Astonishing True Stories of How Youngsters in Love Were Actually Able to Communicate With Their Crush/Steady BEFORE Smartphones!
A few days ago, on the X social media platform (formerly Twitter), this interesting question was posed by a woman who, it seems, may be in the younger millennial demographic: “HOW did young people date before mobile phones and email?!! Did they just have to give out their parents’ home numbers?”
That spurred a lot of equally interesting answers from folks who do recall being a teenager/young adult during those long-ago days before smartphones (or any cell/mobile phone of any sort), email, texting and social media, and trying to make and maintain contact with the object of their affection.
Most of the respondents seem to have been from the Baby Boomer and older Gen X demos, who recalled things like:
– trying to find the phone number of your crush’s household by looking in a phone book (and hoping that the person’s last name wasn’t something like “Smith”)
– those butterflies felt when making the call after finding the number
– getting through to that number but then having to run the additional gauntlet of asking a parent who may have answered if you could speak with (fill in the blank)
– desperately waiting for your family’s phone line to be freed up so that the person you liked, whose call you were expecting, could get through
– the embarrassment of having to talk to your crush/steady in front of the rest of the family because your landline was in a main room of the house, and perhaps trying to stretch the phone’s extension cord as far as possible to get away from the crowd while you spoke
– writing letters when you were far away from a person you were dating (like at different colleges)
– passing notes to each other in class
– going to a place where you thought your crush might be and just hanging out for a while, hoping they show up
The fun game has been making the social media rounds. You give yourself one point for each thing you have NEVER done from a list that includes activities like using a typewriter, listening to vinyl records, using a phone book and more. How low can *you* go to prove your old-schoolness?
There was at least one answer I saw that may have been from an older millennial, who mentioned meeting and talking to people with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), which is now is pretty much as dated as a rotary phone.
Below are several answers to the initial question that stood out to me because I recognized them from my own days as a youngster either hoping to connect with a crush or while in a dating relationship.
Check them out, and let us know about your own unbelievable adventures as a youngster in love before today’s technology! (All screenshots of posts are from X/Twitter)
A 1950s teen talks on a rotary dial phone
A teenager using a rotary dial phone, circa late 1960s/early ’70s
You know what? I agree with the last commenter.
All of the above did work!
A fun list making social media rounds features 60 music groups or people who came to prominence between the '70s and '90s. Give yourself a point for each one you've seen live; how high will you score?