As many of you have probably heard, Google is shutting down Google Reader as of July 1, 2013. I have loved Google Reader dearly, and used it daily for the past 5 years. I never understood why Google never put more resources into such a great product, and like many of you, I was super bummed when they disabled sharing of feeds in fall of 2011. At least I have 3 months to search for another RSS feed reader. If you have one that you use, please feel free to share in the comments.
Even though I am upset, I do realize this is completely a #FirstWorldProblem. And, yes, the world existed before the internet. And also before Google Reader.
Since I have the attention span of a 7-year-old, I started thinking about my life before the internet, and put together this short list.
My Life Before the Internet
Before Grooveshark and Streaming Music … I would use my parent’s boombox which looked something like this, insert a blank cassette tape, wait for the DJ to play my favourite songs, and press “record” at just the right moment. Sometimes, I’d get a bit of the DJ’s voice at the beginning or end of the song.
Before Googling Lyrics…. I would play my “pirated tape” and stop after each line so I could write down the lyrics. Then, I’d press “play” to hear the next time, stop again, and repeat and repeat for each song. Sometimes, it would be really hard to decipher certain lyrics, and until this day, I still sing most of these songs with my incorrect lyrics. Oh, and then I discovered the “pause” button. Which made my young life so much easier. Such is the wonder of technology (or so I thought!).
Before E-mails and Blogs … I used to have penpals. I had two penpals whom I still keep their letters. I wrote letters first to J from grade 7 until high school, even after he moved away. Then in high school, K and I would exchange letters. We’d drop off our letters for each other in our lockers, and I still remember the joy each letter brought. I poured my heart into those letters, and I’m curious to read what was on my mind back then.
Before Google Maps… I used a book of maps, which I still carry in my (parent’s) car, which I prefer over using a GPS. I am notorious for getting lost, but I find that looking at a “real” map, as opposed to a Google Map printout helps me better orientate my bearings.
Before Google and Search Engines … I remember going to a library and checking out reference books, and photocopying pages from the Reference books that could not be removed from the premise. I remember the librarian teaching us how to find books using those cards database filing system (with physical cards).
Before Online Job Applications … I remember applying to co-op jobs in college and some people would print their resume on heavy-duty-fancy paper to submit to prospective employers.
Before Digital Cameras/Facebook/Picasa/Flickr … I remember taking a photograph, and not knowing how I’d look until the film was developed (unless it was a Polaroid ). Then, I remember arranging the pictures in a photo album, and having to choose which ones I would send to relatives, and which ones to keep.
Before Cell Phones… I remember calling my friend’s house and leaving a message with their parents. It was normal to not reach someone all the time, but they always called you back.
That was a lovely stroll down memory lane. I’d love to hear what your memories before technology or the internet in the comments!
P.S. I’m loving Kelly Clarkson’s song “Catch my Breath” and it’s been on repeat all night