Top 10 Things We Did On Our Own Before Computers

Anyone over 30 can remember clearly a time when we had to do most of the jobs that computers do for us today on our own, from having to go out and buy an alarm clock to sending out mail at the post office. The innovation that has happened in the last 40 years has been incredible. Some may say that the old ways were better and vice versa; however, no one can deny that computers have made our lives considerably easier. So sit back and let’s go down memory lane to reminisce about ten things that computers helped us do that we used to do 40 years ago.


I’ve got to admit, I do not miss trying to fold those huge maps back into their previous form while battling the wind coming from a rolled down car window, but paper maps were our savior on long family road trips that provided us with (at times) great directions. We marked what roads to take and avoid as well as what pit stops we wanted to take. Times now make it so much easier. We are able to speak into our phone and tell it a street name, building, it doesn’t matter; it will find you the quickest route there. Next time you’re driving in an unknown city, give a quick nod to your GPS for getting you there.

Online Portfolio –

40 years ago, building your portfolio was the least of your worries. In fact, your photos and files might have been the best, but if you couldn’t reach enough people then it tended to fall short in bringing you results. Today, being able to customize and create an engaging online portfolio is back in the forefront, and presenting creators with the outlet to present it to thousands of people every day.

Home Security –

Leaving for a business trip or simply to the store? Better call your neighbor to ask them if they can keep an eye on your home. 40 years ago we where a tad more friendly with our neighbors, so much so that at times we would give them a spare key to take care of our plants or feed our pets while we were gone. Today, we live in a different world. Sure, we might still ask our neighbors to keep an eye out, but our primary source of home security comes from cameras that are connected to our phones. The incredible advancements in home security have saved countless lives and property.

Resumes –

Always keep a resume on hand, you never know who you’ll meet! Once upon a time, the process of getting a job was a bit different. In fact, more often than not back then, you would have to set aside a whole day driving around town trying to get your resume into the hands of as many employers as possible. With the advancements of today, email, in particular, the task of job hunting has made it a lot easier to find a job. Let’s face it, it’s a numbers game and the more people that see your resume, the more likely you’ll get a callback.

Research –

I think we can all recall a time when doing a research paper meant having our parents drive us to the library to check out a ton of books, only to get about two or three sentences of useful information from each one. With the introduction of Google, one can type in the word coffee and receive a plethora of information in an instant.

Groceries –

Every giant tech company is coming out with their own version of interactive devices that can play you a song or look up a fact for you. Now, devices, such those from Amazon and Google, can order groceries right to your door! That is a long way from the times of having to make a detailed list, look for coupons, and hope they have all the products you need. Then you would get in your car and drive to the store going down each aisle until your cart was full.

Meetings –

“Oh, I can’t go to the meeting, I’ll be out of town.” Usually, that would be enough to get you out of a meeting. Forty years ago, it was crucial that meetings were planned when all the parties were in town at the same time. In addition, meetings would become expense necessities as the need to fly employees in was a must. Though telephone conference calls still exist, companies still often aim for a video-to-video chat program to better get their points across.

Photos –

Ah, the days of getting your first disposable camera as a kid, taking a ton of great pictures (mostly out of focus), having to wait days for it to be developed in some red room. Today, our photos are instantly visual to us the second we take them. You can send those pictures right to your printer.

Direct deposit –

Getting your first paycheck as a teenager felt amazing! Your boss usually gave it to you in an envelope, marked and signed by him. You would then race to a bank teller and collect your hard earned cash. Today, thanks to direct deposit, it’s a little less eventful but way more convenient. Computers calculate the hours worked and send money from the company directly to your bank account in an instant.

Missed Calls –

Before the days of the voicemail, there was waiting at your home until someone called. That was essentially the only thing you could do to catch a call if for any reason you missed it. Well, you might not know if you even got the call in the first place until you saw the person again. Today, our phones allow us to choose to miss a call knowing the person on the other end will simply leave a voicemail for us to listen to. We can see a list of who has called us, and with a push of a button, call them back.

Though we believe these innovations could not get any better, I beg to differ. Technology is growing rapidly and as much as I want to share predictions of the future uses of computers, I believe we haven’t seen anything yet. There are so many more exciting things to come. All we know is that in 30 years we will probably be talking about the days that we carried a phone in our hands instead of an implant inside our brain.

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