Just 23 things millennials used to do before the internet existed.

If you were born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, you’ll know exactly what it was like to grow up in a world pre-internet, pre-smartphones, pre-electricity… Okay not that last one, but honestly, every millennial knows that childhood and some of puberty felt like the dark ages compared to the world Gens Z and Alpha have been growing up in.

It was a simpler time, but not necessarily one without its unique problems. Making sure you hit ‘record’ at the right time when you *needed* to get your favourite song off the radio (because your pocket money was, like, $1 week and you just couldn't afford the super-high price of $20 for a CD at HMV). Ooft, the stress.

If you’re a millennial, you will definitely recognise plenty of these canon moments shared by members of the Mamamia team *of a certain age*. And honestly, how did we make it out alive?

Listen: Millennials have got it tough! Post continues below.

1. “Street directories in all cars. We actually all carried a fat book of MAPS everywhere we went?! Madness. Thank god for Google Maps.”

2. “Watching a film/TV show and not googling every actor in it to see how old they are/what else they are in/how tall they are.”

3. “Calling the cinema for movie times, then calling a friend back to ask which one, then calling the cinema back to book the tickets.”

4. “Going to Blockbuster as a family to choose a few videos to watch over the weekend.”

Image: Getty.5. “Getting the TV program from the Sunday newspaper to check what shows were on that week. Because obviously Netflix definitely didn't exist either.”


6. “Watching Video Hits and Rage from 6am-10am to watch all the film clips… also, the importance of film clips.”

7. “Recording songs off the radio onto cassettes, timing pressing record juuuust right so you'd get the song and not the hosts talking. Nothing made me dirtier than when they'd speak over the end of a song!"

8. “I used to record and rewind songs a million times over trying to write down all the lyrics.”

Image: Getty.

 9. “Buying a CD single for $7 at Sanity.”


10. “My mum would record Home & Away on a VCR if we went out, so she didn't miss an episode.”

11. “Your work computer was a huge chunky desktop and when you went home, you couldn’t do more work!”

12. “I was a photo editor at a magazine. You would CALL a pap agency and they would COURIER OVER a book of photos to choose from, and then send your selects on A DISK. We also got 'wires' AKA OS gossip/news on a FAX MACHINE.”

Image: Getty.

13. “Calling friends' landlines and talking to their parents before you could speak to your friends to organise get-togethers.”

14. “Calling 1234 to ask a question. Off your landline.”

15. “Calling 1800 reverse on a public phone.”

16. “We had phone cards that you could use to make calls from payphones without needing cash.”

17. “When you ran out of phone credit you could still leave a voice mail, so me and my friends would communicate in voicemails. Bit like medieval voice notes."

18. “I had a pager. That feeling when your boyfriend's number would pop up on your pager and you'd have to go find a landline to call him back. Heady days… (Gen Zs be like, WTF is a pager?)”

Image: Getty.

19. “Reading the times on the sign on the bus stop and just having to patiently wait and hope a bus would arrive. I had to relive this when I lost my phone.”

20. “Meeting people outside the movies and if they were late, you just had to… wait.”

21. “Going to the library to research for essays and school projects using books. And there were only like two books, and we all needed the same one.”


22. “Encyclopedias! I had the nicest set of them. Wish I kept them for the ‘aesthetic’ now lol.”

Image: Getty.

23. “Cashing travellers' cheques when overseas… took FOREVER." 

24. “Travelling without smartphones… I’m not joking when I say I went to New York carrying a map the size of a tablecloth.”

25. “Having a Walkman, then a Discman, then an MP3 player... going running with an actual CD in a Discman, like wow, we had it rough.”

Alix Nicholson is Mamamia's Managing Editor. Catch more of her adventures in travel, beauty and lifestyle over on her Instagram.

Feature image: Getty.

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