Unthinkable Things People Did Before Smart Phones Were Invented

Interest September 5, 2018 By Hugo

Cell phones have made life more convenient- no one is disputing that. We are more connected to the world than ever before, and whether it's FaceTimeing your friend halfway across the world, ordering an Uber after a late night out or even just Googling a question that pops into your head, there is no doubting that cell phones, and more recently smartphones, have revolutionized the way we now see the world. For some generations, smartphones are all they know.

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However, in the not-too-distant past, society functioned just fine without them, so read on as we list 15 things people did before cell phones and smartphones existed.


1. Listened to music on CD/MP3 players


Music streaming is all most younger generations know when it comes to listening to their a fantastic tunes, but until the early 00s, which saw an explosion in illegal streaming sites such as Napster and Limewire, you had to buy your music in record stores.

These came in the tape format before being preceded by the CD format and then the revolutionary iPod. Now, however, people don't even have iPods, they listen to most of their music on their iPhones and Android devices or through streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.


2. Read physical maps

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Your parents might still do this, but if you're under 50, you've probably come to rely on your handy satnav navigation system or Google Maps to get you from A to B.  However, not that long ago, people relied on huge booklets with maps of an entire city spread over hundreds of pages.

Thankfully, we no longer have to endure our parents shouting at each other over where to go and whether its the first turning on the left or the second. Now we have a soothing voice politely guiding us to wherever we please.

3. Check email solely on your computer/laptop


Before instant messaging, emails were deemed revolutionary, and many predicted the handwritten letter would be completely phased out. While that hasn't quite happened, receiving a personal letter on any day other than your birthday is probably incredibly rare.

Indeed, by the 90's and early 00's, emails had changed the landscape of communication, but you needed a decent home operator and Internet connection to access them, which meant response times typically varied from a few hours to days. Nowadays, however, all you need is a smartphone, which allows us to reply to emails as quickly as we would respond to a text message.


4. Used an ATM for all balance inquiries 

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With the advent of online banking, we can check how much (or how little) money we have with the tap of a finger, as well as make transfers and payments at any time and anywhere without having to queue in a bank for a bank clerk to do it for us.

That also applies to ATMs. Once considered a luxury to be able to check your balance in a automated whole in the wall, we don't even have to leave the house anymore- we can simply download an app and check our finances on our phones.

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