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Remember When We Lived Our Own Lives

That was nice. Pre-9/11, Pre-Facebook, Pre-Smartphone. Just you, in your body, in your own mind, doing the things you needed to do for the day. I think back to those days, the way it felt and it seems so far away.

by Anonymousreply 8601/14/2021

Thanks for keeping us posted!

by Anonymousreply 101/11/2021

And a good book on your nightstand! And on Sunday you would buy a jug of orange Juice and the Sunday NY Times to spend the morning with.

by Anonymousreply 201/11/2021

..and Walter Cronkite kept me as informed as I cared to be

by Anonymousreply 301/11/2021

And we could smoke in bars!

by Anonymousreply 401/11/2021

I remember. I worked second shift. I was around 20 years old, 22 when 9/11 happened. I would get up around 11, hang out with my dogs, fill up the birdbath, water the flowers and then go to work at 2. At break I would usually run up and down the fire escape for exercise, then get a glass of ice water and sit in the break room, watching my coworkers watch TV. Then back to work. I'd drive home like a bat out of hell; my favorite dog would be waiting for me in my window and I could see him as soon as I rounded the corner of my street. I would take a shower, make scrambled egg whites with tortillas, and feast. I had an antenna, so I didn't get cable, but I was able to pull in PBS and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, which I loved. I would spend my evening alone, as it was usually (but not always) too take for friends to come over (11pm). I had a hiking backpack made for carrying small children; I found it at the Salvation Army thrift store. If the weather was nice I would put my dog in the backpack and take him for a bike ride. I made things out of paper, usually birds, and hung them from my ceiling, or I painted stuff or made things for my yard. Then I would go to bed.

I had dial up internet but not much online was worth waiting for the time it took to load. I don't think it is now, but it is so fast now, that people don't mind and can just sit for hours scrolling and clicking and clicking away.

by Anonymousreply 501/11/2021

R5 Fucking hell you're dreary.

by Anonymousreply 601/11/2021

You could go for a 30 minute drive and never see anything except land and homes. No buildings, shops. Camera's did not exist. Felt safe. Normal.

by Anonymousreply 701/11/2021

[quote]I had dial up internet but not much online was worth waiting for the time it took to load. I don't think it is now, but it is so fast now, that people don't mind and can just sit for hours scrolling and clicking and clicking away.

I remember when the kind of internet consumption made possible by today's devices used to be categorized as addictive behavior.

by Anonymousreply 801/11/2021

Humans are incredibly adaptable.

Imagine the opposite: if we lost all electricity, communication, access to food, water, etc. We'd just adjust.

by Anonymousreply 901/11/2021

People would call your house. You were out, didn’t pick up. Nobody would think anything of it.

No texts, no attempts to contact you through various social channels.

They might try again tomorrow - or maybe it wasn’t that important, anyway.

by Anonymousreply 1001/11/2021

"Streaming" used to mean a jerky, postage-stamp-size video playable on QuickTime, Windows Media Player, or RealPlayer.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1101/11/2021

R11 I watched a lot of porn on RealPlayer

by Anonymousreply 1201/11/2021

When Friendster, the first real social network, came out, it was widely panned as elitist and douchey.

Hooking up online meant Craigslist, websites like Cruising for Sex, and Usenet/Yahoo groups.

by Anonymousreply 1301/11/2021

^ Almost forgot the AOL chat rooms and

by Anonymousreply 1401/11/2021

At the expense of sounding 100% elder gay, life was so much more easy then. Yes, being gay was a little less accepted in the mainstream but it wasn't bad for most.

by Anonymousreply 1501/11/2021

I'm with you, OP. Start unplugging from things. The quiet feels nice.

by Anonymousreply 1601/11/2021

R16 except Datalounge, of course.

by Anonymousreply 1701/11/2021

When I was a kid in the mid-'70s, it was a big deal when one of our four local TV stations started staying on the air 24 hours a day ... on weekends.

by Anonymousreply 1801/11/2021

I found a home here. I love you guys. Would not have made through this shitshow without you.

by Anonymousreply 1901/11/2021

The first thing I remember seeing on 9/11 was everyone on their cell phones calling and texting each other so I'm not sure if things were so different.

