60 Things About Life Before The Internet That Might Make You Feel Like A Boomer

While the internet we use today might be one of the most important inventions, it wasn’t always around. Yet, the days before the internet and after it are very different. One could also argue that life before the internet was boring and stale, with much less entertaining content to consume. The world wide web today has changed our communication with friends and family and how we use our free time for leisure activities.

Today, it is easy to see what a friend or a family member is up to because of the many social media platforms at our disposal. Communication tools like Facebook or Whatsapp have connected the world thanks to the complex and web-like internet. Thanks to them, we can reach wherever we want, whenever we want, in just a few seconds. However, life before social media was a lot different — maybe a more relaxed one.

It’s easy to imagine how the days went when there was no internet. Memes before the internet had to be shared through word of mouth while out with friends. People involved themselves in activities like fishing, hiking, and creating memories full of nostalgia. Sadly, the nostalgic childhood once experienced by the older generation will probably be lost to the younger generations. And unfortunately, the internet has done a lot to create this strange situation.

An astounded mind on the NoStupidQuestions subreddit asked — “Teenagers before the internet: what did you do in your room during your spare time?” With so many answers to choose from, we have compiled a list of the best ones below. If you can relate to some of them, be sure to upvote them. If you had a favorite activity of your own, be sure to share it with a comment below.

“Read. A lot. Watched movies. Talked on the phone. For hours at a time. That’s assuming I was home in my room. Which wasn’t a lot… I was out at the mall with friends, or hanging out at their houses, going to movies, arcades etc. I was never bored. Even when I was at home alone in my room. Boredom just wasn’t a thing when I had a good book.”

we-feed-the-fire Report

“Walked all over the neighborhood. Would just show up at friends’ houses (pre-common cell phone usage) to say hi and do something silly like jump on their trampoline for ten minutes together and then leave on the next part of my walk. Listened to music and thought about my deep teenager thoughts. Played SNES and practiced band instruments. Read magazines and SO many books. Honestly didn’t spend a ton of time just in my room in my free time, it was mostly going out and doing things.”

CrowMoonSong Report

“Making models. Those plastic ones where you glue the bits together and paint them. I think that’s a hobby that’s pretty much disappeared.”

flarghargh Report

“I’m 63, was a teenager from 1973 to 1979. The short answer is nothing. We weren’t wealthy, and my brother and I had 2 single beds in a 10×10 ft room. I left my room at about 530am to deliver newspapers and went back at about 930 pm to sleep. I studied at a desk in our family room and was outside a lot of the time otherwise.”

ozarkhawk59 Report

“I think the biggest difference I can remember was having to watch TV shows at specific times. VCRs were such a game changer, but up until then if you wanted to watch Seinfeld, you tuned in on Thursday night. I skipped going out on my birthday one year to watch the season premiere of Lost.”

Senor speed Report

“I did interpretive dances in front of my mirror, pretending to be a pop star for hours, lol.”

BeachPeachMcgee Report

“Obsessively rearrange my bedroom furniture and reorganize my belongings. Yes, I genuinely enjoyed it. And yes, I have OCD.”

pollen nose Report

“I read a lot and wrote stories and poems. I also spent a lot of time outside on my bike. I did games on the computer or consoles but these were shared. TV wasn’t a huge thing either because there wasn’t much “on demand” so you were stuck watching whatever was scheduled which was always hit-and-miss. I was not easily bored. I think people assume that but when you’ve not had access to constant entertainment, you learn how to entertain yourself so much easier. You have a lot more hobbies.”

Palebea Report

“Lay on my back in my bed and throw a ball up against the wall.”

xMUADx Report

“I read a lot, made jewelry, wrote stories, scrapbooked, played board games with my siblings, talked to them a lot, and spent a lot of time outside. Was not bored actually. In fact, I feel like I get bored now than then. I’m Gen z but we only had one computer and it was in the living room. I also wasn’t given a phone until 16.”

Key-Wallaby-9276 Report

“Reading, listening to music, drawing and creating, playing/hanging out with my brothers and friends. I spent a lot of time in my room and was never bored.”

Petrosinella94 Report

“I would listen to music, read teen magazines, talk to my friends on the phone (landline) for hours, and daydream about marrying Eddie Vedder.”

SCA_CH Report

“Had weird decorating ideas like using oil pastels to paint my walls.”

barthgooks Report

“Hang up posters of favorite movies. Turn on the lava lamp and listen to music on the radio.”

ghec2000 Report

“Tried to pirate music from the radio onto CDs and cassettes without getting the start or end of an add… Kept me busy for hours.”

Placenta_pede Report

“Wrote my own stories, wrote in a journal, built extremely detailed Lego houses, played on my DS and Game Cube, and talked on the phone in the evening. As I got older I started doing latch hooks and cross stitches.”

