We live at a time when the need for constant stimulation with a limited attention span has curtailed our ability to sit alone. Bombarded with multiple notifications, we’re always searching for quick video bytes, and random entertainment sources to keep ourselves distracted and busy. For most, the idea of being by yourself, doing nothing is boring and reeks of loneliness. Most of us don’t even know how to be alone and happy.

social media notifications

But this was not always the case, was it?

As much as it feels like it’s been there for a long time, the Internet is a relatively recent phenomenon. And many, among us, including our elder siblings, parents, and grandparents, spent their formative years without this hyper-connectivity we live in today. And they have a lot to say about what the younger generation of today (including some of us) are missing out on. A Redditor, by the handle u/rice2k, asked the very question in the r/AskReddit community, and the responses that came were super relevant and thought-provoking. Take a look.

throwing phone

1. “Knowing how to just be idle.”

– loquacious_avenger

2. “The right to be forgotten. I did dumb shit when I was a kid, and luckily there weren’t any cameras (either security cameras or phones) to capture it and publish it online for eternity to judge.”

– RyzenRaider

hyper connectivity what today's generation is missing

3. “Listening in on someones phone call secretly because you have more than one phone in the house.”

– mo8414

4. “When everyone watched the same tv shows at the same time and the suspense of waiting for the next episode.”

– OldSuccess9715

people share things today's generation is missing out on

5. “Reading. I used to love looking at all the books my parents had around the house. I learned about ancient mythology, astronomy, fantasy, civilizations, etc. I miss being so enthralled by books. I still read, but media addiction makes it harder to want to.”

– 6K6L

6. “Playing outside with friends, every single day until the street lights came on (because you had to go home when they did). Life was good man.”

– Mipimas

people share things today's generation is missing out on

7. “Going outside after school to play different games (summer or winter it did not matter) with kids that live nearby or having to ring the bell and ask if your friend can come out outside to play.”

– Deeprise0

8. “Life was just a lot slower and we had more time to relax and not be constantly doing something. People had more patience and attention span.”

– DrWho1970

people share things today's Internet generation is missing out on

9. “Missing out on living anxiety free. The world isn’t more dangerous than it was in the past, it’s just we were clueless for the most part on things happening outside our community or state. Now social media brings death and destruction of the world right to your face. Crimes happen all the time, but now we are bombarded with it and live in fear.”

– gary1979

10. “Socializing, in-person, hanging out, sleepovers that don’t involve just sitting and texting on phones. Family sit down meals, especially at restaurants. It’s so sad to see parents and kids playing on their phones, when the free time could be talking or making memories.”

– bronzemat

people share things today's Internet generation is missing out on

11. “Freedom. Freedom from social media bullying, influencers. Our mistakes weren’t recorded. We didn’t have friends or followers count. People couldn’t track our every movement. Once the school day or work day was over, it was over until the next day. Life without social media was bliss.”

– lifehappenedwhatnow

12. “Being unreachable for reasonable periods of time since one didn’t carry a phone.”

– decaturbadass

people share things today's Internet generation is missing out on

13.”Reading encyclopedias and exploring the different content just to pass the time.”

– United_Safe_898

14. “The ability to just exist without a constant source of mind numbing entertainment.”

– Destiny_Dragons_101

people share things today's Internet generation is missing out on

15. “An attention span.”

– MonkeyBrain3561

16. “Your neighbourhood being your community, rather than an online forum of people you’ll never really know and are completely unaccountable to.”

– -Motor-

people share things today's Internet kids is missing out on

We can’t go back in time. Internet is necessary, as evil as it may seem time to time. But every now and then, it may be a good idea to gaze at the stars, watch the infinite sky, muse on good poetry, read books, breathe the fresh air, hear the birds, pamper the dogs, and exist. Simply exist…