Hell, I went back home and got on the internet, went to Datalounge and started posting!

by Anonymousreply 2001/11/2021

R20 authored the iconic Datalounge thread from 09/11/2001, ‘The Sky Was So Blue Today’.

by Anonymousreply 2101/11/2021

R20 of course people were doing that it was a national emergency! Now people have the same histrionic reaction if Amanda Bynes wears a purple wig & flips off a paparazzi. Nuance is obviously not your forte.

by Anonymousreply 2201/11/2021

No judgement but it's weird to see OP, who spams us with Bitcoin stuff sometimes, talk about how much the internet sucks. Just doesn't seem like those two philosophies jibe.

by Anonymousreply 2301/11/2021

R20, our asshole boss took the emergency television away from us because we weren't being productive enough, so the only information we got was from friends who would text or email us photos and news. But only two or three of us in the office were able to text, most didn't have cell phones yet.

by Anonymousreply 2401/11/2021

[quote]Now people have the same histrionic reaction if Amanda Bynes wears a purple wig & flips off a paparazzi. Nuance is obviously not your forte.

You're showing your age here. No one has given a shit about Amanda Bynes in years.

Also I hope your neck is okay after doing all of that stretching to make some sort of a point that didn't need to be made? Wanted to get your daily dose of bitch in today? If you weren't being so willfully obtuse ...

In the days before September 11th, I was still a kid in the inner city. We all (my friends and other strangers I didn't know) had cell phones. We'd learned how to text pretty quickly even without a keyboard. We still had the internet. We had computers at home that would get us on it. We didn't have Facebook but we were all still internet social on Usenet, Yahoo Groups and even this site! I don't remember a period of time where people would go out, without headphones/earbuds/etc. in, and just be comfortable being in their own heads without music going during their commute. I missed all of that.

Life may have been simpler for some people but as a member of a generation that grew up with these things, it's all more of the same in some way even today.

R21, I was a child then and yet, somehow on Datalounge. My BFFs sister died that day. Here's that thread BTW.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2501/11/2021

R23 Raped me

by Anonymousreply 2601/11/2021

R25 types “NYC is my native land. Leave!”

by Anonymousreply 2701/11/2021

I miss the morning newspaper and the voices of reason on the evening news.

by Anonymousreply 2801/11/2021

Things were still good and wholesome for a few years post-9/11. Then there were corporation-mandated subcultures like emo, pop punk, hardcore broaters, cyber goths and all these other crappy scenester trends that thrived on social media outlets like MySpace. Those were basically byproducts of edgy marketing on impressionable suburban minds.

Before that we had authentic punk, stoner rock, riot grrrl, good hip hop, great electronica, excellent metal like Pantera and Down, post punk and original grunge instead of shitty nu-metal inspired post-grunge.

I hate the cultural decline we've experienced since the early 2000s. It'll take a lot to make a strong comeback but I still have hope.

by Anonymousreply 2901/11/2021

R25, I'm one of the GenXers who got into computers early. We had a Commodore 64 when I was 11 in 1983 and I don't think I've gone more than 1-2 days in a row since then where I haven't been on a computer.

There have been scandals about the media being corrupt and anything but impartial going back to the beginning of the country. It took years for the media to report the truth about the McCarthy hearings. It took months for the media to report on Watergate, largely because they were pissy that they got scooped by WaPo.

