6 Things I Miss About Life Before Social Media
Today’s post has honestly been a long time coming.
Over the summer I took a lot of time off from Instagram and Facebook and I personally have such a love-dislike relationship with social media these days.
I know this might sound odd coming from a full-time blogger who spends 99% of her time online, but I feel it’s something I really need to get off my chest and share, as I know I can’t be the only one who misses life before social media sometimes.
On the one hand, social media is a great way to keep in touch with people I care about and it gives me the ability to check in with family members/friends who live far away.
And of course as a content creator and influencer, I love being able to reach people through my posts and connect with my followers and blogging friends.
On the other hand, social media can be 110% draining somedays.
Between the lack of privacy we all now have, the comparison game that happens whether people want to admit it or not, and the 8,753 news reports of bad things happening around the world, it can be completely overwhelming.
So in the spirit of keeping things real, today I’m sharing 6 things I miss about life before social media.
6 Things I Miss About Life Before Social Media
Life Before Social Media: Everything Didn’t Have to Be Photographed
We live in a digital and very much visual era.
And while I love being able to take photos on my phone or camera and instantly document something, I kind of miss the days of having to get film developed for photos.
Because if you took something on your Kodak camera and wanted it printed out to look at, you had to trot yourself down to the local drugstore and pay money to have it developed.
This meant you were much more mindful of the photos you took on your camera and you only took photos of things you really loved and wanted to document forever.
Back then, it’s almost like our entire priorities were different.
We didn’t care about sharing what we ate today with the entire world, or what store we visited, but instead only photographed things that were truly meaningful.
In a lot of ways, I miss this.
Life Before Social Media: We All Lived More In the Moment
On the same token, I miss just living in the moment instead of having to photograph, video, IG story, snapchat, FB live every major moment for the world to see.
We’ve all heard the expression, “If it isn’t documented, did it even happen?” I seriously want to shake the person who said this.
Birthday parties, dinners, going to an amusement park, hanging out with friends- all those things are meant to be enjoyed and sometimes I think we all can be a little too worried over documenting it or sharing it with our followers/friends, that we’re not truly living in the moment.
I can be so guilty of this sometimes, but I’m trying my hardest to put away the phone and make a conscientious effort to just enjoy the ride.
Are we truly enjoying watching a sunset if we spend 10 minutes trying to get the perfect filter/lighting?
YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE you guys!
Don’t be that person who hikes to the top of a mountain only to fall over the edge trying to take a selfie. Actually enjoy life and “do it for the gram” a little less.
Life Before Social Media: You Didn’t Always Know Everyone’s Business
When it comes to social media, I’m a huge fan of search engines like Google and Pinterest and the fact that if I want to know the answer to some crazy question I’ve formulated in my head or a recipe I’ve been dying to try, I can almost instantly find it.
What I’m not a fan of? Knowing everybody’s business including their mom’s, sister’s, and third cousin’s, twice removed.
Even though I’m a blogger and I do share a lot of myself with the world, I’m very conscientious of the things I share and mindful of who I share it with.
Oh, how I wish the rest of the world would follow suit.
Back in the day, I would meet someone in real life and think “Wow, they’re really nice”.
With social media, I’m now unfortunately exposed to the many sides of people and all their dirty laundry.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d rather not know about everyone’s marital problems, money issues, political views, or weird obsessions.
Life Before Social Media: Ignorance Was Bliss
I truly hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way, but sometimes I miss when I didn’t know about every single atrocity happening around the world.
Yes, I like staying in the know about major local and real world events, but at the same token it’s super depressing to see nothing but article upon article of reports on the latest bad news, murders, political scandal, and feud.
Years ago we all would have had to turn on the 5 or 6 o’ clock evening news to know what was going on.
We watched, we listened, we discussed, and then we all went about our day.
Now we’re constantly bombarded with the latest news reports and I honestly don’t think it’s good for anyone’s mental health.
Sometimes we all need to take a step back and while it’s good to sympathize over the situations happening, we can’t let it consume our every waking minute.
Life Before Social Media: People Actually Talked to One Another
How many times have you been out somewhere and noticed that nobody in the room is talking to one another?
Instead each and every person has their phone or tablet out mindlessly scrolling through a feed or watching videos.
You guys- when did this become the norm?!
Listen, I get it – nobody likes sitting around bored in a waiting room, but gosh darn it can we all just put the phones down for 10 seconds and actually talk to one another?
There is nothing, I repeat nothing, that important going on elsewhere in the world that needs your attention over the people you are with.