R1R1KnegFyneg Report

“I played a lot of instruments, especially piano and guitar. Ate a bunch of french fries from McDonald’s with my friend while we played cards.”

reddit.com Report

“I discovered drinking and then we just snuck around drinking. Lol. Ah, the good old times.”

KrisKat77 Report

“Skating. Hoolanaganism. Ninja art on alleys. Definitely things illegal. Hair dye. Getting a job. We needed money.”

hyperfat Report

“I used to buy index cards and draw my own Yugioh cards since I couldn’t buy my own (the closest LGS was 120 miles away).”

Gaddammitkyle Report

“I would emo out by laying on the floor and blasting CDs, with a lava lamp and some nag champa burning for ambiance. Occasionally I’d smoke a gross half cigarette out my window (where did I get those?)”

arkae_2k Report

“Watching cartoons, playing Super Mario, cricket, and other local games mostly.”

mfkin-starboy Report

“I played a lot of sports, football, soccer, indoor soccer, indoor track, outdoor track, cross country, basketball, baseball, and a lot of table tennis. I also played video games, tactical simulation games, worked, and hung out with my friends and girlfriend.”

Marine__0311 Report

“Worked on R/C cars for the next race weekend. Computer graphics on my Amiga 500. And every video game is known to man. Those were the 3 big things.”

erics75218 Report

“Mostly spent it outdoors screwing around in the pasture, garage, or woods, at a friend’s place, or riding bikes all over, go-karts, shooting the guns, riding motorcycles… Oh, and doing whatever chores or work parents prescribed.”

One-monkey Report

“I remember doing dumb stuff like a couple of friends and I would go to the woods and choose a tree, pick up rocks, and see who could knock the biggest chunk of bark off from like 30 feet away while arguing about what Power Ranger was the best or something and not be bored at all for hours. I feel bad for everyone who never got to experience that kind of thing.”

ZacharyShade Report

“CDs, radio, trying to make mix tapes, magazines, books, video games… Talking on the phone.”

JaneSaysO_o Report

“I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s when we had internet, but it was one family computer, couldn’t be used at the same time as the phone, and we were very, very limited on time (I had three siblings) . We honestly didn’t hang out in our rooms that much: We played football in the street outside and rode our bikes and rollerblades around with neighborhood kids. My family didn’t have a video game console, but sometimes we’d go play Mario Kart at friends’ houses if the weather was bad. If we hung out in our rooms we’d do things like play Crazy Bones, Pogs, or Pokémon cards. Or talk on the landline to friends if it wasn’t being used. “

Gremlin_Wooder Report

“Painting my nails in many different colors, trying and failing to use various products to straighten my hair in a time before GHDs.”

TeamOfPups Report

“I played with action figures a lot later than socially acceptable lol. But I’m 39 now and miss it.”

Dorkknight112183 Report

“I used to read, build model cars/airplanes/ships, and go outside. Then I got a Sega genesis…”

Papa_Woodie Report

“In addition to going outside, we got into all kinds of shenanigans inside the house. For a good, while there I was a home-alone kid until some concerned neighbors called the police and let my parents know they couldn’t leave their kids alone in the house.”

blurryfacedfugue Report

“I had a knack for taking apart any and every electrical device and trying to put it back on together (wasn’t always a success) that I could get my hands on.”

RcCola2400 Report

“But definitely lots of rock’n’roll. And riding bikes and camping, and summer jobs. And taking the train everywhere because it was cheap. Only saw my room when I was sleeping or it was raining outside and I would be reading books .”

Ill_Ambassador417 Report

“Grew up in the 90s/00s. Spent most of my time outside with friends riding bikes, rollerblading, and making forts in the woods. When I was inside I was playing the Sims or Rollercoaster Tycoon like it was my job.”

Early_Lecture_8217 Report

“I did have 56k internet but didn’t use it so much obviously. It was mainly playing the guitar, watching MTV, playing games on the PlayStation (the first one!), and honestly also napping a lot.”

absolved Report

“Honestly? I was a little ball of anxiety. I would put my headphones on, crank up the tunes, and zone out. I’d daydream and drift into lala land away from the anxiety.”

casbri13 Report

“Drive around aimlessly. Go to malls, egg people’s houses, meet up with new people, go to parties. Good old days.”

cuddly Report

“Mostly video games, but my best friend and I did spend one Summer making a claymation version of “Pulp Fiction” using characters from Gumby. That was a fun one.”

xmadjesterx Report

“Making gifs in ms paint. Making movies with dads camera…”

gable long Report

“I typed in machine code from my Ahoy! Magazine into my Commodore64 so that I could play Breakout for free!”

metric Report

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