Technology has made a lot of aspects of life much, much better. But are there some really cool things we lose with all this advancement?
Here are a few amazing things we don't have anymore thanks to technology.
Many thanks to all the Redditors who responded. Check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1. Hanging out with friends and going wherever you wanted. Sneaking into abandoned buildings to explore, walking the streets late at night. That all sounds very suspicious, but I hope you get what I mean.
With all the surveillance today it's practically impossible to do anything without being monitored, and we have become so adjusted to that knowledge that we don't seem to remember the fun of doing ANYTHING YOU WANTED and nobody would know or care. Now if I want to go out at night and walk drunkenly with my friends down a street there are bound to be 20 cameras watching me, and GPS monitoring my phone etc. Who knows what else.
I am not saying I do anything illegal here, but I personally HATE the feeling of how monitored my life is.
2. The freedom to mess up unnoticed.
I've learned this consequence of modern technology the hard way. I've done a lot of messing up in my life, especially when it came to making friends. On multiple occasions, I've had drunken blunders recorded and held over my head as leverage, once in a social context and another time in a professional one.
I hope you pick your friends wisely because it is now incredibly easy for bullies to mess with your life. All it takes, though, is one person to decide to try and ruin you, and when that happens, even the best of friends won't be able to do much to help you. Not trying to be a huge downer or say that people should be paralyzed in fear all the time. Just wanted to share a bit about my perspective and maybe get people to think twice about the way they're representing other people on social media.
3. Four player, split-screen video games. I love playing online but it just isn't as good as having all your mates over and playing on the same screen.
4. The ability to be completely unreachable for hours and hours each day and not have people lose their minds. I'd jump on my bike on a Saturday and go out with my friends and my parents would have no way to locate or contact me.
5. Those signs at train stations/airports that made the clicky sound. Those that were used before they used screens.
Those were beautiful.
6. Making a fool of yourself and not seeing it all over social media the next day while hungover trying to locate your pants and dignity.
7. Old school telephones. Slamming the handset down on the heavy cubed base when you were mad.
8. Letter writing to girls you met in summer camp.
9. Being able to memorize phone numbers like a rolodex.
10. Friends showing up randomly at your house to see if you wanna hang out.
11. Finding a porno mag in the bushes.
12. The 80's arcade in America.
13. Taking pictures of your butt on cameras people left unattended - always funny when they got the film developed a couple of weeks later.
14. This will sound weird, but Urban Legends. All those scary stories that kids and teens told each other... there was no easy way to check on it. The world felt a little more exciting and dangerous. More magical. Now you just go on Snopes and you don't have that hours long conversation at your sleepover, debating whether or not it's even possible to die from Coke and Pop Rocks.
I mean don't get me more I love having my questions answered, and I love the age of information. But sometimes it was so special when we didn't have access to so many answers. It was fun to try to work it out for ourselves.
15. Getting your photos back after developing. I've bought my kids cheap point and shoot film cameras and they love getting their photos back from the shop.
16. Seeking out information. My uncle used to listen to long-wave radio broadcast from Eastern Europe during the Cold War and would write to these stations asking about life in these countries. He has an amazing collection of pins and english-language propaganda and signed letters from higher-ups in state run radio stations from communist countries.
Now we just google everything. 1000% more efficient, 10,000% less interesting.
17. Getting a fat, glossy monthly magazine related to your interests.
I have fond memories of the excitement of seeing the latest issue of Your Sinclair, easily the greatest video games mag that ever existed.
18. Concerts, put your phone away and enjoy the show.
19. Blockbuster. It was never about the movie, it was the whole experience. I remember getting bummed out when the New Releases section was out of stock with what I wanted, but then you get to strolling along the aisles; action, drama, comedy, taking it all in. Holding each case in your hand, reading the description, knowing you got one choice so it better be good. I miss it, I miss a whole lot of things. Though I do like the convenience of being a weekend hermit every now and then, entire libraries at my fingertips and I don't even gotta put pants on. It's a beautiful thing.