I don't know of a time when the news was honest and computers weren't part of our lives, and I'm pushing 50.

by Anonymousreply 3001/11/2021

Yeah, let's go to full blown AIDS, no gay rights, and no health insurance. No thanks!

by Anonymousreply 3101/11/2021

R31 oh god, here she is... the AIDS FAG BASH Queen. There were certain aspects of the past that were good, obviously those were not. I bet your friends describe you as obtuse.

by Anonymousreply 3201/11/2021

Level-headed people who kept their cool were respected as opposed to people who express emotions and outrage in the strongest possible terms.

by Anonymousreply 3301/11/2021

Morton Downey Jr. and Andrew Dice Clay would totally agree with you, R33!

by Anonymousreply 3401/11/2021

From a young age I've been an explorer type. Was a kid in the 80s and a teen in the 90s. Grew up in a city of about 60k people, in the middle of several older neighborhoods. From a young age I would just walk around town for hours. There was always something to see. Lived within walking distance of three private colleges with "open" campuses. Residents could walk through, use facilities, use their libraries (had to have a public library card), grab some food in their cafes. The architecture was beautiful. The neighborhoods were gorgeous, several are historic districts. I would wander all day on a Saturday. Stop at the coffeehouse. Go to the bookstore, then the record store next door. Antique stores galore. I spent hours in them, and there was always something cheap & cool that even a kid with a newspaper route could afford. Would go to other stores. Our neighborhood convenience stores. The local video rental store that also rented video games. Would stop by friends' houses just to see what's up. We all had bikes & we'd just bike around till supper. Same when I went off to college. A new city to explore. You couldn't go online & find things easily at all. Like, if there was a cool "hippie" shop with tapestries & incense, & it was in some old building off the main street, you might not know about it until you stumbled upon it, or somebody said "oh I got that lamp at Celestial Dreams" & you'd ask where it was.

Everything was so organic & real.

by Anonymousreply 3501/11/2021


by Anonymousreply 3601/11/2021

r34 that's a weak argument.

by Anonymousreply 3701/11/2021

You rarely discussed politics with friends, and didn’t really know what they thought about things. It was great!

by Anonymousreply 3801/11/2021

[Yeah, let's go to full blown AIDS, no gay rights, and no health insurance. No thanks!]

Just block R31. This is the same tedious, Eldergay-hating, Millenial troll who shows up every time someone mentions a happy personal memory of their pre-1970’s past. He loves to educate all of us about just how bad things were before HE was born... as if things are wonderful now. Jesus, what a self-righteous fool.

by Anonymousreply 3901/11/2021

No. We just watched more tv and cared more about scripted storylines.

by Anonymousreply 4001/11/2021

R15 wants to go back to the good old days when sodomy laws were still on the books

by Anonymousreply 4101/11/2021

Life was so much better before smartphones, say the eldergays who spend 15 hours a day on their smartphones posting at the datalounge

by Anonymousreply 4201/11/2021

R39 is the troll who rants against millennials and blames them for everything he doesn't like. He hates and fears social progress.

by Anonymousreply 4301/11/2021

I agree, but I can't do this thread right now. I think we have to stop lamenting how it was in the past, and just be the change we want to see. Live it. Don't just mope about it in morbid remembrance. Turn off your stuff, put on a vinyl record. The more people who bounce back to that previous way of life, the more it has a chance to stay alive.

by Anonymousreply 4401/11/2021

I grew up in the late 70s early 80s. We had one television with 4 channels. Good luck getting to watch what you want when you’re the youngest! I would wanna watch a baseball game and my dad would want to watch Star Trek. My home life was depressing and I would escape by reading quite a bit. Also I was a nerd and I loved studying as well.

Once I got my drivers license I would just takeoff on long drives all the time. I would give my parents some excuse of where I was going and just drive. It was great to see the world beyond how far your bike could take you. My parents never checked the mileage and I always put gas in the car at the end of my rides.

by Anonymousreply 4501/11/2021

Bike or car, Svetlana?

by Anonymousreply 4601/11/2021

But AIDS... Sodomy... Health Insurance!!!

by Anonymousreply 4701/11/2021

I'm so sick of everyone always on their smartphone.....which is why I spend all my time on my smartphone, posting on the datalounge

by Anonymousreply 4801/11/2021

Some of the posts here remind me of a character's rant in the play Vanya and Sonia and Mash and Spike.

by Anonymousreply 4901/11/2021

Well, I downgraded from a smartphone to a flip phone, so I have started out with baby steps. I don't miss the smartphone one tiny bit.

