary time. I remember hiding behind the castle wall at my Lord's, just hunkering down and waiting for the barbarians from the next town to stop trying to beat down the door and steal our Life magazines. We'd sit around our one red LED light calculator, hoping the D batteries would not run out, spelling dirty words in the numbers upside down. It was our only entertainment. We were lost. It was cold and dark. A dark time, indeed.

I still remember that day when I was outside, doing an activity we called, "throwing rocks at chickens", when Vint Cerf and Al Gore came riding over the crest of the hill, the manes of their horses flailing straight arcs soaked with sweat, towing behind them that giant spool of cable called the Intertubes.
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I don't really use the internet before except for assignments, home works and the like.

bwahhaha the first time went online..... I went to bwahahahahaha omg .... or was it or....... I think I went to disneychannel or nickelodeon :) :)

I used to be addicted to yahoo messenger. :)

I just started going online for hours and hours when I joined this forum ahahahahaha. I didn't really find something useful to do here before then I found this thingy and I was like oh cool there are more people bwahahahaha and I started reading things and posting things and kablam!!! I go online at least 4-5 times a week.

I don't really like facebook and those other websites. I just don't like updating and everything and posting my pictures and whatever. I'd rather make friends and meet friends in real life and get to know me in real life bwahahhaha.

I don't really have a life before the internet.. not much life.. I guess?? because I'm just 16 and I don't think my life is full of stories.. so... life before the internet I guess is... my childhood life hehehe
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As a dinasour (also grew up on a farm)... well, not on the farm I grew up in the house part, lol... I remember computers first getting more popular when I was in highschool. I remember my dad brought home the first computer when I was maybe 17.

When the net came along, I spent more time on chat rooms, and was able to connect with people in Italy and that was very cool. But, it was limited, as I didn't have the capacity then to go on msn etc. and that was back about 15 years ago. Before the net, I researched more through books, and I had to make calls to get info. I like the net better, as I don't enjoy phone calls.

I suppose I remember working out on the land when I was in my teens and in early adult hood. I also remember spending my time long distance running or cycling just to pass the time. Also, I drew and painted mrore than I do now. It's been years since I picked up a paint brush. So yea, the net has made me lazier for sure.

Oh, I'd like to add that I used have to use a type writer to make my highschool essays and assignments, lol. Yea...
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Yeah, I remember life before the internet. I spent a lot more time reading books.

When I was a kid I pretty much spent summer vacation in the basement putting together puzzles, listening to the radio, and playing with my budgie. Then I'd emerge to play hide and seek with the neighbor kids until our parents made us all come inside for the night.

Then when I got older (teens) I just read more books and drew pictures and stuff.

How very introverted of me.
On one hand I think the internet has made us an even more impatient society.

On the other hand, I love the ability to look up information, do research on products before making a purchase, connect with others that share my interests.

I know most of the users on this board probably never knew a time when microwave ovens weren't in every kitchen and if you wanted to heat something up you had to do it on using the stove.
When my parents bought their first one it was wow! It's great it's so fast!
Then after some time had passed and I became used to it, I found myself feeling impatient that the microwave took so long.

So every step in technology that gives us the ability to accomplish something faster, makes our urge for instant gratification stronger, and our ability to be patient less so.
I'm not so sure that is a good thing.
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