How We Communicate: Then Vs. Now

A visual compendium of the way things were vs. how they are now. The future is so bright, I’ve got to wear augmented reality shades.

1. Powering Your Phone

Jan-hendrik Caspers Mail@jh-cas

Back in the day, teens literally had to whisper sweet nothings to their high school crush — cause mom and dad were always within earshot of the rotary phone. Plus there was a thing called “Party lines,” which weren’t as cool as they sound. Now teens don’t even need to leave their rooms - no extra line needed.

2. The Convenient Hangout

liz west / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: calliope

According to Fonzie there is no easier way to hang out with friends than riding your motorcycle to Arnold’s and hanging out until your friends arrive. Now a hangout is something you can find in your browser.

3. Shopping From Home

Mike Mozart / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: jeepersmedia

Back then catalogues were thicker than an encyclopedia, only with more lingerie sections for teenage boys to ogle. Its main shortcoming was the lack of Free Shipping that comes with Amazon Prime. Now you can shop with the click of a mouse.

4. Graduation Cards

Lori / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: mrsmaxspix

Graduation cards used to be all sentimental and if it weren’t for the money inside, their only function would be for paper airplanes or kindling for bonfires.

5. Board Games

American Advisors Group / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: 120360673@N04

Board Games? More like Bored Games compared to the apps — scientists say 90% of original Scrabble games are buried in closets under Connect Four and Crossfire.

6. Business Correspondence

Karl Baron / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: kalleboo

Tired of stringing together letters and forming them into a complex series of sentences using a typewriter or word processor, today’s businessmen can snap off responses lickety split.

7. Reviewing Concerts

Miley Cyrus sucks

— Brit (@TheDamneded)

You want to know about the future of Rock and Roll? Twitter is f@$%ing it up for everybody. Reviewing a live performance used to take about a thousand words and ear for poetry, now it’s done in 140 characters, and sometimes includes the word “sucks”.

8. Saving Your Contacts

Ged Carroll / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: renaissancechambara

Over stuffed pockets full of business cards and little black books have slowly given way to a digital contact list that updates and arranges itself. It’s a science fact that this is the root cause of skinny jeans.

9. Asking For Directions

Wyman Laliberte / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: manitobamaps

I can recall chatting with local strangers for hours on end about the names of foreign thoroughfares and throughways as they pointed and squinted at the foreboding distance. Now I just ask the internet in my pocket. GPS - Tearing people apart one wrong turn at a time.

10. Vacation Postcards

miheco / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: miheco

Post Cards from the world-weary travelers various stops used to come in compact, crafted messages like “Greetings From____” and “Wish You Were Here”. Now we’re lucky if we get a Facebook pic and a smile. Album titles of the future will surely suffer.

11. Sending Money


Used to be, that when you wrote a check at the grocery store, you didn’t actually have to have the money to cover it. Now through the miracle of modern interneting, check cards, and online transfers it’s almost impossible to scam the grocery store.

12. To Do List


Writing with your hands is so 2006.

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?