We largely went to brick and mortar stores to buy our food and clothing, booked our flights over the phone or by visiting a travel agent and found the information we needed in books, journals and magazines.
But now, we rely on the internet to get these tasks done much more efficiently, booking our complete holiday online and getting food delivered to our doors.
Social media has also become central to this experience, providing information on products and services, while also becoming a platform for customer service.
In the travel and hospitality industry, many businesses are using this increased engagement with consumers to their advantage to help drive loyalty and satisfaction with the brand.
The rise of smartphones in recent years has contributed to this larger use of social media, with a an infographic from Besthospitalitydegrees.com, Modern Hospitality: Social media with a smile, revealing 85 per cent of travellers use their smartphones while travelling.
Nearly half (46 per cent) of travellers also said they check in to a location while on holiday using services such as Facebook.
The top five uses of smartphones were also outlined in the infographic, which included taking photos, using maps, searching for restaurants, looking for activities and attractions and checking in prior to flying.
Many businesses are taking this activity to their advantage by interacting directly with customers on platforms such as Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook, when they are mentioned in one of these check-ins or tweets.
In 2009, Hyatt Hotels launched a creative social media strategy that saw them deliver a Twitter concierge service. This answered specific questions such as where customers could find nearby parks, what the best restaurants in the area were and directions to top attractions.
If you're in the travel and hospitality industries, you can use your social media pages to offer exceptional service to your customers to help ensure they have an enjoyable stay.