Family Life

But What Did We Do Before The Internet?

In an increasingly online world, more and more people are turning to the internet for advice. It’s a natural part of the way things are progressing. When I was younger and wanted to know something I would head to the reference library. Now I consult google because it’s like a million times quicker. And google knows everything of course. But really, with the internet you have a vast amount of knowledge at your fingertips, and it’s great. And with the internet, I also have easy access to something I wouldn’t find in the reference library. Personal opinions and experiences.

I’m a great lover of blogs and real life articles. I guess that’s obvious since I’m writing this on my own blog. Life is not a totally unique experience. While we all live our own lives, there are often similarities. Sometimes when you are going through a tough time, it’s nice to know that someone else has had a tough time and come out the other side. To know that you are not alone.

I remember walking around the living room at 3am in tears because my son wouldn’t stop crying. In total despair I turned to the internet, and found lots of blogs from other mums and dads who had been in the same situation. That made me feel like everything was alright. At a time when I was feeling like I was failing as a parent, those blogs told me I was doing fine. Just like all the other parents pacing their rooms in the dead of night.

The hot topic of the last few weeks has obviously been the new school term. For a first time parent, your child heading in to reception can be emotional. I was a nervous wreck when my eldest started school, and I had to hold back tears. Other parents at the school gate were elated, looking forward to going home for a hot cuppa for the first time in 5 years. Weather happy or sad, it certainly is an emotional time.

As with all other life events, people write blog posts. ‘How to cope with your child starting school’ or ‘Why I’ll be sad to leave my son at the school gate’. Perhaps you may even read ‘Why looking forward to being child free doesn’t make you a bad parent’. Whatever side of the fence you sit on, you’ll find something that resonates with you. It’s not really confined to blogs either, as many family brands will offer tips on their social media, alongside magazine and newspaper articles too.

Such articles and blog posts often provoke a big response. Other parents will comment below the post saying, “My son starts school on Wednesday and it’s really weighing on my mind, so thanks for this” or something to that effect. But if you look, and you never have to look very hard, you will find someone who says these exact words…

“Oh whatever did we do before the internet?”

You know, written in the best sarcastic tone that is physically possible using only words.

“What did we do before the internet? Children have been starting school in September since forever and we all managed fine without articles like this”. Probably followed by a roll eyes emoji.

It’s not just going back to school that gets this response. Find any blog post or article where someone offers advice on something and you will find that one person. Someone offers tips on labour and they’re there, “Oh how did women give birth before the internet roll eyes roll eyes”.

And you know what? It’s really starting to get on my bloody nerves.

Some things in life are tough. Pushing a baby out of your vagina is tough. Yes, women have been doing it since the beginning of women, that doesn’t make it any less tough. Those women many years ago didn’t have the internet at their disposal, no. Before now people turned to baby books and group classes to better prepare themselves for what was to come. Before that I’m sure women spoke to their friends and relatives who would offer them advice.

24 years ago when my mam was preparing for my first day at school I’m sure she felt just as nervous as I did with my son. Perhaps a friend gave her some advice on how to cope with the situation. Do you think my mam then rolled her eyes and said sarcastically “oh how ever did we cope as a parent before we had friends to give us advice”? No, because that’s bloody stupid. So why does it make a difference whether the advice has come from a friend, or from a blog?

Just because people managed fine without something in the past, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use it in the present. Before the invention of the wheel we managed fine. If we wanted to go somewhere we walked, or rode a horse if we were feeling fancy. Does that me we should shun the wheel, because we managed fine without it? NO of course not.

If you feel like you can go through your whole life without advice or support or whatever, then good for you. If like me you are not one of those people, fear not. You have the internet at your finger tips, and you’ll always find someone in the same boat as you. Finally, to all of you people out there writing posts to help ease parents in to the school year or share your pregnancy tips, keep doing what you do! Because for every miserable arse who ‘didn’t need your stupid tips’ 20 years ago when she sent her kids to school, there will be a person who finds comfort in your experiences.


Linking up with Pick n Mix // Post Comment Love // Eff it Friday

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  • Reply Tracey Bowden September 9, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Oh I am totally with you. For me I use Google like I would ask for advice. The information is still there the same as it always was just accessed via a different method. Does it make it any different? No. Easier and quicker? Yes and when you’ve got a screaming baby at 3am it’s the internet you want to help you not your friend/family when they wake up 4 hours later! Sorry rant over #PoCoLo
    Tracey Bowden recently posted…Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?My Profile

    • Reply Lauren September 12, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Haha yes, you totally get me with this one! Google is instant advice when you really cannot wait, because it’s definitely not acceptable to be asking friends for advice at 3am!

  • Reply Rebecca Taylor September 9, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Well said Lauren. I agree. Great article. X #PoCoLo

    • Reply Lauren September 12, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Rebecca!

