Many shared that a large part of their day involves spending time outside with their friends and family.
These days, almost everyone spends most of their time online, and the younger you are, the more you spend your day in front of a screen. Given how important the internet has become, it’s easy to forget that there was a time when it just… didn’t exist. But if you’re of a certain age, you remember those pre-Internet days well—and probably fondly, despite how crazy it might seem to many young people today. One Reddit user/_mayora13_ asked: “Youth before the internet: What did you do in your room in your spare time? What things did you do (for jobs, I mean hobbies or things to pass the time)? Were you bored more easily? ?”
Over 9,000 Redditors have logged in to talk about their childhood wishes and hobbies. Here are some of the best responses we’ve received:
1. Boredom is never an option:
“Read. A lot. Watched movies. Talked on the phone. Hours at a time. That’s assuming I was at home in my room. Which wasn’t much… I was going out shopping with friends, or hanging out at their houses, going to movies, playgrounds etc. I was never bored. Even when I was home alone in my room. Boredom wasn’t a thing when I had a good book.” — feed-the-fire
2. Mixtapes and Muscles:
“I miss this. Recording radio songs on tape was so much fun. I loved it. Then I was proud of myself if I could see a song quickly enough to press record and find the beginning of the song as much as possible. . That’s probably one of the main reasons I can identify songs from the 70s and 80s so well. I had to ‘exercise’ that muscle when I made tapes.” – u/-DementedAvenger-
3. We love “Pulp Fiction”
“Mostly video games, but my best friend and I spent one summer making a claymation version of ‘Pulp Fiction’ using characters from Gumby. That was fun.” -u/xmadjesterx
4. Hello, It’s me
“It’s hard to overemphasize to the younger generations how much time we spent on the phone. Hours. HOURS at a time. So much so that phone companies started offering ‘teen lines’ which were second phone lines installed in your home. so the kid wouldn’t pick up the phone all day and no one could call you.” – u/vespidaevulgaris
5. Latchkey baby
“Reading was a big thing, and listening to music. Being a little kid gave me a lot of time with my parents’ records. If it wasn’t for that time alone with Sam Cooke I would have clapped on the first beat right.” — u/Academic_Snow_7680
“I wrote in my journal, decorated my walls, did homework, read magazines, played with makeup, and tried on ideas for school clothes.” — u/fingersonlips
8. Tom from Myspace?
“I watched vhs tapes, TV, read a book, listened to the radio waiting for your favorite song and your tape ready to be recorded, went out to visit friends, talked on the phone.
Technologically my generation, the older millennials were one of the first to really use the internet. But it was not like it is now. We were still outside and using the internet was a privilege. Unless you had 2 lines you would only be online until someone needed to use the phone. Many households only had one computer because it was expensive. In social media I remember blackplanet and MySpace being a big thing but it didn’t take as long as social media does now. “ – u/jolietia
9. Do you remember outside?
“Read books/comics, listened to music, watched TV, smoked weed, played video games, played on my computer (Commodore 64, Apple II), talked on the phone or CB. And there was this thing called ‘outside.’ Riding bikes, hanging out at 7-11, Arcade or Bowling Alley (which was an arcade) or even a pool hall (they had pinball machines) back in the day.” – u/Fearless747
10. Crackhead Barbies:
“When I was young, I had the Internet, but I did other things on the side. Here’s what I did:
-Draw (digital and traditional) I did this A LOT.
-Listen to music (I had an offbrand mp3 player that was stolen a long time ago.) I do this often.
-I played single player games on my Windows Vista laptop and on my tablet and phone.
-I went to my sister’s house to play a game of ‘C****head Barbies’ (Which is just us playing Barbies, but I make my Barbie pretend to m*** and do weird sh*t. Sometimes times I’ve recorded us doing this on my old phone. I still have the phone and the videos, but they get corrupted when trying to transfer them to other devices.)
I think I did other things, but I can’t remember them off the top of my head.” — u/Present_Half_9398
11. Just having fun in the area:
“Talking on the phone, driving, going shopping/eating out, going for walks, video games, sports like shooting hoops or playing football, sitting outside hoping to play, watching movies or going to the movies, sneaking into someone else’s pool or hot tub. Later we had a little party with drinking games . And we were all very involved in some kind of extracurricular activity that we could practice together with our partners. We never got bored because we finally found something to do.” — u/Temporary-Dot4952
12. Always plan:
“Endless talking on the phone, endless arguing about whose turn it was to talk on the phone, putting up walls of magazine cutouts, toys, drawing, puzzles, rewinding all the tapes you just listened to, fixing your clothes. , practicing makeup, putting shoes that match your pillows/clothes. Oh , stickers! In sticker books! To organize all your stickers.” — u/Sorry_Engineer_
“I remember doing dumb sh*t like a couple of friends and I’d go into the woods and pick a tree, pick up rocks, and see who could make the biggest bark from 30 feet away, while arguing about where the Power was. The Ranger was the best or something and it can be completely boring for hours. I feel bad for anyone who has never experienced that kind of thing.” – u/ZacharyShade
14. Deep Listening
“One of my favorite things was what I called ‘deep listening’ to albums. My favorite band would drop something or I’d just pick one of my favorites, smoke a nice joint, put on my headphones, lay down. lay down and absorb the whole album start to finish. Every note, every word. I loved that. And even though I wrote songs and poems, practiced singing (screaming) like a longing, read tons of books (everything Stephen King as a teenager), play video games, talk on the phone for hours with girls. If I’m completely honest I mourn the loss the world before the Internet. Before our attention and data were commodities.” — u/Live_For_A_Living
15. Turn to page 394
“You know how you read the ‘Harry Potter’ series of books? In the 1980s we read books like that all the time. And, growing up when ‘Mom, I need to ride to…’ “I was really, I used to ride a bike everywhere. Until today , bikes = freedom.” – u/CapnScrunch