What Do You Miss Most About Pre-Smartphone Life?

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What do you miss about life before smart phones?

I keep thinking about *69, 1-800-popcorn for the time, wrist watches, thank you notes, messaging friends with “317704” on beepers/pagers bc if you turn that upside down, it spells my name.  The clank of the coin in the payphone slot, the sticky buttons. Knowing their phone numbers. Seeing my Dad read the morning paper.  The lack of performance stress and when downtime was truly downtime. -HLV

Commitment and magic. I mean, isn’t it totally mind blowing that you used to make appointments with people—meet me in the park, meet me at this restaurant, and they’d have to keep them? Because if you didn’t show up at the park for whatever reason, the other person would be totally stranded, they’d have no idea where you were. It was considered rude to stand people up—you had to stand by your commitments, and there was a real magic in that, in the waiting for the person to show up for your time together at the right place and time.
            These days, it’s so freaking easy to bail, so everybody does. There’s this pervasive attitude, especially in cities, that everyone is going to cancel last minute anyway so plans are never really “plans”, everything is penciled in, erasable. It drives me nuts. I’ve got a toddler mindset about my social life—whether it’s a dinner or a picnic or whatever, when I make plans with people, I really look forward to them, and I get upset and kind of stabilized when they’re cancelled. Luckily, I live in the countryside where cancelling isn’t a thing unless someone is sick or stuck in a snow bank or what have you. There’s not as much competing for our attention out here so people actually really look forward to seeing other humans, which is a way of life that I adore. -Courtney Maum, author.