by Anonymousreply 5001/11/2021

[quote]eldergays who spend 15 hours a day on their smartphones posting at the datalounge

I'd go out of my mind if I had to do this on a phone.

by Anonymousreply 5101/11/2021

"Shouldn't the Internet be free to us, our children and to all people? Netzero believes it should!"

by Anonymousreply 5201/11/2021

"Can you believe what's possible these days?! Email with color an pictures. Your own personalized newspaper. Instant stock quotes. The entire Internet one click away. I tell ya, it's like living in the future. The future, now available on AmericaOnline.'

by Anonymousreply 5301/11/2021

My childhood in suburban Ohio in the ‘50s and ‘60s was the best. Mother was a housewife and we had milk, butter, and eggs delivered a couple of times a week. No plastic - everything was in glass bottles.

Mother had an active social life, so we had a colored housekeeper named Tillie. Or Millie. I forget which. Anyway, she was very clean, well-spoken, and respectful. Not like the ones today.

Mother would have a cocktail waiting for Daddy when he got home from work, then we’d have dinner. We never had to worry about politics or crime. And kids weren’t exposed to things like “WAP” back then. Daddy didn’t even like us listening to Motown!

by Anonymousreply 5401/11/2021

[quote]Yes, being gay was a little less accepted in the mainstream but it wasn't bad for most.

R15, I agree. If you lived in a big metropolitan area, it really was OK. I lived in suburban Philadelphia in the latter half of the '90s, and it never so much as occurred to me to worry.

Also, we didn't think "oh, how awful! We're so hated and discriminated against! I'm afraid ALL THE TIME." We thought we were incredibly lucky to be living in an enlightened time, when we had freedoms we could never have dreamed of 25 years earlier. For myself, I would happily trade the advances made since then for a return to the sane, reasonably healthy American society of ca. 1998. There's more to life than being gay.

by Anonymousreply 5501/11/2021

No one is forcing you to have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account. You can cancel them (or just not check them all the time).

No one is forcing you to have 500 channels of cable. Save the money and get a digital antenna.

I haven't gone that far, but I killed my Facebook account last year. It's one of the best decisions I ever made.

by Anonymousreply 5601/11/2021

No thanks. I’d rather spend my days at home watching endless amounts of porn online and jackin it.

by Anonymousreply 5701/11/2021

I grew up in the 80s. We had one television in the house and one landline phone. I imagine that most families today would fucking kill each other with that kind of a setup.

by Anonymousreply 5801/11/2021

[quote]For myself, I would happily trade the advances made since then for a return to the sane, reasonably healthy American society of ca. 1998. There's more to life than being gay.

We had My So Called Life and then Will & Grace. My family watched both shows. They stopped using the word "faggot" when referring to gay people because of them and because they were slowly figuring out I was gay and they didn't want to hurt me. As another person who grew up in the city, yes. There were issues but we had out kids at school. Some of them got bulled but for other reasons. Of course if you were friends with the "angry black hotties" no one would mess with you. Many a skinny, white, gay boy sat with them at lunch.

While the internet wasn't as fast as it is now, of course or as wide and varied, as a kid who loved reading Encyclopedias and learning new things it was great. (And yes, sometimes I'd sneak downstairs and snoop around on "Men on the Net.") The computer was for research and for typing out essays. That was really enough.

If I had to do a Quantum Leap and return to any period of history in my lifetime, I would go back to 1998. Now that you mention it, there was something special about that year.

by Anonymousreply 5901/11/2021

The late 90s will go down as one of the most blessed periods in history. Like the days of Antoninus in Rome.

by Anonymousreply 6001/12/2021

People have been saying “Remember back when everything was good?” since like the day after the dawn of time. It’s a an ego-soothing placeholder for “I wish I was young again”.

by Anonymousreply 6101/12/2021

R61 I suspected that too and it sure is part of it. Yet there is no doubt that 1912 was a better year than 1918.

by Anonymousreply 6201/12/2021

It's a tried and true way of making people fearful, R61. It's not a coincidence that all these "back in my day everything was great" threads are started by trolls. They also start the panicky "holy shit we're all gonna die" threads and threads asking DLers about their depression and suicide attempts.

by Anonymousreply 6301/12/2021

When I left work, my work day was done. I really miss those days. Now my boss and co-workers contact me constantly and I have no break from work.

by Anonymousreply 6401/12/2021

[quote] I had a hiking backpack made for carrying small children;

Damn. Why didn’t I think of that?

by Anonymousreply 6501/12/2021

[quote] Camera's did not exist.

