The thing which made it different was: Not just NO INTERNET .. but NO CABLE TV if you could imagine. There were only 3 national channels: ABC< NBC and CBS. and about 2–3 local channels in each major city. NO ESPN. No CNN.
Everybody had to watch the same shows. There was no way peoples’ attention could be fractured. If you don’t like Football, there are plenty of things to watch or do on sundays in the fall. Not in the 70s or 80s. You couldn’t avoid NFL, or whatever the major networks were watching.
This way, EVERYONE’s attention was on the same thing. I find it remarkable with the information explosion, it has resulted in a decline of this shared level of information and shared experience of events.