21 Things We Don’t Miss From the Pre-Smartphone Era

Published On 06/02/2016 Published On 06/02/2016
Aleksandra Jankovic/Stocksy

Take a step back into the bleakness of the before time, when we lived like cavepersons, having not yet known touch capabilities, apps for every possible situation, and swiping anything other than a roommate’s last yogurt tube. To remember how far we’ve come, we’re presenting you with a hot mess you’ve long since forgotten -- all the things you don’t miss from your flip phone days.


1. Texting using T9.

While it was nice that cell phone texting eliminated the need to speak to other human beings, the fact that it took nine button presses to type "LOL" eliminated any time saved.  

2. Being unable to passive aggressively indicate your level of anger through read receipts.


3. Not being able to blow up the group chat.

Because it required manually inputting those numbers every time you wanted to respond -- and sometimes a message went through as MMS, which totally cost more than a normal text.

Robert Kohlhuber/Stocksy

4. Missing the tickets to the concert that would have changed your life.

It was 2005. You were three seconds late getting to your computer and tickets to the GREATEST EMO BAND OF ALL TIME sold out. You were the only person in your group who didn’t get to bask in the glory of the lead singer's muttonchops up close.

5. Calling overseas.

Flashback to when the calling card had four minutes on it and you talked fast enough to move to Stars Hollow and fit in right away. Today, you can just use any number of apps -- and all while being thankful that calling cards are a thing of the past. 

6. Admiring your flip-phone selfies like one would regard a work of pointillism.

Unless you think a thumbnail so grainy you could spread avocado on it and eat it for breakfast is your idea of a successful phone photo then by all means, disagree.

7. Carrying everything you own at all times.

Cellphone, camera, map, mp3 player -- the list goes on. Remember going through airport security and being forced to dump out everything into the little bin? May those days be remembered but never repeated.


8. Looking up directions.

Can you imagine depending on a static piece of paper for navigation? It was no way to live.

9. Having no good reason to look at your phone in an awkward situation.

Before timelines and newsfeeds, there was no reason to be glued to your phone while alone at a party. And at 50 cents a pop, nobody believed you were texting.

10. Having no efficient way to send documents for work in an emergency.

Legend says you had to find something called a "fax machine". Spooky.

Simone Becchetti/Stocksy

11. Not having a sustainable, high-speed outlet for social revenge or the infliction of #fomo upon the haters.

Making former friends and exes jealous of your great life used to require a certain amount of commitment and strategy no one would ever admit it to. But now it’s as simple as sending a barrage of heavily filtered photos of you living your best life on all social media channels available.

12. Resorting to actually talking to other people for basic services.

Fact: no one has mispronounced anything on any menu since 2007, mostly because no one’s actually had to order food by speaking to a human being on the phone.  

13. Having no way to figure out which song was just playing.

Well… there was one way. The desperate may remember having to literally tap the rhythm of a song using the spacebar and a certain collaborative music encyclopedia, hoping the right song would pop up. Those were truly the dark ages.

14. Having no wifi-based anything.

One good argument had those 200 texts a month running out faster than your dignity on 10 cent hot wing night.

15. Having no app for that.

Sometimes, you just need to stop and take a photo of your lunch to show it to everyone. 

Jovo Jovanovic/Stocksy

16. Summoning a cab.

It was a toss-up between flailing in the middle of the street, upstreaming a little old lady in the rain, and paying a disgusting amount of money for a private service to come pick you up.

17. Settling for your phone’s crap games.

Though to be fair, one can never tire of breaking those bricks.

18. Having no emojis.

Who were we before the dancing red dress lady came into our lives? To answer our own question, we will leave you with all that we had -- :(

19. Thinking of the hashtag as the pound sign.

It used to be the punctuation that signaled the end of an infuriating conversation with an automated recording over the phone, but now the mighty hashtag has assumed its position corralling all of our collective attentions towards the #blessed zeitgeist.

20. Not being able to immediately comment on anything until hours after it happens.

You weren’t able to let off a stream of expletives in 140 characters or less to let the world know how you felt about a traffic jam. You had to wait -- and then who would care by then? (You probably wouldn’t.)

21. Trying to open a web browser on a flip phone out of desperation.

Someone, somewhere is still waiting for his profile page to load on some social media platform nobody uses anymore. (It’s a flip phone, so he hasn’t had to charge it since 2004.)  


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