  • Reply Lucy At Home September 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Well said *claps*. The reason I started my blog was because, as you described, I was feeling absolutely shattered after having baby no 2 and, at my wits end, turned to google. I found other mums who had felt the same and been open enough about it to write it in their blogs. It was such a relief to know that I wasn’t alone. I didn’t even really know what a blog was then so I didn’t even think to read a comment (which I do feel bad about now, considering how much they boosted my confidence). But now I hope my blog can help someone too.

    Also I think your wheel analogy is spot on! Just because we survived before without it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use it now that we have it.

    I’m definitely sharing this! #PoCoLo
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Balancing Parenthood and PersonhoodMy Profile

    • Reply Lauren September 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      I think a lot of people started blogs for the very same reason! It is such a relief to find out you’re not alone, isn’t it? To know that you aren’t going mad, and that someone else out there is in the same boat as you. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply the frenchie mummy September 9, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    I used to google pretty much everything the first couple of weeks after Baba was born, literally even if he sneezed and other ridiculous stuff like that! It made me feel better and reassured me. But sometimes it was too much. Now I am more relaxed but I can see the use of internet! Fab post, you pointed out a lot of true things #effitfriday

    • Reply Lauren September 12, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Yes I agree sometimes it can be too much, particularly in the early days I was googling everything! Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Jaki September 9, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    I love love love this post. I’m going to share it. You’ve really hit the nail on the head. Thank you for putting this out there. #pocolo
    Jaki recently posted…Guest Blog: ‘Three Healthy Eating Habits for Children’ by Alyshia VenusMy Profile

  • Reply Squirmy Popple September 9, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Yup, totally agree. Women have always turned to friends/family for advice about motherhood – we just have a new way to do it now where we can learn from people we’ve never met all over the world. That’s got to be a good thing. #effitfriday
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…Would Alex Salmond have been first minister if he’d had children?My Profile

  • Reply Tim September 10, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Rose. Tinted. Glasses.

    What did we do before the internet? Sit around quietly repressed, not talking about Jimmy Savile. Or the debilitating impact of all forms of depression on individuals and those around them. Or that nice Mr Smith from down the road who comes home at night and beats his wife.

    There is an element of truth that the internet allows us to overshare our every experience as if we are the only person ever to have woken up in the morning and have breakfast. But for all the “look at me” narcissism that we find online, there is at least as much information and sharing and genuine caring. Without the internet, I would know much less about the lives of fellow parents from different backgrounds – single mums, stay-at-home-dads, parents of children with autism or Down’s syndrome. My life is much richer for that.

    So what did we do before the internet? Live in ignorance, in large part. #pocolo

  • Reply Alana - Burnished Chaos September 10, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Ha ha, this is so true! I have found the Internet and blogs in particular a great comfort when going through some tough times that I didn’t feel emotionally ready to talk to anyone about. What would I have done without the internet? Probably suffered in silence and ended up incredibly depressed.

  • Reply Carterfamily4 September 10, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Great blog Lauren and I totally agree with your post. My kids are 10 and 8 and I was the parent who read books in her pregnancy and baby the odd baby forum. But I’ve got to say Google and other parenting blogs are my go too when I need any advise. Like you say is good to know that your not the only one in this situation going through a tough time etc …. I also sometimes think it’s easier to speak to someone who you don’t necessarily have an emotional connection with it makes it easier to open up and be honest x

  • Reply Mummyhereandthere September 10, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Great thought provoking post. I think there is pros and cons. It can help feel less isolated and informative. On the flip side you compare your self and worry your not doing enough, being creative or having an amazing party or whatever. Like everything has to be in moderation. X #effitfriday

  • Reply Beth @ Twinderelmo September 10, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    And where would we be without messenger to send drunken messages to mates and find a gif for every situation?!?!
    Beth @ Twinderelmo recently posted…Fitness UpdateMy Profile

  • Reply RachelSwirl September 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I literally couldn’t be without the internet these days!

  • Reply Nicky Kentisbeer September 13, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Albeit 10 years ago, I turned to the Internet during the long nights when I had my daughter – primarily because no one else was around and because that was when I had the time to do it. There is also an element of trying to help oneself isn’t there so for me it was a great source of information at a time when I needed it. I’m very much of the opinion that there is never a right way for everyone, just what works for us as individuals. #PoCoLo

  • Reply Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks September 13, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    All of this! Back when our parents and grandparents were younger there was much more of a village mentality when it came to raising children. People were often on hand to give you their experiences, advice and help. Now days people move across county, out of country, away from family with no support network. The Internet is that support network.

  • Reply Mummy and Monkeys September 15, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I love the internet, we have so much more information at our fingertips than ever before and we wouldn’t we use it. I’m sure people used to talk about starting school and things before the internet it just wasn’t there for all to see. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix
    Eilidh x

  • Reply A Cornish Mum September 15, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Bloody well said lovely! I definitely find Facebook the worst for the ones who spend all day waiting for something to disagree with or belittle. If it wasn’t for the internet I would still be a very lonely person wasting my life away watching daytime television 😉

    Thanks for linking up lovely to #Picknmix

    Stevie xx

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