Camera’s what didn’t exist?

by Anonymousreply 6601/12/2021

I remember when it was the boob tube that was damaging our brains. I don’t think nostalgia is about vainly missing your youth. It is about simplification that can’t be replaced through personal action.

Sure, you can turn off your phone, log off your computer, and otherwise drop out. But the standard now is this 24/7 access where people freak out if their text doesn’t get returned IMMEDIATELY. And god help us when the reptilian shape shifters shut down the cell towers.

Can’t use a pay phone. If you could, there aren’t any phone books and if there are it doesn’t matter because things line addresses and phone numbers are so fluid. No GPS? Good luck finding a map. How many people wouldn’t make it home on time tonight?

Yes, this youth and old age thing has been going on long before Stanley Kubric’s old man inquired if “you could spare some cutter, me brother”. But I don’t remember an advance that so rapidly eliminated its forebearers.

by Anonymousreply 6701/12/2021

[quote] Yet there is no doubt that 1912 was a better year than 1918.

I’m afraid I’ll have to strongly disagree with you on this one, Old Chap.

by Anonymousreply 6801/12/2021

I remember when "social media" was a tacky vanity page on GeoCities.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6901/12/2021

At least he went down in style, R68. Today. he would be probably tweeting about it and live-streaming before denying all responsibility and blaming the iceberg.

by Anonymousreply 7001/12/2021

Old folks used to complain about the lost art of letter writing. Now they complain that you don’t want to pick up the phone.

by Anonymousreply 7101/12/2021

Writing the biographies of 21st century luminaries will be a nightmare. Their lives and thoughts will be spread over 10 million tweets and e-mails, as opposed to a nifty cache of letters and diaries.

by Anonymousreply 7201/12/2021

I miss that too op. I got to be a teen in the ore social media world and am thankful for it.

by Anonymousreply 7301/12/2021

I wasted my youth being afraid, not going to the gym enough; not developing a group of gay friends I could trust (granted, on that, I tried).

Post COVID, I'll have a small window to get out there and live -- I plan to.

by Anonymousreply 7401/12/2021

Forgive me if someone has already mentioned this- remember the music stores? The greatest hits? We would go there every Friday to see what had dropped? The smell of opening a brand new album? Miss it so much.

by Anonymousreply 7501/12/2021

[quote]While the internet wasn't as fast as it is now, of course or as wide and varied, as a kid who loved reading Encyclopedias and learning new things it was great.

I agree, R59.

No, your internet connection wasn’t as fast, and you couldn’t stream, and downloads took forever and were terrible quality. On the other hand, the internet was a lot freer. It hadn’t been corporatized and monetized. Remember Usenet newsgroups? They were fun and crazy and anonymous. Besides the DL, how many places like that are left?

Sites like imdb and Atkol were being started by people who did it out of love for and interest in the topic, not as the latest corporate venture out of SV. There was all kids of weird stuff on the nascent internet. It truly was the wild west. We’ll never seen anything like it again in our lifetimes.

Porn? Well, you still had to rent or buy VHS tapes for that, as even DVDs were still quite new in the late ‘90s. Still porn (pictures) requires magazines unless you could get off on grainy 1”x2” images that took 20 minutes to download. And yet, we all managed to wank away the hours.