20. Swords. No battles are solved via swords anymore. It's all strategical gun fire and bombing. Just duel the people!
21. The night sky. Before cities and towns were lit up 24/7 you could see an earthporn quality sky from anywhere. Now you can only see a sky like that if you drive hours away from a city.
22. Wrapping telephone cord around your finger/fingers/palm/hands when you call a girl you like.
23. Being unreachable...and that being an accepted part of life.
Used to be a time when you could just say "I missed your call because I wasn't home." and everybody accepted that as solid fact.
Now, people know you are just ignoring their calls or texts.
24. Night tag. I was the youngest of four and we grew up in a neighbourhood brimming with kids. On weekends we would play street hockey all day, go in to eat dinner, and then come back out and play night tag until dark, maybe 11PM. There would usually be around twenty of us playing and we could run through or hide in any yard on the street, even people who had no kids were cool with it and would laugh when they'd see us hiding in the backyard and then hear the shriek when we were caught. Sometimes we'd even jump in pools fully clothed to hide. Everyone knew everyone and it wasn't complicated. At the end of the night we'd all sit sweaty on someone's driveway, laughing and making fun of each other, sometimes my eldest sister would bring out her guitar. Things felt a lot more human then.
25. People being on time, a.k.a. nobody had the means to send you a last-minute text that they'll be late so they always made a strong effort to show up on time or even early.
26. Book stores and CD stores. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to get whatever I want whenever I want it, but I also like hanging out and browsing aimlessly.
27. Reading the newspaper and seeing only fully expressed, cogent opinions signed with real names in the Letters to the Editor. You might not have agreed with those opinions but at least most editors knew which ones to pick to print so start a reasonable debate.
Also, reading comic strips in those same newspapers.
28. Actually learning about a person rather than cyber stalking them.
29. The Art of Bull. Everything can be proved and disproved in seconds. I remember my uncles sitting around and debating if certain stuff was real or not cause they had no way of knowing easily.
30. Back when CDs were popular, the cellophane was very hard to remove. Using a blade mean scratching the case.
Very few people figured out that the ridged side of those cases were meant to be scraped. So I'd watch somebody struggle for a minute, ask if I could try, and ZZZZIP. One scrape of that ridged side along a hard surface, and the cellophane was open.
I face much more resistance when I try to scrape people's smartphones today, and to less effect.
31. Fully mechanical solutions to complex systems in vehicles.
Distributor was driven off the engine and had a contact for each cylinder to send spark to them. The timing could be advanced or slowed by rotating the distributor. Electronic coil on plug systems killed the distributor (but opened up way more tuning potential).
Carburetors metered the fuel going into the engine, based on throttle position. Replaced by electronic fuel injection at each intake port (or direct injection into each cylinder).
Limited slip differentials use clutches to limit the difference in speed between the two wheels on an axle. Very useful in snow and off-road. The cheap way to achieve this now is using wheel speed sensors to detect a spinning wheel, and apply the brakes at that wheel only (using ABS system) to send power to the other wheel. It's not nearly as good, but saves a bunch of money.
Engine fan clutches made from bimetallic strips. When the strip heats up, the metal on one side of it has a larger thermal expansion coefficient than the other, causing the strip to curl. This effect was used to engage the clutch when the strip was hot, and disengage it when the strip cooled. Fans are no longer driven off the engine, they are electric instead.
I have a mechanical engineering degree (can't call myself an Engineer until I get licensed) so I really love those old school mechanical solutions. The electronic replacements are in many cases better, but they are harder to fix and more of a black box that I have a harder time understanding.
32. Manual roll-down windows in cars.
I USED to have the luxury to roll down my window whenever I wanted. Now the car has to be turned for no good reason.
33. Finding out things in video games for yourself. You used to here rumors about secrets, cheat codes, etc. But now you can look up anything on the internet so there's no mystery and no surprise. It's the main reason I always try to go in blind when playing games.
34. Products that were built to last.
Now everything is designed to break.
35. Mechanical calculators. I'm talking about Curta. Google it, they are really cool. It's impressive how they built them, looking at the diagram!
36. Pushing someone into a pool who is fully clothed. Used to be a fun prank. Now it's expensive.