Writing a letter on a piece of paper is almost a thing of the past. Now we communicate via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, just to name a few. So when I see a question such as “Did people really used to lick stamps?” on Quora, I’m a bit surprised, but I’m not at the same time. Looking back 20 years, now is a whole new way of doing everything. Licking a stamp is like a floppy disk: if you remember, chances are you’re over 30… 😉
Out of curiosity, I asked my housemate who is 21 if she even had used a stamp before. She replied the one time she used one it was self-adhesive.
Social media is everywhere, and as a WordPress & web design consultant I do advise business owners to have a presence on Facebook at the very least. “But I don’t do Facebook.” “Well, you will have to learn, won’t you? Because if you want your business to be found, you have no choice. And on Twitter. And on Instagram.” At that point I can see the confusion with a touch of annoyance on their face. And I’ve only mentioned three social media platforms so far.
How did we communicate before social media?
- We talked to each other face to face.
- We used a phone that was most of the time stuck to a wall (the cordless phone was the best invention back in those days).
- We read newspapers.
- We watched TV.
- We sent letters via the post office.
Now we have smartphones and tablets which have opened doors to anywhere in the world at the touch of a screen. I used to love junk mail in my letterbox to see what’s on special each week. Now I get everything in my inbox, and it’s targeted to what I’m interested in.
How was life before social media?
When I arrived in Australia, I left behind family and friends. Letters took minimum two weeks to arrive; sometimes they got lost. I lost touch with people.
Calling overseas was expensive until telecommunications companies started to offer deals such as “Call anywhere in those countries for as long as you want for $10.” On those days, my mother would tell everyone in town and they would queue to talk to me.
I dated a guy in the USA around the time the iPhone was still a new thing. Even though I travelled to see him regularly, it was hard when we weren’t on the same continent. Webcams were quite new and frightening. ICQ, Skype and MSN Messenger were dominating back in those days. A long distance relationship today would be easier.
Is social media a good or bad thing?
Vlogger Luke Korns gave up his phone for one month and although he could manage life without it, he said he missed not being able to video-call his friends from across the world. It made his life harder having to find where to buy a map or a working phone box.
Advertising companies love social media because they can pinpoint their audience, and I’d rather see ads for shoes rather than car tools. But the latest scandal Facebook is facing has brought into light more privacy concerns.
Are you ready to delete your social media accounts?