Before social media

Someone asked me the other day “what did you do before social media?” After contemplating for a moment or two I said “exactly the same as I do now”  Remember the days before the Internet? Well, if you are over 25, you should have some vague memories on how life was back in the days with no Internet access and the “what’s the wifi code?” being our first question when going places. 

I suppose with the birth of social media you do share more.  It is only a glimpse into life though.  I still socialise with people, a lot as I don’t have a free weekend until middle of December.  I guess what has changed is how we share things.  Instead of boring people to death with albums of holiday snaps, they are in an album on facebook.  I do miss the feel of flicking through a album though.You actually sent pictures to friends and family.

What did we do before social media? 

Can you remember liking things without giving the virtual thumbs up? Or what about running into people unexpectedly – instead of seeing their virtual footprints?

Social Media does make it easier to be in contact with people you maybe might have grown apart from.  I have rekindled friendships with old school friends. People asked what you did over the weekend, but now that conversation starter is gone because they already know.

You would get a birthday phone call to wish you happy birthday. Now you just scroll down and read your birthday messages – that Facebook reminded your friends to type.

We all used to have visible flaws! There was no Instagram or snapchat filters to airbrush, so for some if they were to meet in real life would wonder who they were, as in real life look nothing like their on line enhanced self.

Life has changed so much during the past decade that it’s almost impossible for a teenager to understand how we survived without a constant connection. In fact, it even sounds strange to us now to actually remember how we used to spend our time, although the memories are still there. If I had to describe in one word the first memory I have about life before the Internet, I would choose “silence“. Silence was not literal, but rather metaphorical, since we didn’t have to deal with all the constant social buzz and the noise that may turn distracting from time to time.

What we may miss (and the younger ones are possibly not able to understand) is the different peace of mind we experienced while enjoying a book without distractions from another task, or when we listened to music without a streaming service, focusing on one item at a time. Content overload is everywhere nowadays, and it’s up to us to find a balance between the actual benefits of our constant connectivity, and using technology in the best possible and most efficient way.

Sometimes a digital detox is needed but there’s always that fear of missing out. Now where’s that wifi code…..


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