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Was life better or worse without the internet?

(32 Posts)
Antonia Sat 29-Feb-20 14:11:52

Just that really. I grew up without access to the internet as it was still in its infancy, and our daughters were almost leaving school before we had it, so we never had to deal with social media problems. I very much appreciate the way I can access information on almost anything, but still, it's hard to separate true information from fake, and I am sure it has massively influenced the way people are drawn in to causes such as climate change (thinking about the ease with which three schoolgirls were able to persuade thousands of people to join Greta on their march). Life was certainly simpler without the internet, although I can't now imagine being without it.

Baggs Sat 29-Feb-20 14:17:32

I don't think life was simpler without the internet. Mainly because I don't think life is simple, period. What is problematic now is not the same as what used to be problematic but how people feel about and deal with what's problematic in their lives will not have changed fundamentally, I think.

BlueSky Sat 29-Feb-20 14:22:11

Just love it for all the reason you gave Antonia also for those of us with children and grandchildren abroad iit's a life line! Really couldn't be without it nowadays!

Urmstongran Sat 29-Feb-20 14:53:56

Good answer Baggs.
I like being able to Google stuff. Much better than an old encyclopaedia book!

Antonia Sat 29-Feb-20 14:55:58

To a certain extent I agree with you, Baggs there will always be problems in everyone's lives, but don't you think it is easier to access help and support on the internet? Before the internet, options for support were confined to family, friends and doctors.

Charleygirl5 Sat 29-Feb-20 15:14:56

I just love online shopping and not only food!

Doodle Sat 29-Feb-20 15:15:58

I love much about the internet. Being able to look things up. Play games, talk on FaceTime, order things and many, many other reasons. I think there is only one really massive downside and that is bullying/persecution. Yes we have always had bullying and revenge porn but it wasn’t spread across the world.
Children who were bullied in one school had the chance to escape and go to another school where they weren’t known. I am not sure if my main problem is the internet or mobile phones that allow you to photograph what you want where you want. I love the ability to catch a lovely scene or sunset but at the same time would not appreciate someone filming me in embarrassing episode then putting it out for all to see.
I am a bit of a sensitive flower so that sort of thing would stay with me for ages and could cause me endless worry. I know several children who have had traumatic times at the hands of “friends” who decide to bully or humiliate. I would give up my joy of the instant snap to save one of those children the misery they suffer.

Chestnut Sat 29-Feb-20 15:22:17

For normal people it's brilliant, contacting others, researching family history, shopping, finding out about absolutely anything etc. Although there's the problem of addition, because everyone is looking at their phones virtually all the time and can't stop.
But on the other side of the coin things are very different. With the dark web paedophiles have multiplied and can access stuff from all over the world including duping children in their own bedrooms, and others use it for all manner of evil including terrorism. Bullying on social media has affected youngsters in all sorts of dreadful ways and made them suicidal. The amount of evil there is on the web is so overwhelming that on balance I'm inclined to feel life was better without it.

lemongrove Sat 29-Feb-20 15:26:57

I agree with everything you say Chestnut.👍🏻

Greenfinch Sat 29-Feb-20 15:28:57

Good balanced post Chestnut. I tend to agree.

EllanVannin Sat 29-Feb-20 15:29:08

We who are older already had our own thoughts/ideas and education to deal with life as we knew it and I see that as an advantage pre-internet for what the www has to offer today.

Can/ do youngsters have the same conversations or discussions that we have ? No, because our knowledge comes with an experience that has been consigned to history and not always in-keeping with todays education.

My own personal view is that life was better before the internet as everyone was made to think for themselves without the need for " outside " interference and this was a much better way of righting your wrongs rather than the myriads of faceless people on Facebook or other places of that ilk putting in their sometimes abusive sixpenn'orth.

Admittedly, it has become a life-line for those of us with families overseas when writing becomes a problem and postage and phone-calls an expense.

On the downside you have the sites which encourage crime/porn and suicide and should be banned as all have increased because of the awareness and availability of their existence.

I don't like what society has become and fear for the futures of children. I think it's sad in a way that our youngsters will never experience life as it was with our own parents. Still, we have one thing which nothing and nobody has and that's memories of how things used to be.

NanaandGrampy Sat 29-Feb-20 15:39:19

I don’t think the problem lies with the internet but with the people who use it .

Anonymity allows us to be the worst version of ourselves . In real life conversations , face-to-face you are aware of the impact of your words and actions and even better you’re accountable . Online you can be anybody, say anything no matter how vile or despicable .

