Would you trade your smart phone for a pager? KUWTK for Cheers? Super skinny jeans for a pair of breezy JNKOs? Millennials know that while they might not want to give up all the advances of the 21st century, in many ways, '90s kids had it way easier. I’m not talking convenience, because we've got plenty of that. With the advent of the Internet the activities in our daily life have been streamlined. You can buy pretty much anything online with the click of a mouse and have it delivered to your door same day (maybe even by a drone!). Movies, music, information, it’s all at your fingertips. No stepping outside to go to libraries, or banks, or grocery stores. It seems amazing — but sometimes having too much choice makes things more difficult. What food to order? What level of Uber to book? What movie to watch? It can make your head spin, and feel nostalgic for that drive to the nearest Blockbuster to check the “new releases” section.
Kids of the '90s didn’t have to deal with Tinder and “U up?” Kids of the '90s didn’t have social networks making them anti-social. They didn’t have a record of every bad selfie — in fact, in the '90s, somebody else had to hold the camera in order to aim it, and it sure wasn’t attached to your phone! Before Instagram there were Polaroids, and before Google Maps there were actual paper maps, and I have to say, I can't help but get nostalgic for AOL. So let’s revisit those simpler times and allow all those who grew up in the '90s to gloat for a second (but just one second! Maybe two).
No Ever Present Cell Phone
In the '90s, all you needed in order to leave your house was your keys and your wallet (and maybe your Lip Smacker tropical punch-flavored chapstick). Today, if we accidentally walk out the door and leave our cell phone charging, we feel naked and afraid. We are counting down the hours until we can return to check our texts and Facebook and emails. Our music is on our phones as well as our games and entertainment. If you lose your phone, you might as well be living in a cabin in the middle of the woods.
Being so dependent on these devices have in some ways quelled our independence. In the '90s you had to actually memorize your best friend and family’s phone numbers, because otherwise you couldn’t reach them. Today, we are so dependent on our cellphones we don’t even take the time to learn the number of our BF. All '90s kids needed was a quarter in their pocket, and everything would be hunky dory.
No Social Networks
We know binging on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is never healthy, but that doesn’t stop us from stalking exes or spending an hour coming up with the perfect hashtag. Nineties kids didn’t have to deal with bad pictures being posted online for the world to see, or the struggles of making a relationship "Facebook official." They didn’t have to deal with privacy settings and blocking people. If they wanted to block someone, they just wouldn’t pick up their landline. They didn’t even have Tom from Myspace. They blissfully ignorant, those jerks.
Grunge And More!
Cher bemoans her generation's fashion sense in Clueless, saying, “I don't want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don't get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair, and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we're expected to swoon? I don't think so.” But for all that, the '90s were so darn comfortable! It was as simple as throwing on a pair of baggy overalls, layering it with a ribbed t-shirt, lacing up your combat boots and you were good to go! Your biggest concern was to make sure not to forget to tie that oversized flannel around your waist in case it gets cold while you’re working at The Gap. Today we are supposed to squeeze ourselves into jeans, throw on an impossibly cool graphic tank, some anklet boots, and then what? A cape or something?
You Could Get Lost If You Wanted To
Google Maps is a blessing. It gets you to your destination the quickest way possible. But what about all those wrong turn adventures you might be missing out on? What about the laid back fly by the seat of your pants attitude of the '90s? With all the advances in GPS, we can now even track our friends' smart phones, and see exactly where they are in real-time. Yay? If you were running late in the '90s, you could make up some lame excuse about your car breaking down or something. But soon, that won't be good enough.
In the '90s communication with your peers was simple. We didn't have to communicate in a hieroglyphic text language bookended with confusing acronyms. The slang back then was so lame that it was cool. You were always happy to see your "home skillet" and OMG her new purple Doc Martens were "da bomb!" Blowing someone off was as simple as telling that hater to "Talk to the hand." Oh snap...
Oregon Trail, Super Mario, Sonic The Hedgehog — there were so many great options for how to spend a Saturday afternoon. In the '90s we even met our first big video game heroine, Lara Croft, and she kicked some serious butt. The characters were more fun, the motifs were simpler, and the controllers had less buttons. Not to mention, there was no Candy Crush taking your money.
Their Lives Weren’t Dominated By Technology
Cause there was only so much you could do with Dial-up.
Now, let's take a trip back to 1995 real quick: