I’m So Old I Remember Doing These 9 Things Before Smartphones Existed

Smartphones have revolutionized life as we know it, and I’m part of the last generation to experience adult life without one. When I look back on life during my early adulthood, it’s hard to believe that I did these things on a regular basis.

  •  I carried around a flip phone and an iPod separately so I could make phone calls and listen to music. When I got my first iPhone, it was like a brave new world.
  • I got my bills in the mail and paid them using checks. It was a serious pain in the ass. I always had to have stamps and anticipate how early to mail the payment so it wasn’t late. Thank goodness for smartphones and the ability to pay online or in-app! I don’t even have checks for my account now.
  • I used an old school alarm clock to get up for work. Just another thing I don’t need anymore thanks to my iPhone! Also, I’m less likely to throw my iPhone out the window due to morning rage, so I think that’s a plus.
  • I took pictures with a 35mm camera and waited days to have the film developed with no idea what they looked like. Usually, the majority of them were shitty and out of focus, making both the film and the development charge a waste. Now I have over 1200 awesomely crisp pictures saved on my phone that I can look through at any time. Technology FTW!
  • I went to crowded malls to shop for clothes and frequently suffered from both social anxiety and fitting room rage simultaneously. The advent of shopping apps is the best thing ever for those of us with social anxiety. I also credit the advent of leggings as pants, because they’re so much easier to size and so comfortable! I haven’t been to a mall in years and I don’t miss it.
  • I sat at my desk in my rigid office chair whenever I had to do something online or write something. At that time, just having home internet access was a big deal. I had no idea that someday I’d be able to do almost everything from my phone on my comfortable couch or even lying in bed!
  • When I was driving somewhere unfamiliar, I printed out Mapquest directions and spent the entire drive juggling the printout and watching traffic while trying to guess how far away .4 miles was. I almost always passed up my destination and had to turn around, taking way longer than any drive should. On that note, I also delivered pizzas when I was in college, and I had to memorize my entire delivery area because GPS was very new expensive technology at the time and I couldn’t afford one. Having GPS apps on my phone is awesome and so convenient!
  • I had to take time off of work to go to a pointless and costly doctor visit and undergo an unfriendly interrogation about my sex life in order to get my birth control prescription refilled. As I’ve recently written about, we now have access to the Nurx app and their friendly medical professionals ask for only the information that’s medically necessary in order to prescribe effective contraception. No office visit, no interrogations, and no pharmacy visit to pick it up either because they mail it! It’s amazing.
  • I called the pizza place to put in my order and tried to trust that the employee heard me correctly and entered my order without mistake. I hate talking on the phone, so the ability to order my pizza from an app and see on the screen that the order is correct is great.

How many of these things do you remember or maybe even still do (if you’re a person who’s not into technology)? I, for one, am eternally grateful for smartphone technology because there’s no way I’d be able to keep up with everything I do now without such time-saving convenience.

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