Bored Without the Internet? Here’s How To Survive According to Boomers and Gen X Who Lived It

The internet permeates every aspect of our lives. Millennials and Gen Z don’t remember when we didn’t have a world of knowledge at our feet, begging us to get lost inside. 

The Best Time Waster

circle of hands all playing on cell phones
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The internet is far more than a knowledge repository. It’s the best way to waste time. Whether mindless scrolling through endless TikTok videos or getting lost in a Wikipedia rabbit hole, the internet abounds with time sucks. 

What Did You Do Before?

Woman with her hand on her chin with a thinking look on her face.
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Millennials who spend countless hours lost in the posed a fascinating question to those who came before: How did you procrastinate without the internet?

Here’s how Boomers and Gen X killed time. 


Small yellow retro television on a green background.
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We were glued to our television sets long before we were glued to our phones. The most significant limitation of television is it’s not portable.


an open book and quill in an aged looking library surrounded by old books.
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Before the internet, books served as the primary information repository. People who wanted to burn time while learning something new dove into the treasure trove of human knowledge and experience held by books.  


Happy man holding a video game controller sitting on a couch like he's playing a game.
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Arcades and home consols arrived long before home internet networks, offering young folks a fantastic way to spend those long summer days and cold winter nights. 

Early Internet Pioneers

Vintage computer on a colorful bright pink desk against a bright orange wall.
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Many Gen Xers and Young Boomers showed offense at the idea that they couldn’t waste time on the internet. 

They were its earliest pioneers; some even helped build the internet we know and love. 

Talking on the Phone

Young receptionist on the phone taking notes.
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Millennials collectively recoil in terror at the thought of talking on the phone and can’t believe earlier generations did it for fun. 


Pretty woman with her hands on her head looking like she forgot something
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Boomers and Gen Xers had to wait for their favorite songs to come on the radio, record them, then play them repeatedly while feverishly writing out the lyrics so they could memorize them. 

They also wasted time memorizing their favorite movie quotes and poems. 

They Didn’t 

A senior bearded man shrugs as if he doesn't care.
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A boomer on the thread insisted life was so dull that they had no reason to procrastinate. They had no procrastination tools and nothing to avoid. 


hands writing in a journal with scraps and memorablia surrounding it to represent types of journals
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When we couldn’t enjoy other people’s drama from the safety of a screen, we made our own in our journal pages. 

We still procrastinate with journals today, but now it’s bullet journals where we spend all our time planning and not enough time doing. 

Going Outside

Three women sitting around a tent in the woods camping outside.
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Before the internet, people actually went outside and did things. What a strange world that must have been. 

Visiting People

friend group having fun on the side of a road
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Nowadays, people plan their visits. Drop-ins are nearly unheard of. However, before we had access to mobile phones, we’d just swing by our friends’ places to see what they were up to when we were in the area. 


Group of children sitting on the dug out bench wearing their team uniforms.
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People went outside and played pick-up basketball, swam at community pools, skated, and rollerbladed. 

These fun sports were great time-wasters that kept us moving. 


person drawing flowers with pastels

Photo Credit: MartaPo via is a great way to pass some time. You don’t have to be good at it either! Here are 101 fun things to draw when you’re bored

Time Flies – Savor Every Moment

sand running through an hourglass to represent quotes about time.
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They often say time flies, and that’s true. We’re often so busy we don’t even notice the days and years slip away. 

Yes Time Flies – But Here’s How To Savor Every Moment


Source: Reddit