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Life before the internet... how did y'all even do it?

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  • Life before the internet... how did y'all even do it?

    So I lived before the internet was a thing... well at least before any of us had heard of it, I guess the internet has been a thing since the 1960s or something. Point is I can remember going places (AB) with no cell phone and no internet. But I was injured in 2007 and the internet was definitely a thing by that time.

    So since my injury the internet has been extremely helpful (at times in very creepy ways) in helping me navigate the semi-accessible outside world.

    What made me think of it today is that my buddy just texted me and told me I should drive a couple hours tomorrow and hang out with him at a brewery I've never been to before, then see some concert at a venue I've never heard of, then crash on his couch at a house he just bought.


    I guess in pre-internet days I just would have said "hell yeah" anyway and find out how accessible these locations are in real time, but now that I have the internet, in 20 minutes I can find out for myself.

    I started by googling the brewery and concert venue, hoping for photos in the reviews demonstrating wheelchair friendliness.

    Then things get super creepy... We all know a private home is the most likely out of these three to be wheelchair-semi-impossible, my homie didn't even send me his new address yet, but I used the local real estate tax lookup to search his name and see which house he bought (and exactly how much he paid and when and the past three owners and when they bought it and how much they paid and when the house was built). Then using that address I used google maps to see how many stairs I have to contend with to get inside... 4 apparently... then I searched his address and since he just bought it recently there are plenty of real estate websites with dozens of photos of his house staged for sale a few months ago. Looks like the bathroom on the first floor is most likely doable in my chair.

    Then and only then did I text him back and say "hell yeah".

    Pretty much all of these things would have been impossible to do from 100 miles away, even ten or 15 years ago.

    Sure, privacy is dead, we all know that (I just looked at the view from my friend's bedroom without ever having been near his house), but sometimes that works in our favor...

  • #2
    Had a computer since age 15 ... my sister grew tired of her old Commodore64 so gave it to me. I used it for school assignments etc in high school. It had the capability to get online but it would have been long distance and hugely expensive and my farming parents would have killed me ... so I didn't.

    Officially got online in 1994 with the moniker, 'lynnifer' and have had that ever since, as well as my hotmail/outlook address. I had been on my own for 3yrs then and in my own apartment.

    Must admit - the internet is handy. The invasion of privacy is brutal though.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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    • #3
      Pre-internet we had these things we called 'telephones'. We could use them to contact all these places we now contact over the Internet. They allowed us to talk to the people actually there and receive direct information from them about the locations. Mad times.
      "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

      "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Oddity View Post
        Pre-internet we had these things we called 'telephones'. We could use them to contact all these places we now contact over the Internet. They allowed us to talk to the people actually there and receive direct information from them about the locations. Mad times.
        Yeah but talking to people is so weird... who even does that any more?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by funklab View Post
          Yeah but talking to people is so weird... who even does that any more?
          Oh, not me, to be sure. I'll spend 20+ minutes on the internet to avoid a 2 minute phone conversation with a real person. The Internet is fantastic at enabling (and generating, it seems) social-anxiety. Winning.
          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

          "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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          • #6
            Ahh yes, the telephone, the answering machine, the map, the newspaper, hard to comprehend how exactly things managed to happen back then. Then the analog cell phone, what was it, like $40 for 90 minutes? lol. And the internet...with a busted screen laptop hooked up to a 14" monitor (it was free!), and a 14.4 modem, running like 9.6 due to long/crap phone lines to the house. The world of newsgroup porn...now we're talking!