Talk to your family, chat with your friends, heck- start a conversation with a perfect stranger, and put the phones down.
Life Before Social Media: Life Wasn’t Such a Competition
Sure there’s always been “keeping up with the Joneses” but back before social media we all didn’t worry about what everyone else was doing nearly as much.
You only knew about the lives of people who were directly part of yours and didn’t feel the need to compare yourself to perfect strangers.
Nowadays we’re all constantly reminded of the things we don’t have, places we haven’t been, and accomplishments we haven’t yet made.
We see feed upon feed of seemingly-perfect lives so much that we begin to think there’s something wrong with our own.
I truly try to take social media with a grain of salt and constantly remind myself that the majority of it is curated and not an accurate depiction of real life, but I get that a lot of people really struggle with this.
And above all, I miss a time where we all didn’t feel like our hair, makeup, weight, home, or job had to be Instagram worthy or it wasn’t good enough.
We were real and it was refreshing.
All in all, I miss the fact that life seemed to be a lot more simple before social media. You spent less time worrying about what everyone else and their mom was doing online and spent a lot more time doing things with the ones who actually mattered to you.
The older I get the more I realize how precious our time is, and personally- I think we all could stand a good social media detox every now and then.
Are there things you miss about life before social media? Do you also share a love-dislike relationship with social media? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by!- Cara
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I was born in 1987 and I despise social media. MySpace ruined years of my life because it was the beginning of hating myself, something I had never experienced before that. I also got contacted by random dudes from other states and countries, which was cool to me then and weird to me now. I have no social media today and my life is much simpler. I also spend less money because I’m not watching ads all day, buying from influencers and being pressured into buying things my friends have.
Hi Natasha! I’m so glad to hear that disconnecting from social media helped you. I have to use it for my business, but in my free time I try to limit it as much as possible and always try to avoid it during the holiday season especially. You only get one life and I don’t want to look back on it spending more time scrolling online looking at other people’s lives rather than focusing on my own in the here and now. Have a great weekend!
Well having been born in 1990, i got a chance to experience life without social media until my mid 20s. One major thing i remember is that i notice dancing and starting random conversations wasn’t considered weird or strange.
That’s true! It seems to be rare that people start conversations with strangers in public places anymore because so many people are always glued to their cell phones.
In addition, one of then and now is the bombardment of unhinge information and self help/motivation gags lol! You cant go one second without someone claiming how they improve their life or made a gazillion dollars by following this plan etc. Also while i do have different interests,
Very well written article. Good Job
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!
I definitely miss the living part. People are always on their phones, forgetting to be in the moment. Social media is a toxic place and I wish it didn’t exist the way we know it as. If only texts were the only way to communicate, oh and email because that’s essential for work. The day phones got internet and MySpace became popular, the was the beginning of the end of society’s way of communicating mindfully and in person.
Totally agree! It’s so sad to see families “together” and everyone on their phones instead of actually spending time with one another in real time. I’ve drastically reduced the amount of time I spend on social media this past year and it’s done wonders for my mental health.
I agree but you dont have to follow.
I have no TV, no smart phone, no social media acount what so ever. I talk to the 2 friends I have in person, eye to eye. I have a cell phone but that I only use for phonecalls its not a smart phone. I have a PC and the most or all of my comunication is via email, I hate phone calls. Im 35 and work in technology but outside of work, Im not existant to this modern world and no I am not a technophobe, i just love my peace and privacy.
That’s great, Chris! Unplugging really is the best way to go.
Everything about this is true. I HATE the modern world so much. It’s so pathetic. The human race is pathetic. I swear if I died as long and my family and friends still had a phone they wouldn’t even know I was gone. The thing I hate most about this pandemic is how being on my phone is now the only way I can communicate with others. I know I’m being dramatic but I honestly can’t wait to be dead. This world is only getting worse and I don’t want to be around to watch it slowly crumble more and more.
Hi Shane, I definitely agree that social media and technology has completely changed our world. Some ways for the better, some ways for worse. I’m SO sorry to hear you’re having a hard time right now, but know that you’re not alone and I’m praying for you. If you need someone to talk to, you can always call this number 800-273-8255 or reach out to me via e-mail. Always here to listen.
I miss tapes, CD’s, CRT monitors, LAN, forums, web 1.5, when Firefox was called Mozilla, when everyone had Nokia 3310 and Siemens C45 (except me, and ppl mocked me that I had no phone), and of course Unreal Tournament 2004.
Um that’s more than 6 things.
