Life Before The Internet – A Fun Review

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Life before the internet - Modern Crochet Blog

Adam Gonk Crochet Blog Hooked On Patterns‘Put your name and address on a self addressed envelope, and send it in!’

‘Just send us a stamped, self addressed envelope…’

Before the internet, television presenters were obsessed with the ‘self addressed envelope’. This was before they could count telephone calls, and before the internet. When television was the great communications innovation.

I can remember 4 channels of television broadcasting, and that wasn’t 24 hours a day. If you fell asleep, you would be woken by an annoying beep, and a bright colour chart illuminating the room.

Children’s television was a ‘thing’. On Saturday mornings, in-between the cartoons, the presenters would always have a big sack full of letters. Letters which contained a self addressed envelope with a pre-paid stamp on it. The stamp meant that the TV show could send the letter back to you, containing something inside. Something physical.

A stamp is a piece of paper, which has a sticky underside, which you stick to an envelope. You then put the envelope into a post box.

A post box is a big red metal container that stores letters, which a postman or postwoman collects. They then get the letter to wherever it needs to be. This entire process is part of what was commonly referred to as the postal system. Normal, everyday, folk used to use the postal system. Before that, they used carrier pigeon.

When a big company annoys me, I think to myself ‘that’s it, I’m writing a letter’. But I don’t, I send them an email. Same words but not quite the same impact.


Before the internet, libraries were important, nay, a necessity within every community. If I wanted to learn something I would go to the library.

In the library you have to find the book, which is harder than it sounds. If memory serves, there was some sort of rolodex in some libraries – before they had a computer to tell you where the book was. Then you had to find the book with the grid references the rolodex gave you! It was like that Pokémon game everyone’s playing – but instead of a cute monster at the end, it was a heavy, dusty book. To find the information you needed, you would often have to read the book. Not like a today: How do I build a rocket ship? – Well, just follow this YouTube video, or ‘Make a rocket ship in 3 easy steps’.

In life before the internet, not every grouping of text was confined to some sort of list. This article could have been ’10 Reasons The World Was Odd Before The Internet’. With that said, be sure to read ‘My Top 5 Crochet Gonk Outfits’.

Before the internet, nobody knew anything, beyond their personal expertise. And that was accepted. You may of known somebody who studied or worked in a general area, and they became the ‘expert’. I didn’t care to learn and it normally wasn’t that important, not to go to the lengths of going to the library to bottom it out. Just wasn’t.

Now, everybody’s an expert, or an internet search away from being one.

Hot Water Bottle Crochet PatternBecause everybody’s an expert, it’s required that you state your source, to show how you became an expert. You have to tell people where you got your information, tell them what internet website said so. It is fun to reply with, “I read it in a book”. That can cause some confusion when fact checking.

Before the internet was on phones people didn’t look at them as much. There wasn’t much point to it. If you had a 2D, pixelated game on the phone, it just wasn’t that good a reason to justify constant phone to face.


In life before the internet, somebody could be out of contact for weeks, and that was normal. You could call their house to see if you could catch them on the landline, but if they were out, they were out. Not everybody had an answerphone, so they wouldn’t even know you were trying to get in contact with them.

Not like today. I put a new game on my phone and the game said “What’s your name?”. A bit forward. Then the game wanted to know my location. My phone wants to tell the world where I am throughout the day, with no time delay, in full HD with captions ON.

It was a simpler time, life before the internet. Of course, this blog would have been a newsletter, sent out biweekly in the post. To comment you would have to send a letter back. If you won a free crochet pattern, you would have to send a stamped, self addressed, envelope and then wait for up to 28 days.

Lets not talk about Pagers.

I do wonder what the world was like way before modern technology.

Here’s some interesting input from the internet:

How long have humans existed?* [ … about 200,000 years ago. They began to exhibit evidence of ‘behavioural modernity**’ around 50,000 years ago.] 

* It appears, with a simple question, I have jumped in the deep end.
** ‘behavioural modernity’ – ‘behavioural and cognitive traits that distinguishes current Homo sapiens from other anatomically modern humans… modern human behaviour can be characterized by abstract thinking, planning depth, symbolic behaviour…’

So, according to the internet, there has been around 50,000 years of modern human existence.

The telephone was invented in 1876 (says the internet – ’cause I don’t know), 140 years ago. The internet, in 1983. 1983! The internet as we know it took its form in the 1990s. 27 years ago. 

50,000 (years of human kind) – 140 (telephone) = 49,860 years without the telephone. 

50,000 (YOHK) – 27 (internet) = 49,973 years without the internet. 

That’s a lot of time without online maps. 

Thank you for reading! Leave a comment, and tell me what you remember of life before the internet (if you do).

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