            Talking vs. text...so much easier to lift up the phone and get several orders of magnitude more conversation going than typing. Really weird how younger folk are almost autistic in conversational ability. And the internet...really amazing how you can get stalker-grade info on things so easily. But it is rather disconcerting when the Google Maps camera drone flies in through a window and starts photographing me on the terlit

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            • #7
              youtubeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee is huge for new injuries, i could have learned so much, years sooner. i was hurt in 87, there was nothing after rehab(1 yr for quads back then) to learn from. heck, i still learn stuff from other gimps on youtube. amazing resource, better than all pt/ot's combined...peer support is the best and social media opens that up on a worldwide level.
              Bike-on.com rep
              John@bike-on.com
              c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
              sponsored handcycle racer

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              • #8
                There were magazines, PVA, Sports 'n Spokes, Mainstream Magazine that through advertisements and articles introduced new products to explore (and introduce to the rehab unit staff, who for some inexplicable reason didn't keep up by reading these magazines). NL spent a lot of time writing letters or postcards to request samples and make inquiries and spent hours at hospital medical libraries reading everything spinal cord injury she could find.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                  ...NL spent a lot of time writing letters or postcards to request samples and make inquiries and spent hours at hospital medical libraries reading everything spinal cord injury she could find.
                  This. It was so difficult to research medical conditions prior to the Internet. We had to rely on family physicians to be up on the latest research, or know where to send us for specialized help. It took gumption and persistence to pursue help outside local systems.
                  MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

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                  • #10
                    But seriously, my astringent comments about privacy and sarcastic commentary about the lack of human interaction aside, the internet has made it so much easier to figure out if something is going to be accessible or not

                    talking to humans is inefficient or impossible at times. Google maps can tell me how many steps there are to your front porch and show me if your bathroom is feasible for me to use way better than someone can describe it, even if I have them break out a measuring tape.

                    Back in the day I probably would have just not gone to this venue which was built in the 1940sbdcause the odds of it being accessible are slim to none (and probably even worse if we’re talking way back in the day before the internet).

                    i don’t know why i started this thread. Probably just to give props to the old school heads like 55+ for pioneering the way. Myself I have the option to see ahead of time whether shit is accessible or not, which probably causes me to miss out on a lot of shit.

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                    • #11
                      I was injured in '72. We didn't need to check ahead to see if a place was accessible. It wasn't! My friends simply took me everywhere, steps or not. They've carted my manual wheelchair and I into old baseball stadiums, upstairs bars, you name it.

                      My first lift was made by a local machine shop because there was no info on commercial lifts. It was the dark ages of accessibility info.
                      "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

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                      • #12
                        That's what I'm talking about, DeadEye.

                        I imagine the difficulty meant people not as resourceful and adventurous as yourself spent a lot more time not doing things because of the inaccessibility, but sometimes I get the feeling the internet makes me soft. I should just get in the habit of going and figuring it out along the way.

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                        • #13
                          We had a family friend injured in ‘81 and she went everywhere - she just went and we all coped with whatever when we were there. There was a whole lot of improvisation and frustration and laughter.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by funklab View Post
                            That's what I'm talking about, DeadEye.

                            I imagine the difficulty meant people not as resourceful and adventurous as yourself spent a lot more time not doing things because of the inaccessibility, but sometimes I get the feeling the internet makes me soft. I should just get in the habit of going and figuring it out along the way.
                            This diminishes your "but what if this happens?" fears. I think those fears are primal. Those fears return if you don't consistently just keep doing it as well. It isn't a one and done fear killer it's like an exercise routine.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DeadEye View Post
                              I was injured in '72. We didn't need to check ahead to see if a place was accessible. It wasn't! My friends simply took me everywhere, steps or not. They've carted my manual wheelchair and I into old baseball stadiums, upstairs bars, you name it.

                              My first lift was made by a local machine shop because there was no info on commercial lifts. It was the dark ages of accessibility info.
                              Tell em Deadeye. Two more days and I'll have completed 48 years. One of the farms I hunted, a little spin mark by his house meant I'm out there someplace. Every so often he'd scan the area with binoculars and if the orange hat was on the car roof he knew I got one. Real simple communication. After the hunt we'd enjoy the personal visit, war stories and such. The good ole days are gone man. Everything nowadays is rush, rush, not even time for a hand shake.

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