Life | 90s | 80s

19 Ways Life Was Completely Different Before Smartphones

Having a smartphone these days is almost a necessity. You need them for work, you need them to talk to your friends, and you really just need them for basically everything else. They come in handy, sure, but it's hard not to look back on the days of being "off the grid" and remember how good that felt?

When we were young, we didn't need to keep up with our friends and family at all times. We could just enjoy our day, talk to the people we were around, and actually go to the things we said we would at the right time instead of texting last minute to say "I can't come."

Seriously, just think about how much times have changed...

1. The youngest kids are getting phones now, and they know how to type faster than I do

I think most kids these days know how to use an iPhone before they know how to use a toilet.

2. If we wanted to make a call when we were out and about we needed to use a quarter

If the phone was broken (which it always seemed to be) you had to keep walking until you found another one.

3. You couldn't just go anywhere to talk on the phone, there was a very limited range of motion

Phone cords were a pain in the ass, and our parents would never let us have a phone in our rooms.

4. Eventually we would all just give up and camp out on the living room or kitchen floor

Who cares if your siblings hear your conversations, even if they weren't in the same room they would have been listening in anyways.

5. You want to find your friends? Well, if they left the house there is no real way to track them down without going outside and looking for them. Are they at the park? Are they at Billy's house? Are they out on adventure? You'll never know until you go out there and start looking

You'd only be able to find them if you could recognize their bikes. Luckily, we all spent about 85% of our time riding around with our friends so we knew our bikes better than anything.

6. Taking pictures on the go? You had VERY limited options. You could get a disposable camera, a film camera, or one of these super impressive Game Boy cameras. Obviously the photo quality was impeccable

Selfies weren't really as fun when they get printed out on receipt paper and then immediately lost. I guess it was like the original Snap Chat.

7. Sending messages to your friends was a bit more of an origami event than it is now

They were extra tricky because it wasn't like there was a password to keep other people from reading it. If it got lost, someone else was going to know your secrets.

8. Dialing a phone was kind of a hassle

Who else had a rotary phone? What a nightmare right?

9. Although there really were some perks to it... Hanging up a cell phone will never have the same level of satisfaction that hanging up a land line will

There is no better feeling than slamming down the receiver when you're angry.

10. After you've hung up on them, there was only one option to get them to stop calling back

My parents would often leave the phone off the hook during dinner to make sure telemarketers wouldn't call and spoil our family time.

But those aren't the only things we remember about the time before cellphones...

11. Memes weren't a thing in our childhood, but that didn't mean we didn't try to show other people funny stuff

Sure, everything was backwards and looked a little bit stretched out, but whatever, we tried.

12. Simple things like a trip to the bathroom was a whole different experience when you didn't have a smart phone to stare at, and anytime we forget our phones now it feels like we've time traveled

There's always one thing that will be in the bathroom without fail: shampoo bottles.

13. We didn't have emojis to text to our friends, so our secret notes were jam-packed full of the secret codes we had worked out using symbols and simple pictures we could draw, or sometimes if we were lucky, we had the stamper makers to help out

Did anyone else find that the markers would fade out so much faster than other markers?

14. Music wasn't something we could travel with easily. You either needed a full CD wallet, or a whole bunch of tapes, but it wasn't convenient. Enter Hit Clips.

You want to listen to a few seconds of the same songs over and over again? Perfect, have we got the option for you. These little chips could fit on a key ring, but keep in mind you only have a few seconds of the song so it'll likely leave you wanting more.

15. Collect calls saved us so much money. Sounds counter-intuitive, but when you figure out how to game the system, you're all set

You just need to learn how to talk really fast, but then you can get your mom to come get you after the movie was done without spending the quarter that you absolutely used to buy vending machine candy.

16. And then came the cellphones... But they weren't as 'smart' right off the bat. They didn't hold all your music, or take pictures, or surf the web

You had to carry around a bunch of devices if you be able to play music, make calls, take pictures, and get directions.

17. Texting was honestly a bit of a hassle

Sure, it isn't the world's biggest struggle, not by a long shot. But who else remembers that disappointment when you get the the 'S' but then accidentally hit it just once more?

18. The plans were also a little bit less forgiving

I remember my first cellphone plan didn't even include texting. They cost five cents per message, and that counted for coming in and going out. So if you had a particularly chatty friend it would add up real fast.

19. But of course, there were some benefits...

When your phone can't really do much, the battery lasted for roughly a thousand years. Rumor has it that the first Nokia phone ever is still sitting at 74% battery...

Do you remember a time before smartphones?