Many expressed a wistful yearning for the good old days of longer attention spans and cherishing the simpler joys of life.
While the internet has made life incredibly easy for us in many respects, it's hard not to feel nostalgic about the simpler times when we weren't constantly connected to everything, everywhere. Members of the r/AskReddit community took a trip down memory lane, about a year ago, when Reddit user u/IRunFast24 posed this question to the forum: "People old enough to remember life pre-Internet, what are some less obvious things you miss about that time?" Thousands of responses came in, with most expressing a wistful yearning for the good old days of longer attention spans and enjoying the simpler joys of life.
Here are the top 25 answers shared:
"My formative years were the 1980s. I remember like yesterday going to study in Paris during my junior year of college. I got off the plane with no cell phone, no internet, a 'Let's Go Paris' book, and just a hostel address written on a piece of paper I'd stuck in a French dictionary. I did not know a single person in all of France.
I had $500 of cash stuck in a money belt. The belt was tight and sweaty but that money had to last me for at least a month until I could find a part-time job with my lousy French. My 'credit card' was my father's credit card numbers written down on a piece of paper. He told me I could only use it to buy a plane ticket home in an emergency.
I remember standing in the airport and having this powerful emotion of being 21 years old, scared shitless, but in absolutely complete control of my own destiny. There was absolutely nobody who could come rushing to my aid if I needed it. I was 100% on my own. I'm actually very thankful for that experience. I found the hostel. I found a job. I made friends. I learned French. I made it all on my own which was just a big boost in life confidence. I have no doubt if I'd had a cell phone I would've called my parents on Day 2, told them it was too hard, and been on the next plane home. But I had no other choice but to succeed." — gold_and_diamond
"Reading the newspaper and magazines used to be just about one of my favorite things. Now it seems pointless to clutter the house with so much paper when I can access all of it online - but of course, I don't. I pick and choose just a few articles, I don't really browse the way I would before and I encounter a lot fewer new or enlightening things.
Getting the Sunday New York Times and then going out for brunch and reading it with your friends/dates was such a treat. I used to get so excited when my favorite magazines came in the mail, I'd immediately sit down and leaf through them and see what was worth reading right away and what could wait." — zazzlekdazzle
"The ability to start over. I moved a lot, every move I could reinvent myself, bookworm, punk, preppie, I got to try out lots of aspects of my personality and my past wasn't a factor.
I also miss patience. I get annoyed at TV ads now, radio makes you listen to the WHOLE song, even when you sooner like it... I'm far too comfortable with instant gratification." — pineapplewin
"Sitting down in the evening to read a book because there was nothing on tv. With today’s streaming services, there is so much more media being produced - and it’s all available at the click of a button whenever you damn well please. It can easily become an endless loop of what to watch next. I remember when there used to be 8 channels. You either had to watch 'General Hospital' or find something better to do." — jsoliloquy
"Before the internet, facts were 'curated' in the sense that information came from people with expert knowledge and was distributed by journalists or teachers who were held accountable for the accuracy of information. The internet has allowed crazy people to spout rubbish with hardly any filter." — Mark_Zajac
"The Saturday morning cartoons and sitcoms I watched." — LilacEtoile
"People would forget things you did that where maybe not the smartest..." — AioliApprehensive433
"People just stopping by your house. You would be just sitting there drinking beer or scratching your ass and boom, someone's at the door." — BJBrowntown69