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Technology continues to evolve at impressive speeds while dramatically enhancing our daily, school, and working lives. (and eliminating many professions in the process) Technological achievements we wouldn’t have thought possible in the past-self driving cars and personal computers in our hands- are standards for the newer generation.

While it’s doubtful most of us would prefer to go back to the old ways of doing things, the highs and lows we experienced from the pre-digital era ignites nostalgic feelings within us. From the excitement we felt heading to the video store on a Friday evening to the frustration of trying to listen to a scratchy cd, it was truly a unique time.

And while many may argue that these were “simpler times”, the feelings of frustration we would feel slightly indicates otherwise.

The internet has changed our world, and kids these days will never truly understand what life was like without it. How many of these pre-digital struggles do you remember?

In Our Personal Lives
1. Internet

A ridiculously slow and painful process, there was once a time when you’d turn on your block of a computer, click on whichever service provider you had access to, and wait ages while you listened to the machine make unearthly screeching noises. By unearthly noises, imagine the sound of a fax machine and multiply it 10 — yea, it was painful.

Oh, and if someone in your household didn’t know you were online and picked up the receiver, you’d get kicked offline and would have to start the process all over again.

2. Phone

Because some sort of a mobile phone can be found in the pockets or hands of most individuals, an increasing number of today’s homes choose to forego the traditional house phone. Even before the mid to late 1980’s, these phones appeared much different than the ones today-with rotary dials, wall-tethered cords, and an actual operator you could call to find out someone’s number.

Also, in the days of no caller ID, a ringing phone would ignite a verbal argument inside a home in hopes of someone else answering to find out who it was. Even when the first mobile phones came out, they looked nothing like the high tech equipment we use today. Similar to old style computers, they were certainly on the blockier side, with awkward antennas and fees so high you never wanted to use it.

3. Using a real map

To get to our desired destinations today, we can rely on our smartphones to guide us there while notifying us of any traffic conditions and instances on the path. Before the advanced GPS on our phones, we would have to bring our paper maps and hope we were reading them right. Also, we had to tune in to specific radio stations to hear of any important factors affecting our route.

4. Music

In the 1990s, music pirating was introduced upon the development of technology to burn audio CDs on our computers. These were the days of Limewire. Before the days of digitized smartphones, Bluetooth, and streamable music, people would spend countless hours burning CDs to play their favorite songs in the car-and in many instances find that the CD didn’t work. Just a few short years ago, we were still looking through big leather binders full of burned CDs to find the perfect playlist.

5. Social Media

Before the existence of the social media craze and the creation of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, there was Myspace. A remarkable social site for its time, Myspace allowed you to customize your profile page, including the ability to choose a song to play when someone visited your site. Now let’s take a moment to remember the critical hours spent on choosing this song!

6. Movies

On Friday nights, we would look forward to heading to our local movie rental place in hopes to stumble across something good. With half of your town doing the same, it was always uncertain-yet somewhat thrilling-to see the movie you would end up with. Also, remember the fees if you returned it late or forgot to rewind it?

Forget looking online for movie showtimes. There used to be a telephone number you could call that listed each movie and its showtime.

7. Radio

Today, you can instantly download your favorite song to your phone or listen to it on a streaming app. Before the ability to do this, we used to call the local radio DJ to request a song, then grab our cassette recorder so we could press play and record at just the right moment.

8. Camera

“Selfies” have been around long before smart phones and social media-however, the outcome was unexpected. Totally blind, we would snap a picture with our physical camera, then send out the film to be developed and eagerly wait a week to see how it came out.

9. TV Shows

Once upon a time, you had to actually wait for your favorite show to come on each week. You couldn’t just record it and watch it when you felt like it.

In School


10. AOL

If you’re currently in school-college, high school, a new graduate- count the blessing that comes in the form of free and accessible internet! When the internet was still new, college students had to go to a computer lab in order to access it. When the internet eventually made its way to our homes, it was incredibly expensive, thus the obsession with those free hours of internet AOL sent in the mail!

11. Card Catalog

Being a student in the pre-digital age was challenging. Today, when a student has to complete a report, they head straight to the internet for information and resources with the ability to leverage writing enhancing software. In the past, we would actually have to go to the library and find real books and sources to do our research. That process involved getting really good at using the library’s physical records: the card catalog.

12. Floppy Disks

The online cloud today makes it extremely simple for students to save and submit work. Another school related struggle, you’d have to save your work to a portable floppy disk; if you lost it, you lost your work.


At Work


13. Delays in communication

Before smartphones, social networking, and chat apps, communication methods at work would take up some time if who you needed was away from the office or not available! Today, technology has taken workplace communication to a new level. Emails, texts, video chats, and video conferences all allow the ability to keep in touch even when a physical conversation isn’t possible.

14. Unorganized Paper Mess

Thanks to software applications, employers and managers can easily supervise workplace activities that help in keeping everything on track. While specific business related papers/documents will always need to be printed, in the past, everything was! If your business’s filing systems lacked in any way, you can count there would be issues. Ultimately, modern software increases workflow, improves organization, and boosts productivity.

15. Manually Painstaking Functions

Yesterday, we talked all about Gantt charts and how before present day software systems, upkeeping them was exhausting! Whether or not you utilize these effective tools, you must admit that repetitive business functions-payroll, budgeting, project management, etc.-were all improved with digital solutions.

(If your business still relies on outdated processes, slower techniques, and/or old fashioned approaches, these may be reasons explaining issues in your organization. If you need help pinpointing where the issue lies, or a helping hand to get back on track, give our experts at MCDA, CCG, INC. -headquartered in Placentia, Orange County, California- a call today!)

Which of these pre-digital struggles do you remember the most? Share and comment them below!


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