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Playing in realtime without screens


Life Before Technology

It is hard to imagine what life was like before television, Wifi, and smartphones. The modern luxury of color TV and the ability to Google search anything without picking up a massive encyclopedia is a
gamechanger. Most Millenials cannot even imagine a day without social media or the internet, let alone how to research anything at a library. They would freak out if their little thumbs weren’t swiping or texting at rapid speeds. It never really happened if you didn’t Snapchat it or post it on your Instagram feed. What would the world look like without cell phone towers and people hunched over starring at devices? Life as we know it has changed drastically since the influx of technology. The way we communicate, date, and entertain ourselves is entirely different.


The good old days.


What Did We Do for Fun Before the Internet?

I feel my generation (generation X) was the last generation to play outside until it was dark without the distraction of I pads and laptops. Perhaps, it was a safer time for the world or was it because we did not have the full spectrum of distracting screens yet? My brothers and I would ride bikes, play in the woods, and hang out at our tree house until our mother called us in for dinner. My father built us a skateboard ramp in the backyard, and we could not wait to finish homework so we could ride the incline. Playdates were non-existent, kids just came over to play. We were never bored and spent most of our free time in the great outdoors. These were the good old days. I am genuinely grateful that I was raised this way. It is so healthy to be outside in nature yet in these times, so many of us spend most of our time with screens indoors and out. It makes me sad when I see people on a hike paying more attention to their screens than the beauty that surrounds them.

Outdoors v.s. Indoors

We were the first family on our block to have a VHS player and Atari. This was a fascinating time, and it felt magical. The night our father brought home the first movie for our VCR was monumental. We did have to leave the house and go to a movie theatre anymore. We could relax at home as a family and enjoy the latest films. Then there came video games! Hands were cramping from jostling a plastic joystick around and fighting over who was going to play next. Imagine having a mini arcade in your living room without the need for quarters. It was like a dream come true. Even with these new gadgets we still played outdoors. Our parents did not need to limit or moderate our screen time because after an hour of playing frogger we were ready to go in the yard and kick the soccer ball. There was no negotiating for more screentime. We knew we were allowed one TV show before bed and that was that. As kids who grew up outside, we became adults who preferred nature over technology.

kids playing

Kids playing outside



Before this tech takeover, adults would have dinner parties and dance to the latest vinyl records. Couples would play games and have cocktails. People would just go for strolls or take road trips. A special treat to have a picnic on the beach or converse at the local soda shop with your best friends. Taking your sweetheart to the drive-in movie on a Saturday night. All of these same activities are done now, except with multiple screens on everywhere you look. These stunning images I found depict what life was like before technology. Enjoy and OPTOFF.

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