Wyoming Was A Very Different Place Before The Internet
Well, we all know of a few people who don't like today's cell phones and try to avoid the internet at all costs.
Generally speaking, these folks are much older and did not grow up with today's modern-day connectivity, so they don't like using it.
But they really can't avoid it, totally. Today's world is internet connected.
Our vehicles, our banking, our television.
Try and think of something that's not wired into the information grid.
There's less and less of it every day.
Even farmers' tractors and ranchers use GPS.
You'll find cowboys out on the range texting home base as they work.
This type of connectivity has been around long enough that there are adults alive today who did not know a time without it.
So what was it like, way back when?
For this article let's just go back a few decades.
The World Wide Web became available to the public on April 30th, 1993.
Before then, if you wanted to make a phone call you had to find a phone.
It might be connected to a wall, or sitting on a table.
Phone booths were scattered all over the nation.
So if you were driving and wanted to make a call, you would have to stop at a pay phone.
Payphones were everywhere.
Even out in the middle of nowhere on some highways.
Not so much in Wyoming, however. Out here a person might drive all day and never pass a pay phone.
Today, people talk on the phone while driving.
Did you want to talk to your friends?
You would have to actually go and see them in person.
In a state like Wyoming you had better make friends close by in your own town.
Western states are so spread out that visiting someone might take hours of road time.
Texting? Keeping in touch with family and friends via social media?
Call or write a letter.
Letter writing was done by hand.
On average it took two days for a letter to get to who you sent it.
Then you had to wait for them to sit down and write back, and wait for their letter to travel back to you.
It was frustrating to have friends and family who did not write back as soon as they got a letter.
But it was always exciting to get one in the mailbox.
People loved getting letters from friends and family. It was exciting to open a mailbox and see something from someone far away. Back then some people had "Pen Pals," where they would write to people in faraway countries to learn about them.
Today, almost everyone knows how to type. We have to in order to use our computers. Back then typewriters were big, bulky, and loud and not everyone knew how to use one.
Checking out groceries meant waiting in line as a cashier added everything up. She had to be an expert in big manual adding machines. Few people were trained in how to use one. Today, anyone can wave an item over a scanner and then swipe their card.
Credit and debit cards had to be taken manually. That was a lot of work. The video below will show you the process.
Bookstores were everywhere. So were magazines and newspapers.
The television only had a few channels and in a state like Wyoming, there was very few broadcast channels to watch. Most homes only had one television.
There was not much for radio stations out there. It was typical to find a radio turned on in every type of business, office, and room of the house.
Forget GPS. You would have to learn how to open, and then fold, a paper map.
You would need boxes and maybe even a small filing cabinet to store your personal papers. This included bills, and tax information, in fact, everything you did left a paper trail. Today, that's all on a tiny hard drive. No paper is needed.
We've only scratched the surface here.
Imagine what life was like before the telephone, television, and radio.
So much back then was manually operated.
WAY WAY back when people had to make everything they owned. Very little was purchased from a store.