What Did You Do With Your Time Before the Internet Existed? Here’s What People Said.

I remember when I first encountered the Internet when I was in high school.

It was pretty primitive back then but it was still pretty mind-blowing.

You mean you can actually chat with another person who lives on the other side of the planet?


It was obviously a huge game-changer for society.

But how did you spend your time before the Internet came along?

AskReddit users shared their memories.

1. Sounds fun.

“One of my favorite things that I remembered recently was we used go play night games.

It was pretty much a bunch of people from local high schools, about half in cars and half on foot. There was a starting location and an ending location. People on foot would try to get to the end location without getting caught by the people in cars.

It was one of the funnest things from high school. And yes, I’m from a small town.”

2. Bookworm.

“I read books non-stop. My dad took us to the library every Saturday.

I probably read at least 500 books before I turned 18.”

3. A slower pace.

“Lots of time on the phone talking about nothing important.

Lots of time driving around because you didn’t have money to do anything. Lots of time biking (when I didn’t have my license yet).

And, yes, my friends and I used to write letters to each other. Handwritten letters. Some were so heavy they took two stamps. I even had a penpal in Ireland.

Life was so fun.”

4. Bonding.

“Playing sports outside every day and inside at night watching the best cartoons.

Or playing mulitplayer videogames with your friends in the same room because online mulitplayer didn’t exist.”

5. No pressure.

“As a youth, we played a lot of pickup games with no helicopter parents or any intention of being serious about it.

No college scholarship ambitions or professionally licensed uniforms. Just a bunch of kids, a piece of land, and whatever ball we had available.

When I think back, it felt like there was more time. I didn’t feel pressured to be hyper productive 24/7. I remember having time to simply enjoy life and friends.”

6. I’ll be browsing.

“Barnes & Noble.

Tower Records.


7. Innocence.

“We had a woods in our neighborhood.

I would just hang out in the woods with the neighborhood kids building a fort, playing army or follow the dog, my friend had a dog but it was really all of ours.

Follow the dog was basically we’d let Spotty lead us around for hours. Hard to believe Spotty passed away 18 years ago.”

8. Always random.

“Ride the bike around until you saw a group of your friends or their bikes at a park, woods, house, beach, etc.”

9. A different time.

“I was born in 1980 and we didn’t have Internet until I was a teenager.

I spent a lot of time playing outside with my brother since there were no other kids around. Some stuff we would do:

Go out in the woods and climb trees

Whittle sticks (we had pocket knives as young kids)

Sit in the treehouse and read, pretend that it was a fort and we had to defend it from attacking monsters, etc.

Dig holes in the ground and pretend that we were digging up fossils

Make lean-tos out of fallen branches or ones we had hacked off with hatchets

Go swimming in the creek

Have sword fights with sticks

Pick and eat wild blackberries

Catch and pet toads, turtles, lizards, crawdads, etc. We let them go after.

Play with our ninja turtle figures

Jump on the trampoline

Go fishing

Play music on the radio and dance/sing along

Catch fireflies in a jar. We let them go after.

It was a really different time.”

10. Dreams.

“Playing with friends outside and dreaming up worlds that could never exist. Internet and video games made us think – well, now we can live in all of those worlds! They exist now! Not true.

Every person has a unique perspective and equally unique fantasies, hopes, and dreams. So even though we found more worlds to play in post-internet, they were never our own.

It was always somebody else’s creation or somebody else’s sandbox, with its own set of rules and limitations already built into it.”

11. Wait for it…

“Hanging out with friends, sports and actually waiting for stuff (new movies, new albums, new toys).

Today’s world is all about instant gratification and I miss that anticipation.”

12. Let’s have a conversation.

“Wondering about stuff.

You know those conversations where someone’s like, “I wonder which actor has won the most awards for being in war movies?” and then someone Googles it and everyone goes “Huh. Neat.” and moves on?

It didn’t used to be like that. It used to be a long conversation over which actor it probably was because you couldn’t just look it up.”

What did you do with your time before the Internet?

Let us know in the comments.

Please and thank you!