The answer is yes, I do remember a time BI – Before Internet. My early childhood was largely computer-free, until the early 90s, and the internet didn’t kick in for a few years after that. We had games consoles in the house, but these weren’t net-enabled, because the internet didn’t truly exist.
Was life better back then? Was it better for kids to grow up without the influence of technology and the web? Perhaps, but then again, it’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? Sure, I played a bit of football with mates, but to be fair, with a few, we’d go round each other’s homes and play video games, which isn’t a massive departure from what a lot of kids do now. There were also circumstances where we were completely unreachable. You couldn’t pick up a phone and dial us up to know where we were. That had advantages, but equally, in a crisis, you were very much alone.
The other thing to consider is that even when we got the internet in our home, smartphones were a pipe dream. Wireless internet? A fantasy. Mobile broadband, what was that? The idea of being able to take the entire sum of human knowledge with you in a device that fits in your pocket? To child me, that was inconceivable. The internet was just starting out as I was growing up, and in the space of a few decades, it has become unfathomably gigantic. History will judge whether or not this is a good thing.