No internet or cell phones. When you made plans, you had to agree on when and where to meet ahead of time. No last-minute texting. If someone didn't show up, you'd have to find a pay phone and make a call and ask someone where they were. Not many people had answering machines until the late 70s at the earliest, too. No PCs or desktop printers either - if you needed copies of documents you had to call or write (a "letter") the bank, city clerk or hospital or whoever and request a copy. It took weeks to do what you can do in literally 2 minutes now. Banking/credit cards were not online - you'd have to wait for your bill and pay it every month with a check, and manually go through your credit card bills to see if they'd made a mistake. Monthly household bills were also paid by check, none of this automatic monthly account deduction stuff. If the utility company lost your payment, or it got lost by the Post Office, it was a big hassle.
No online ordering, either! Just imagine. Instead, big companies would put out catalogs of all their items and you'd look through it to find out what you wanted. There was a big complicated order form inside the catalog that you'd have to fill out with the items you wanted, then write another check, and mail off your order. Sometimes you'd get what you ordered, but there was no way to see if a popular item was in stock (you probably could call the company to check, but that was complicated). In some cases it took close to 2 months for your items to arrive. You would have to start placing your Christmas orders in September to make sure you got everything on time.
TV was actually better in my opinion - before the cable era in the early 1980s there were loads and loads of "free" independent channels, some of which had their own unique commentary/news/education shows. Some UHF channels would show classic movies at night, they would only broadcast for a few hours each day but you could see Casablanca or something like that at home for free. Some of the bigger local independent stations had a special daily TV program for kids filmed and broadcast right in their own studio. You could write the station a letter and they'd send you a letter back and let you know when you could come down and be in the audience. Just imagine something like that existing today!
· 12 months ago