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For people young enough to never have known a world without cell phones and the Web, it can be difficult to explain what it was like to grow up in the generation prior.

In most mundane details of daily life, things actually haven't changed THAT between the 1980's and today. Cartridge razors had 2 blades instead of 3 or 5+. We had Walkmans and mixtapes instead of streaming devices and playlists. Fast food portion sizes were smaller. Etc.

But being a nerdy kid, especially in rural areas where there were fewer educated workers influencing the local culture, was hell. Not to say that it probably isn't challenging today. But the TOTAL isolation back then was on a different scale. You couldn't pull up a Reddit, or whatever, and connect on some level to other disaffected kids. You were just completely... alone.

Back in the 1980's, the mailbox was my Internet. I subscribed to SO many magazines. Back in those days, a lot of the advertisements had notes like, "For more information, send a postcard to this address". As much as I dislike ads now, back then I would actually send those postcards, out of sheer boredom.

I would write to random companies, asking for product samples, and most would deliver. One day I was curious about how batteries work, so I wrote the Rayovac battery company... saying that I was working on a school project (I wasn't), and asking for information on how batteries work. They sent me a huge box of fascinating technical documentation. That was over 30 years ago, and I still buy nothing but Rayovac batteries to this day.

When I read a sci-fi or fantasy book that I really liked, I would write a letter to the author by way of the publisher's address. More often than not, they would write back. Usually by hand.

I received probably 12 pieces of mail per day, every day. Trips to the mailbox were magical. That was my Internet.

Anyway... I started this comment just to say that Omni was my favorite of all those magazine subscriptions. Just kinda took a weird nostalgic turn from there.




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