Remember the days when you would show someone you care by making them a mixtape or sending them a hand-written letter? These days you’re more likely to send them a Facebook message or give them an extra life on HQ Trivia (but even that is pushing it).
Many of the things that used to be part of our everyday lives growing up have been replaced by technology in the form of delicate devices, flashy apps, and newfangled platforms. Although these new forms of tech have made our lives much easier, we’re left feeling nostalgic for some things.
If you weren’t born during the nineties or earlier, you won’t understand the following struggles but you can take note of how good we have it in 2018.
1. Going to the store to rent a movie for the weekend.
Every Friday night, your mom or pop would take you to the local movie store, which happened to be the most popular establishment on a Friday night. While exchanging pleasantries with family friends you would run into, you’d secretly be hoping that the new release—perhaps the latest Home Alone or Terminator—you had wanted to rent for the weekend was still available.
Nowadays, most people have a subscription to an on-demand service like Netflix or Hulu where there are literally thousands of options to choose from online. Yet, you’ll still hear people say: “there’s nothing good to watch.”
2. Taking photos with a film camera.
Before digital cameras, photos were taken using film, which meant you had to think about the lighting and position of a subject before you took the shot. Crossing your fingers that the film wasn’t wonky, you would go to your local shop to develop your photos and pick them up the next day or so. You would have to wait even longer to see how your photos turned out if you didn’t use the whole film roll in one go.
These days you can take a photo, add a filter, and post it to Instagram faster than you can say “Throwback Thursday.”
3. Putting photos in an album or making scrapbooks.
Because of all the effort of #2, physical copies of photos used to be a lot more sacred. They would be precariously hung on fridges or walls or placed in photo albums and scrapbooks. Photos were a sentimental relic, and the more faded and dog-eared they got, the better.
These days everyone has hundreds of forgotten photos—of concerts, meals, puppies, flowers, you name it—stocked in their cellphone’s storage.
4. Writing hand-written letters to friends or sending postcards.
Do you remember the warm, fuzzy feeling you would get when you would open your mailbox and find mail addressed to you? Perhaps from a friend at summer camp or a relative in another country. That letter or postcard would often travel miles to get to you and arrive right when you needed it the most.
Nowadays, the only snail mail we receive is from the bank, often regarding mortgages or student loan payments.
5. Looking up phone numbers in a phone book.
Before the internet, the only way to contact a business was through the ol’ phonebook. A crisp yellow catalog would arrive on one’s doorstep, weighing a modest 10 pounds. It would often become the most read piece of literature in the house and as a kid, it was fun to scan through the phone directory and scout for funny names.
These days everyone is just a click away online. Although we have to admit, those massive phonebooks were pretty wasteful.
6. Memorizing the phone numbers of your close ones by heart.
Before cell phones became an extra appendage, the phone numbers of our loved ones were kept in our personal phonebooks—and our hearts. Can you imagine having multiple ten-digit numbers memorized in your head now? These days if you lose your mobile you can forget about calling anyone you know over the phone ever again.
7. Only being reachable via landline.
Another nice thing about the pre-cellphone era was the autonomy that came with not being “online” 24/7. People could only reach you in person or through your phone at home. If you were out and about, you were free from Slack messages, tweets, Instagrams DMs, emails, voicemails, Tinder swipes, texts, etc.
8. Making mixtapes.
Before you could stream music online, the only way to listen to music was off of a record, tape or CD. So when someone hand-selected songs and made you a playlist, you knew you were special.
How to Make a Mixtape:
- Think of the mixtape narrative you want to tell. The cool thing about mixtapes is that it’s harder to skip from song to song, so the listener is forced to hear the full tape you’ve created.
- Find yourself a blank tape and a cassette player and insert the blank tape.
- Insert the tape that contains the song you want to add to your mixtape.
- Now it’s simply a matter of queuing up the song at the right time and hitting “record.”
- Once you’ve crafted the perfect mix, slap on a sticker or doodle some cover art.
- Present the mix to your crush (or whoever owns a tape player these days) to play off of a boombox in all its glory! Bonus if they raise the boombox above their head.
As you can see, making a mixtape was no easy feat for our pre-two-thousand ancestors. These days, all you have to do is click, drag and drop to make a playlist, which admittedly feels less significant.
9. Having a CD collection.
CDs were the new tapes, so if you had a massive CD collection, you were the bomb. You could buy all the favourites—Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys—and then listen to them over, and over, and over again.
CD sales have taken a nosedive since then—but somehow CDs still exist—and it just makes more sense financially to have a subscription to iTunes, Spotify, or Amazon Music.
10. Playing board games.
Before all of the mobile, desktop, and console games, playing board games was the cool kid’s sport. Friends and family would gather around a board of Operation, Hungry Hungry Hippos, or Mouse Trap and play to their heart’s delight. Board games were the next best thing after Saturday morning cartoons.
Luckily, there has been a nostalgic resurgence of board games and many old favourites exist, as well as many new games with epic art.
Ah, those were the days. What do you miss that has been replaced by technology? Tweet us at @cawebhosting or better yet, send us a hand-written letter 🙂