In the Philippines back then Friendster was king. Quite a few were also into Myspace. But what reigned then were blogs: hosted on LiveJournal, WordPress, Blogdrive, TypePad, or Blogger -- like this one.
Social media in the form of Facebook and Myspace was already around, sure, but it wasn't as pervasive as social media is right now. And like I said, people didn't have smartphones yet, which, basically, is a pocket computer. I ranted on Facebook last year that Internet wasn't the problem -- that back then we already had social media, but we weren't glued to smartphones like we are now. To be able to access your Friendster or Myspace or Multiply account back then, you needed to fire up your desktop or laptop. And because you had to make time to actually do that, you set aside a small chunk of your day for social media -- which is not a bad thing now that you think about it. Surely beats being able to access Facebook or Twitter or Instagram anytime thanks -- or no thanks -- to that pocket computer that I mentioned.
It wasn't lost on me that I complained about Facebook in that short rant -- and then posted it afterward on Facebook. It's not lost on me as well, ironically, that I'm complaining about smartphones while writing this blog entry on a Blogger app I downloaded on my smartphone.
But there's an advantage to not being able to access social media all the time through your smartphone: when people only had feature phones (or dumbphones), which allowed you to call or send text messages -- and play a preinstalled game or two -- and nothing else. Back then I'd actually bring a book with me. On the commute I'd read; I actually made time to read. Nowadays, even the most avid readers would get sidetracked by their smartphone; it's easy to get tempted to scroll down mindlessly on social media even with a book beside you.
Of course the march of time and technology can't be reversed. We have to adapt or perish.
But that doesn't mean we can't look back on the good old days, the pre-smartphone past -- reminisce about a simpler time, back to the basics, if you will -- and blog about it in the process.
And better if you're reading this on a desktop or laptop.