Your article was icing on the cake that was my thoughts. Tonight was my wife’s night to pick a movie, so I naturally prepared my mind for a “chick flick”. She chose “He’s not that into you”. An early 2000’s film with the best of the best actors & actresses for the circa 1980’s millennials. It has everything from MySpace to answering machines, and being confused about what LOL meant. I don’t even think MySpace was considered social media. In the film Jennifer Anniston got engaged (spoiler alert) and it hit me….she wasn’t going to post a status update. She was going to call her friends and family- and maybe send out an email or two because email was cool back then. It made me remember how life was so much simpler. So I googled “Life was simple before social media” and voila I’m here. So now I’m going to delete my Facebook app (because who uses desktop logins anyway), putting my insta on private bc I’m not an influencer anyway so who cares about hashtags, then logging out of my insta for a while and just use the app for my fun “Dunder Mifflin Trivia” account, and make an effort to try to take meaningful pictures with my actual $$$ camera that I never use. I’m not sure if this site is even active anymore- but thank you. See you on google.
Thanks Nicholas! Glad to hear you resonated with my post and that you plan to take a step back from social media for awhile. It can do us all some good to take breaks every now and then. Enjoy your summer!
Girl, yess!! I feel the exact same way! I’ve taken a huge step back from it all, and I don’t miss being so caught up in it. Plus, I’m living my life as I see fit versus trying to live like someone else who seems to have it altogether, which we know isn’t true.
SO glad you could relate to it! We all need to realize there’s so much about social media that isn’t real life and our actual real lives will always be more important.
I love this! I feel like I was the only one that felt this way! So glad to know others feel the same way. I miss life when we didn’t have to have the pressure of looking good in every photo we take. It is just too overwhelming and I just like living in the moment. I will take pictures , but now I don’t worry about posting them on social media. If i get a good one i may post it. I used to get on all the time, but so much happier when i connect with people by phone call or in person.
Thanks Carrie. You’re definitely not alone- so many people feel this way and I’ve definitely cut back on the time I spend on social media. It can be such a time waster and I’d much rather focus my time on things that are more important. So glad you enjoyed the post and have been able to find a good balance as well. I really appreciate you commenting! 🙂
This is such an excellent and totally well written post friend! It’s so true- I love taking pictures but realize at times I’m always holding my phone and that’s just crazy. It’s not necessary. The biggest thing I miss is not comparing or feeling like I need to have what someone else does. I see people with new clothes or shoes and think I have to have it. Not true at all. Love this!
Thank-you so much! So glad you can relate. I do think social media makes it hard to not want to buy things and it can be easy to fall into the comparison trap. Whenever I find myself feeling overwhelmed I know it’s time to unplug and take a break, and I think everyone should do that from time to time.
I wrote about things I miss this week (nos specifically related to social media) and getting film developed was one! Also people actually talking to each other.
I miss being out of touch more.
Oh I love that! It really is sad that nobody ever “talks” to one another anymore. They just post things back and forth on social media and consider that communicating. It’s not the same by any means.
I totally agree! I feel as if it’s Generation is so blind to the fact that we getting way too addicted and dependent on social media and our phones. Social media used to be fun when everyone wasn’t worried about how many likes or followers you had. We have the power to actually stop this but instead we are being brainwashed
Completely agree! I’ve been trying really hard to limit my social media use this year (which is actually pretty hard since it’s part of my business), and one thing that’s really helped is literally putting the phone somewhere where I can’t get to it immediately (like in a drawer in another room). The sad part is – for the first couple days of doing this, every spare moment I had I kept automatically wanting to reach for my phone for mindless scrolling or to check to see if I had notifications. It’s definitely an addiction so many people have and it’s really sad that we can’t just enjoy still moments without having to be on our phones.
As much as I love social media, it becomes draining. I’ve taken a huge step back lately especially from Instagram after playing too much of the comparison game and its been refreshing. It’s hard to remember a time before social media, so a break here and there is a must!
I agree, Vivian! I think we all need to unplug every now and then and focus on what’s really important. 🙂
Yep!! I take a lot of pictures and sometimes I wish that I’d just sit back and enjoy things more. I think in days before social media people who snap some pictures, hope they got some good ones and be done with it. I also think it would be nice to not be so connected at times. Maybe i just need to work on some better boundaries and unplug at specific times of the day. You’ve got me thinking 🙂
Yes! It was like you had no idea whether or not it was a “keeper” until after you developed it, and you focused more on making the memories than worrying about whether or not the photo was perfect. I definitely think there’s a healthy balance with social media/technology.
