There was a world before the internet. It may sound surreal but there really was. I know - because I was there.
In the days before the internet you had to book holidays or flights at your local travel agent. You could not shop "online" because there was no "online" - unless you were fishing by a lake and you had just hooked a trout "on" your "line"
Before the internet you had to deal with all banking matters in a physical bank where bank clerks and tellers were swamped with paper files because there were no computers to facilitate their work. I know this will sound crazy but if you had a financial problem or needed a loan you could talk it over with your bank manager who was a real human being.
In the days before the internet, people bought newspapers to keep up with things. There were local and national newspapers which sold daily in millions. You found out about the weather there, about births, deaths and marriages. You checked the football results and learnt about the latest political shenanigans or murders or fluctuations in stock markets.
Before the internet you had to use libraries to gather information or delve into The Encyclopedia Britannica - available in thirty two volumes containing 32,640 pages. And if you were a university student there were none of the shortcuts that the internet now provides. You had to spend hours following up references, hunting down pearls of information.
In the days before the internet, there was no e-mail. You had to write letters. They might be handwritten or tapped out on a typewriter but if you made a mistake when typing you had to start again as the word processor did not exist.
|An old typewriter|
Before the internet, it was not easy to find out how to make a bomb and if you wished to access pornography I understand that you had to reach up to the top shelf in your local newsagent's shop and then - probably with enormous embarrassment - take your chosen magazine to the counter.
If you were decorating your house you had to check colour charts at your nearest D.I.Y. store and if you needed new recipe ideas when cooking you had to thumb through recipe books. And back then people you had left behind in the past stayed in the past. They didn't come back to haunt you.
In the days before the internet, children played "Snakes and Ladders" together on actual boards and if they were the victims of snide bullying in schools they left it all behind when they went home. It didn't follow them into their bedrooms on internet smartphones.
Yes - my friends - there was a world before the internet. The memory of it is getting misty now. Historically, we sometimes delineate time with the letters "B.C." and "A.D." but perhaps we should consider a new delineation - "B.T.I." and "A.T.I." - before the internet's arrival and after it came along to transform so many aspects of human life in often unexpected ways.