What Were You Doing 15 Years Ago Today?

Recently trying to spend some time on my favorite social bookmarking service, I had a little surprise.

Before Internet - StumbleUpon maintenance page

Cute design aside, I like the way the message implies that the only reason to be in front of a computer screen is to be Stumbling, but even the power users interviewed on StumbleBlogger have other online pursuits as well.

Why is it that if you’re not surfing the Internet, you would be outside?

It used to be that if you were playing video games too much, parents would scold that you should turn them off and head out to get some sunlight. However, this study claims that the Internet has not (yet?) had a significant impact on the habits of youth using public libraries i.e. the youth who are online now wouldn’t be in a public library instead, they would simply be doing something else just like in the pre-Internet era.

So what really has lost out to the Internet?

Work aside, which chunk of your day has surfing replaced?

5 thoughts on “What Were You Doing 15 Years Ago Today?”

  1. We haven’t made the jump to not having a TV quite yet, but we only watch whatever comes over the airwaves (and DVDs now and then). When they cut the analog signal in 2009, we’ve decided to use the money a new TV would cost and go on a vacation somewhere instead – who needs reality TV when I can spend a week in a condo on the beach in San Diego for the same price?

    I get a lot better thinking and writing done on the beach than I do with the TV on, too… odd how that works out!

  2. As for what I was doing 15 years ago, I was spending more time indoors than I do today. Regardless of how you spend your time now though, the internet can enhance it in signficant ways. I became a home owner recently, with rose plants to care for and hummingbird feeders to fill and a pool to balance chemicals in – all stuff I can learn how to do properly by a quick Google search. The internet hasn’t changed how I spend my time nearly as dramatically as it has enhanced the time I spend on everything else.

  3. Who needs reality TV when you can have a better reality instead? Good point.

    I agree with the last thing you said in particular. Net usage makes you aware of so much more than before. And I don’t miss TV, I like using the Net as a filter for the creme de la creme so that I only watch the shows that I will absolutely love seeing or learning from.

    And if YouTube or SU is the medium instead of airwaves, that’s fine by me.

  4. well, i’m one of those oldtimers. i was on the net 15 years ago. remember bulletin boards? also, i was working for greenpeace international’s online database and spent lots of time racing through nexis/lexis databases. and i played a LOT of tetris and simcity 🙂

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