Genuinely what was it like being a young person before the Internet?

Maybe I'm cynical but I think people tend to look at their past childhoods with rose colored glasses. I was born in 1984 (39 this year) and got on the internet in 1996-97 (7th grade) because my mom heard of this thing called AOL. We moved around a lot so this already introverted kid had a hard time making friends and I didn't really leave the house other than with my parents or to go to school because my parents were over protective. After school I spent hours on the house phone watching the same TV show and chatting with my school friends about nothing much. One time I stayed at a friends house a little later and my parents got home a little earlier than usual and they were hysterical and half ready to call the cops when I ran into them driving around as I was walking and halfway home. I wasn't allowed to do sleep overs for mysterious reasons my parents wouldn't tell me. I watched a lot of TV, read books, and talked to strangers on AOL instant messager.

The internet was an interesting portal to other people, information, and media. I could find music to download that might give my computer a fun virus. I could search and search for websites made by people about their weird specific hobbies. As search engines got better, my access to information got better, too. I didn't have to ask people for answers, I could find answers by myself.

/r/CasualConversation Thread