Five things you’ll only understand if you grew up without social media

19 August 2021
Social media is now a massive part of many of our daily lives, but you will probably fondly remember a time before we had to worry about filters, hashtags and likes. So, what’s changed since then?

It’s no secret that we now live in a digital era, but it might shock younger generations to learn that there was a time before the internet and social media.

If you grew up without social media, here are some things you just might relate to.

1. We lived in the moment a lot more

Nowadays there’s often a feeling of, ‘if it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen’. Whether it’s a funny family party or a nice dinner out, sometimes people can feel a crippling pressure to get the perfect shot to add to their Facebook or Instagram page.

But before social media, we would live in the moment. We would be involved in the fun and see these wonderful moments happening right before our eyes, instead of staring at our phone screens and trying to get the best angle.

It’s lovely to have photos and videos to look back on, but without social media there wouldn’t be as much pressure to document everything.

2. You didn’t know everyone’s business

Back in the day, the people you didn’t keep in touch with from your past would only be thought about once in a blue moon. But now because of social media, you feel like you know someone from primary school’s life better than your own, down to their favourite type of washing-up liquid.

Social media has resulted in a culture of oversharing, and although it may be interesting sometimes to learn what everyone is up to – do we really need to know the ins and outs of everyone’s day?

3. Catching up with friends was more interesting

Before social media, when your friends had big news to share it was a lovely surprise to hear about it over the phone or in person. Whether it was an engagement, pregnancy or big career news.

Now that personal news tends to be shared on social media, you may feel like you know everything about your friend’s and family’s lives’ before they have a chance to even tell you about things. This takes away the excitement of hearing it from the horse’s mouth, and there’s a risk that there’s nothing new to talk about when you do meet up.

4. Life wasn’t a competition

Life has always had an element of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, but social media has accelerated comparison culture.

It’s hard not to reflect on your own life when you’re constantly confronted with images of things you don’t own or life milestones you haven’t yet hit. But it’s important to remember that most people only share the good bits on social media, so it isn’t a totally accurate representation of their lives.

They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and social media makes it very hard to not compare your life to someone else’s. If you grew up before social media, you’ll know that this didn’t used to be such an issue, and if you did achieve something you’d take the time to enjoy the moment instead of rushing to post about it online.

5. We wasted less time

Social media can steal a lot of time from us. The never-ending timelines and stories mean you can scroll forever, without realising you’ve spent an entire evening achieving nothing and ignoring your loved ones.

It’s genuinely frightening how much time social media can suck up. If we get stuck scrolling through pictures, videos and posts, we could lose hours before we even realise.

Before the internet, we wouldn’t spend so much time on electronic devices. We would spend more time socialising in person with our loved ones and exploring the outside world. Children wouldn’t be glued to a tablet or a phone, instead they’d be having an adventure outside with their friends.



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