How did we entertain ourselves before and after technology?.................

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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While I agree that we need to specify what technology we're referring to, for the sake of argument I will assume we are looking at newer technology such as television, internet, and cell phones.  I think before these inventions became so popular, we spent a lot more time outdoors.  My sister and I would build forts and create our own toys in the yard.  As we got older, we would ride our bikes and play with friends.  By the time I was a teenager, the telephone was certainly a lot more popular, but we didn't have the type of cell phones we have today.  Usually, the phone was just a way to plan a place to meet rather than a way to have an actual conversation.  

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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One of the things that we lost on account of "technology" is the art of being with people and enjoying community. For example, there is a huge difference between phone calls, instant messaging, and emailing and actually talking to someone face to face. Community was one of the great ways in which people found entertainment. 

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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We used to entertain ourselves more with social interaction before technology. Instead of watching television, we would play games and tell stories. More people played musical instruments, because that was the main method of entertainment. People also used to gather socially to talk and play non-technological games. Of course, there was also reading books!
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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I hesitate to idealize the past, especially when it comes to technology. I will say that my kids play their Nintendo DS devices when we go on trips, whereas we used to play games or sing songs to pass the time. Another change is that I listened to music a lot then as now, but I listened differently- then I sat down and listened to entire albums, whereas now I put Itunes on shuffle. But I did a lot of the things my kids do- we played sports, fought with each other, etc. Ultimately, I found ways to waste my time then, just as I do now. I can't deny that technology has made it easier, though.

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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For formalized modes of entertainment, before the advent of the motion picture there was stage theatre: plays, opera, puppet-shows. The circus and the zoo were places/events people attended, as well as sport events (baseball games, etc.). Musical performances and dances were also a part of the social and entertainment calendars.

Also, like today, people got together to talk and the discussion was a mode of informal entertainment. 

We haven't "let go" of many of these forms of entertainment as we've added movies, internet and television to our cache of diversions.

shake99's profile pic

shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

If you're talking about "electronic" technology, you'd have to look at drama and other stage productions. They were the primary form of community entertainment. Acting troupes traveled from town to town, presenting shows and acts for a fee. This basic idea goes back several thousand years. It's how Homer told "The Odyssey" to the Greeks in 900 BC.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I spent most of my daytime hours away from school in the outdoors as a child and teen instead of vegetating indoors as so many kids do today. TV was restricted to about three stations, so there was little to compete with playing baseball, swimming, bike riding and imaginatively coming up with other distractions outdoors.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

First of all, let's nitpick here.  "Technology" includes everything going back to the invention of stone tools and such.  It was already pretty high technology that gave us the toys Post #2 mentions or even books and magazines.  So we need to be clear on what "technology" we are talking about.

A general answer might be that we entertained ourselves more before we had as much technology as we do now.  Before computers and such, we told stories.  We sang songs together.  We read to one another. Later, we played board games or listened to the radio or watched TV.  

 

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I can remember as a child that my life is much different that the lives of my children.  We had a small television, but no VCR or DVD.  My first time to "see" the internet was when I was in high school.  As children we played outside much more, and when we played inside games and toys were much more a part of our culture than technology.

hef20's profile pic

hef20 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) eNoter

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One of the things that we lost on account of "technology" is the art of being with people and enjoying community. For example, there is a huge difference between phone calls, instant messaging, and emailing and actually talking to someone face to face. Community was one of the great ways in which people found entertainment. 

If face to face comunications provided more entertainment than virtual comunication, I believe we would have evolved to not over-ride this means of comunications by other methods.

Personally I far prefer face to face conversations, but on a large scale, it has enabled those that would otherwise not be talking to anyone, or are perhaps too shy to face a large comunity, to develop their skills in another way. Surely effective technological comunication is a skill in itself. A skill most definately becoming increasingly important in this increasing leveled global culture.

hef20's profile pic

hef20 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

On a more general 'Theory of Knowledge' note; what we dont have or dont know the existence of is impossible for us to miss. It is only when we are deprived of something do we perhaps realise it's value to us.

I think this addresses the first half of the question as to how people coped before various technologies came in. However for the second part, there is no 'after technology'. Surely if we evolved not to need technology then we would certainly not miss technology as a means of entertainment as it would have become entirely redundent? 

We must however address whether this 'after' technology is long term, or simply whether it breaks down on us.

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