I’m a big fan of technology but in my opinion it has and will continue to impact the nature of communication and interaction and not all for the good .

Grammaretto Sat 29-Feb-20 15:53:48

I agree with you NanaandGranpy that it's the people who use it in bad ways but it has been good in many ways as others testify.
Here am I, being anonymous but GN is like the old agony aunt columns which, as teenagers, we went straight to.

Apparently people have been writing their problems anonymously since the 17th century - and how do I know that? I googled it ofcourse.

seacliff Sat 29-Feb-20 16:06:37

I love many aspects of the internet. The way you can immediately, at any time of day or night, find out about almost anything , of course carefully checking the source. In the old days we had to go to the library and we also had a set of encyclopedias. My Dad used to buy Hobby magazine to learn how to do jobs around the house. Now you can see it on YouTube, so handy.

However, as a Mum I am so glad my children grew up without it. Mainly because of the awful bullying and expectations on social media, that is so common now. Of course there was still bullying in "the old days" . But it ended when you got home. No nasty phone texts in the evenings.

So as with most things, there is good and bad.

rosenoir Sat 29-Feb-20 16:24:45

Mostly I love it, being able to look up anything instantly, shopping,communication,banking and research.

What I do not like is how difficult it is for people that compare themselves to everyone else worldwide and concentrate on those better off, leaving themselves miserable.

I also do not like that we know about every bit of bad news that happens anywhere. There was a time when you would only hear about an accident or crime if it was big enough to make the papers or a news programme.

MissAdventure Sat 29-Feb-20 16:43:11

I do think life was much simpler (and maybe less competitive?) without it.

It has pros and cons, I think, and I'm not sure whether either one outweighs the other.

Grammaretto Sat 29-Feb-20 16:49:47

I still know plenty of people without internet or mobile phones. They read the news in the few newspapers still around and also talk to neighbours and shopkeepers. Since DH has been volunteering in our local community shop, he hears all the local news gossip and gets to know the best tradespeople etc.

pinkquartz Sat 29-Feb-20 16:56:31

For me as an individual it is a huge plus.
It is like magic. I have been disabled for nearly thirty years and one of the difficulties was shopping.
Now it is easy.
I love that i can find out information so easily and stay in touch with people.

I only dislike the evil that some use it for.

Antonia Sat 29-Feb-20 17:05:42

I think life was less competitive, MissAdventure if only because both my daughters say they have felt pressurised into being 'perfect parents' and that has definitely come from online. I can remember when the girls were toddlers the first 'parenting' magazine came out. Now there is a huge amount of information about how parents should, or shouldn't, bring up their children. In my day it was instinct.

MissAdventure Sat 29-Feb-20 17:16:33

I think for parents, there are increasing hoops to jump through if they choose to try and keep up with current thinking; whether that's by experts, or just other parents.

TrendyNannie6 Sat 29-Feb-20 17:17:25

I really like the internet for a number of reasons, but sadly there is a bad side to it

Chestnut Sat 29-Feb-20 17:20:41

So the question is does the bad outweigh the good? When I think of all the potential suffering that results from the internet (see my post above) I think it does. If only we could somehow stop all the bad stuff, but can that ever be possible? The genie is out of the bottle and can never be put back.

Numerology translates the letters www to 666 which is creepy.

Oopsadaisy3 Sat 29-Feb-20 18:22:07

I’ve just received quotes for car insurance, it took me about 10 minutes online. Before the Internet I would spend nearly all day ringing around for quotes, or phone a broker and wait for him to come back to me a few days later.

I do fear for youngsters though who aren’t worldly wise like we are and really have a hard time of it, they join social media sites due to peer pressure but aren’t able to cope with the consequences .
For me it’s made a lot of difference and made my life much easier.

yggdrasil Sat 29-Feb-20 18:58:30

I've been on the internet since 1993, and I would be lost without it now. It may be a problem for some children, but that is something the parents have to teach them,( even if it means they have to learn first.) Parent have always had to censor television, or films, but there was always a friend whose parents weren't so careful so youy child got to see things ou would rather they didn't.
It's a fact of life now.

Barmeyoldbat Sat 29-Feb-20 19:20:52

I just love the internet and all its uses. I know I can go abroad for a few weeks but still be able to manage my daughters affairs, like her money and shopping and also face time her. I can keep in touch with all my old students out in SE Asia and seen them grow up into adults, married and have a family. They still contact me for advice on their studies love it. But there is a downside with social media side but I believe this is where parents should be helping their children. Restricting usage, teaching them how to stand up to bullies and responsible use of the internet.