Life really was different, we would go outside and play until it got dark. We could walk 10 steps without pulling a device out of our pocket to hold and sheepishly scroll through. We had an opportunity to really live life to it's fullest because we weren't concerned about what was going on in an online forum. We had a chance to find relief from the trials/bullying/conflicts instead of getting reminded every 45 seconds on a news feed.
You talked to people, you passed notes, friend requests were made in person and probably during a pokemon battle.
The internet is a beautiful thing, but so was life before it.