I feel like the internet - as a fantastic and amazing and liberating thing - peaked in about 2000-2005. It's all been downhill since.

by Anonymousreply 7601/12/2021

That's so true R38. (Not sure if you're being snarky, however.) I was 20 in 2000. My first boyfriend, whom I met in 1994, got in our first fight that centered around politics after the Bush/Gore debacle. I'd known him since I was 14, dated him since I was 17 and had no idea he was a Republican. I did know he liked Reagan - he was ten years older and me, in my silly youth, just thought it was some weird 80s thing or because he was rich. At any rate, it was never that big of a deal.

Now? I don't think I could do it. Not sure if that's a shame or not, tbh.

by Anonymousreply 7701/12/2021

I live my own life. Fun to connect with old high school and work friends. Before search engines I relied on encyclopedias and other reference books to gather information and now it's at my fingertips.

The only thing I miss are family and friends who are no long living. Otherwise, I'm fine with the new technology.

by Anonymousreply 7801/12/2021

R64: is it a requirement of your job that you respond to your co-workers and boss outside of office hours? If not, just stop responding till the next day, at least if it’s things that can wait till then. And I don’t mean that based on what your co-workers/boss think is urgent and needs attention now, I mean when you know it really can wait. How many of us really work in life or death ‘must reply right now, whatever time of day it is’ jobs?

This might not be you but I’ve known quite a few people who set the bar themselves by replying. If they just didn’t bother people would soon stop expecting them to.

by Anonymousreply 7901/12/2021

BitterSouthernBitch at R75, I’ve been enjoying all your posts. You seem like a nice, intelligent person. Let’s chat over coffee, then go to an old vinyl store and see what’s new.

by Anonymousreply 8001/12/2021

R64 get a second number. I did it a while ago, and my work phone (old number) goes in the drawer after work, and the very few people I like can text me on the other number. It's also the only phone I take with me on vacation. Pure bliss.

by Anonymousreply 8101/14/2021

[quote]This might not be you but I’ve known quite a few people who set the bar themselves by replying. If they just didn’t bother people would soon stop expecting them to.

You'll get fired if you do that.

by Anonymousreply 8201/14/2021

I read somebody dissing encyclopedias the other day for being an "old person" thing. And I guess they are since nobody buys them anymore. But I loved my families and still have one set (we had two for some reason). When I was a kid, i would plop down on the floor and explore them just for the hell of it. Usually, I would have something I wanted to learn about that was historical or scientific. Failing that, I would flip through a letter until a picture, title or chart caught my eye. It was so much better than the internet because it was all paid content if you think about it. Nobody trying to sell me shit, comprehensive footnotes and well rounded coverage. It might not have been current. But the set I took would send you one book a year to cover everything that happened in that year and included an index that referenced all the previous "year" books.

I liked it when you had to work to become knowledgeable on a subject. For years, the MAGAts were on the outside because they were too lazy or uninterested to do so. now they think they can substitute a 30 minute Fox Show and consider themselves informed. It is why we look down on them.

by Anonymousreply 8301/14/2021

Or they get all their news from idiots on Facebook.

I had to remove people from my Friends list because they were getting anti-vaxx obsessed because of crackpots they watched on Facebook. They don't pay attention to actual doctors or scientists but some crackpot who has a seven-minute video on FB and all of a sudden it's Gospel. Fucking loons, all of them.

by Anonymousreply 8401/14/2021

R82: Depends on the job and whether it’s actually a requirement to be on call/replying to emails/working all hours. For most jobs it’s not. Fine you might not get the big promotions if that’s something the company look for but if you don’t care about that, it shouldn’t be hard to take some control over your time and your life and work during actual office hours the majority of the time.

As I said, how many corporate jobs are so essential you need to reply immediately to all emails whatever time of day it is?

I think this is maybe a difference culturally though between the US and other places. I’m not in the US but notice US colleagues will reply to emails on Sundays and late in the evening.

I read this somewhere a while ago and like it: ‘there’s no such thing as an urgent email’. Call me or text if it’s a critical issue I’m needed for now now now. Otherwise it can wait.

by Anonymousreply 8501/14/2021

r85 it isn't officially required to reply in off-hours, but you'd damn well better or they'll find an excuse to fire you.

by Anonymousreply 8601/14/2021
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