Oh wow, I love this. And it is so true. I get down on social media a lot – it’s easy to compare yourself, where you are in life, etc. I have to remind myself that we’re just seeing the highlight reel, but, that can be tough! I actually agree with you on seeing all of the atrocities. I like to be informed, but it is exhausting.
Thanks! Totally agree- I have to stay mindful of that when I’m looking at others’ posts and I’m glad I’ve gotten to the point that I can realize when I need to unplug and take a break from it.
I feel you on all of this! I can say (and I know I’m not the only one) that is addicted to social media. I find myself scrolling on Instagram or Facebook FOR NO REASON. While I am watching a movie. LIKE WHY? It’s such a bad habit. I do feel like life was way simpler before all of these apps and alot of people put way too much drama on Facebook. I don’t even watch the news anymore because of all the messed up stuff going on in this world but on Facebooks its RIGHT IN YOUR FACE. Instagram is my favorite but yes I find myself comparing my life to others. Instagram is not real. Its staged. I definitely agree that time away from social media is a must. If I go out to dinner or an event I might take a pic here or there but for the most part I try to enjoy myself in the now and don’t spend the whole time on my phone. You are 100% correct that people don’t even know how to talk to one another now a days. Its awful. I am trying to be more mindful of when and how often I use my phone. Its just hard when your hobby/job is all on social media.
I make my husband put our phones in our loveseat’s console while we’re watching TV/movies now to fight the temptation of mindless scrolling. I think I have an easier time unplugging, since I consider a lot of it to be “work”, but he has a hard time with always wanting to be up on the latest current events. I think the thing that gets me the most is people literally don’t know how to talk to one another anymore. They’re so used to just posting something on social media that when someone asks them about their life, they automatically assume you know everything going on with them if you’re their “friend” online. It’s crazy. I miss the old days of catching up via person with someone instead of keeping up via facebook posts. So glad you can relate to a lot of this!
I worry every single day about how social media is going to impact Zoe’s life when she is older. It was just something we didn’t have to worry about and I miss those days!
As with everything there’s a good and a bad side to social media. Technology can be a great thing, but I feel like there’s so much drama with social media and the comparison game is hard for adults, not to mention young kids/teenagers. Even though half the kids in my boys school already have cell phones, I’m going to be that parent that doesn’t give them a phone until they’re like 16 lol.
Great Post! Yes me and included need to put down the phones and tablets and actually sit and talk. Life is too short to miss out.
Thanks. Love you too.
All of these right here!! I completely agree that life was so much simpler it seemed before social media went crazy. Don’t get me wrong I do love it at times but there are days/weeks where I need breaks. When I am with family and friends I try my hardest to not have my phone in front of me unless I may be showing them something. You never really know how much time you have with someone, so being able to talk face to face is always priceless. Loved this post!
Definitely! I have to stay on my husband to not be so caught up in his phone when we’re out and about somewhere and we have a strong no cell phone policy while eating. So glad you can relate to this and I completely agree that face to face interaction is always the best.
I think of kids that no of NO world without social media & that just makes me sad.
I’m glad my middle school years werent documented for the world to remember when I’m in my 40’s
So glad you agree! The internet/technology/social media evolved in my childhood/teenage years so I think I can appreciate both sides, but some days social media is just way too much for me to handle. I guess I’m an old soul at heart because I really do miss things when they were simpler.
I miss things too when life was more simpler, u have a friend around & they on their phone what a waste of friend time, u can pay for petrol in forecourt, pay coffee on the app, no face to face communication like the old days & if anything goes wrong there’s no one around to help,
Next thing babies will be born with a cellphone won’t even need to learn to talk.
I LUV my phone don’t get me wrong
But I’M NOT ON IT 24/7
I agree! There’s definitely advantages to technology but the downside is face-to-face communication has fell by the wayside. I try to set limits for me and my family.
Um all sorts of YES to this post. These are pretty much my exact feelings these days. I haven’t posted a photo to my Instagram feed since July … as a blogger, I know that’s basically a death wish but I just don’t care anymore. It’s too hard to keep up with, and why contribute to something that makes me feel inadequate anyway? It’s definitely a different way of life we have now and one I struggle with how I’m going to raise our future child in.
So glad you can relate! It’s just all been a little too much for me somedays and I’ve realized in those moments it’s okay to step away for a little bit. Even though it does play a big part in my job, I always want to be authentic with my posts and not just posting things to keep up with everyone else. It’s crazy/scary because 75% of the kids my boys are in school with already have cell phones and some are on social media. My boys probably won’t have a phone until they’re 16 and driving lol.