77 percent of Gen Xers want to go back to pre-Internet days. Here are 9 things we miss.

A new Harris Poll reported by Fast Company has found that older Millennials and Gen Xers are the age group who most want to go back to a pre-Internet and pre-smartphone era. 77% of Americans aged 35-54 wanted to go back to the pre-internet era compared to 63% of those aged 18-34 and 60% of those over 55.

What’s interesting about the survey is that regardless of age, more people wanted to go back to a simpler time when we weren’t connected 24/7. consider whether we should. Now, we have some regrets.

That’s why it’s no shocker that numerous scientific studies have found that today’s mental health crisis coincides precisely with the adoption of smartphone technology.

There have been many gains mankind has made since the dawn of the internet. But there were also many sacrifices. Many of the things we have lost have been those that made us happy and carefree.

Here are 9 things people in the pre-internet world are missing.

Less exposure to negativity

The psychological concept of negativity bias shows us that the human mind is obsessed with focusing on adversity at the expense of the positive, creating an unbalanced world view. The internet age exposes us to a barrage of constant negativity, whether it’s crazy commentary on social media, a constant diet of negative stories from the media, or continuous coverage of a political climate that is becoming more divisive and adversarial.

We didn’t have to defend our sanity against being exposed to this level of anger and fear in the pre-internet age.

Live for the moment, do not like

It seems like a lot of activities people engage in these days aren’t for the experience in and of itself, but for the opportunity to take a picture and share it on social media. But there’s a big difference between enjoying the moment and filming it. When 20,000 phones go up because everyone wants to get a video of Taylor Swift singing Anti-Hero, are those people actually enjoying the moment or are they missing out because they’re focused on documenting it to share on Facebook later that night?

No 24 hour news cycle

The 24-hour news cycle began in 1980 when CNN launched on cable television networks nationwide. But it feels like the Stone Age compared to today when people are obsessed with news and following it as it happens on social media especially Twitter. While staying informed is important, things have gotten off balance, leading people to become addicted to the news. Studies show that people who obsessively follow the news are more likely to suffer from stress, anxiety and physical health problems.

Also, in the world of social media, we don’t just follow the news; as we comment, like and share stories, we help spread them, making them part of our social identities.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to turning on the national news every night at 6.30pm, finding out what’s happening in the world in 30 minutes, and then turning it off until the next day?

Physical music

It seems that people’s attitudes towards music have really changed in the age of streaming. In the pre-streaming era, it cost $12.99 for a new CD or vinyl LP, but you valued it more. You were invested in music.

With streaming, things were starting to get quite disposable, Finlay Shakespeare, a musician and sound engineer, told The Guardian. If I didn’t like an album or an artist’s work at first, I tended not to go back to it. But music as an art form is designed to grow on people after multiple listens. How many CDs have you bought that you didn’t like at first and then, after three or four listens, you really liked it?


Have you ever had one of those nights where you went out with your friend or significant other and asked them not to “post that they were here?” the world we live in today. It’s easy for anyone to know almost everything about you and how to get in touch. It’s not just because we post things on social media; there are countless online databases where people can learn almost everything about you.

It’s a far cry from living in the 1980s, when the only way to know about someone was if they appeared in the newspaper or the phone book. Now, if someone wants to find you, they can, and that’s kind of scary.


These days people take hundreds, maybe thousands of photos every year, many of which they never look at. Before smartphones, every photo you took was precious and it could take up to two weeks to be developed by Fotomat. Today’s technology makes it much easier to take pictures and share them with friends. But how many do we actually print and frame in our homes? Even though we have all these photos, they are all trapped in a digital vault and maybe, just one day, we will get some of them.


When was the last time you felt that you could spend two hours working on something nonstop without being distracted by a text message, ping, Slack message, Facebook update, SPAM call, pop-up on your computer monitor or an irresistible desire to stop what you’re doing and scroll through Twitter? If someone from 1995 were frozen in time and woke up to today’s level of digital distraction and harassment, they would probably run off to live in the forest. But, like frogs in slowly boiling water, the change was so gradual that we didn’t realize we were creating a world where concentration now has added value.

Less comparisons

Social media has taken social comparisons to a whole new level. As humans, we naturally compare ourselves to our peers, looking up to those who are better off or looking down on those who don’t seem to be doing so well. But in the age of social media, we see a steady stream of people getting to do the things we wish we could do and buy the things we wish we had. They are on vacation while they were at work. They have a new house and were in an apartment. Their kids excel at sports and ours will barely leave the house.

The problem is that social media presents a mirror view of other people’s lives because they tend to only share complementary things. You don’t hear about people’s financial problems, marriage difficulties, or seeing if their children get bad grades. You only see the beautiful things.

Shop in person

The poll that sparked this article said that 77% of those aged 35-54 would like to go back to an era before smartphones and the Internet. It was a time when if you wanted a new shirt you had to go to the mall to buy one. Obviously, with Amazon, things are much easier now. But the way we gathered our friends and wandered the mall in search of a T-shirt and bumped into our crushes and devoured a Cinnabon along the way provided so many social opportunities that were being missed out on. these days. Convenience is great, but it can’t replace life.

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