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The Habits Of Gen Z

101Documentary16 L

How the internet changed everything – Habits of Gen Z

10 November 2023
TV schedules were published in print media.
group of multi racial people thinking computer phone colourful

When the internet became mainstream, little did mankind realise the impact it would have on daily life. 🤔

“No one could use the phone for that period because it needed to dial up and log you in,” recalls television presenter, actor, and, creative consultant Masego "Maps" Maponyane on Habits of Gen Z, talking about the early days of the internet when you could use phone lines or the internet, never both at the same time.

Things have since evolved. 🤓 We take a look at how everything has changed after the internet. Join us down memory lane.


Before the internet:

A library would be the first place to gather books to look for relevant information. 📚 Students would, if their parents could afford it, use a set of encyclopaedias for school projects.

After the internet:

Search engines are the first stop to collate information that is needed.

Phone calls

Before the internet:

Most households had one landline, perhaps two, with no caller identity. ☎ Calling your friends meant you had to speak to their parents first, if they answered the call.

After the internet:

Video calling has added a great visual to calls, more so when keeping in touch with loved ones who live afar.

Watching TV

Before the internet:

TV guides were published in newspapers and magazines so you know when your favourite show was on. 📰 You’d watch it as it aired, adverts included. There was no way to pause or rewind.

After the internet:

Streaming services, such as DStv Stream, have revolutionised the watch-at-your leisure approach. Binge watching has become something most people look forward to.

Going to the cinema

As with TV guides, movie schedules were published in the newspaper.  🎞 This way, you knew what was playing at which cinema, as well as the time it was playing.

After the internet:

Movies can booked online, and watching the movie trailer to see if it piques interest. Schedules, locations, and times of movies can be seen on websites or apps.

Listening to music

Before the internet:

People progressed from vinyl, to cassettes, then CDs, and now streaming. 🎼 New releases were first heard of on either radio, music TV shows such as MTV. Lyrics were included in jackets of cassettes and CDs.

After the internet:

There are numerous platforms from which to listen to the latest releases to classics from by-gone eras. Lyrics can easily be accessed via a search engine or seen on streaming platforms.


Before the internet:

Jobs were often isolated to work hours. 👩‍💼 Paperwork was part and parcel of day-to-day operations.

After the internet:

Work permeates into all hours due to e-mails, message services such as on What’s App or Slack.

Social media

Before the internet:

Online social media networks did not exist. ☺

After the internet:

Platforms such as Facebook have exploded, having begun as a way to keep in touch with loved ones and sharing your life, it is now also a colossal marketing machine.

Don't miss the stimulating Habits of Gen Z  on Thursdays, on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 21:00 – the home of entertainment. You can also live-stream on DStv Stream, and DStv Catch Up after broadcast. Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook using #HabitsOfGenZ.

Featured image: Getty