This essay on a neighbouring substack about life before the iPhone is pretty funny and a little disturbing. The past really was another country, with terrible wifi.
There was no surveillance of the streets. Crimes occurred and there was no footage to review. Planes crashed and we only saw the wreckage. There were no body cams and only spies could install hidden cameras. I trusted the nanny. We all did. It must have been a field day for nannies.
I was rejected to my face and broken up with in person. I was not polyamorous and, truth be told, was gleeful if just one woman agreed to be in a relationship with me. In order to go on a date, I had to approach a woman, talk to her, get her number, call her, talk to her again, and ask her out. It was Kafkaesque. Once plans were made, I showed up without any further contact to check whether we were, in fact, “still on for tonight,” "running late,” “at the bar,” “in the back,” or “here.” It’s a miracle we ever found each other.
News was not breaking and I was not alerted. Being elite was a good thing and being a Nazi frowned upon. Scientists were trusted and conspiracy theories were for tinfoil kooks. The only content users generated was letters to the editor.
The whole thing is worth a read. It reminded me of a bit these guys used to do on 4ZZZ each night. ‘What’s On in Brisbane’. They’d flicked through the newspaper, making odd sounds and grunts, and occasionally going, “Yeah, nah, not much.”