One of the most significant differences between coming of age in the '90s versus the new millennium is the role that technology played in our everyday lives. Without a complete dependence on technology, every day tasks required a little bit more time and elbow grease. Without a wireless all-purpose connective device in the palm of our hands, we were just a little but more present. Because we couldn't hide behind our technological devices, we had to rely on our own devices; the capacity to be social and the patience to be understanding.
In the '90s technology was a growing concept. We weren't sure how much we'd come to rely on it, and for the most part, the newer technological advances felt like recreational devices more than necessities. In the '90s, devices served much fewer needs. Computers were for word processing, they were for doing homework. Towards the mid to late '90s computers became a little bit more exciting, coming in different colors and with games and AOL, but they were not the same "fun machines" we have come to know now. Cell phones were for calls that had to be made when you were away from a landline — they weren't for gabbing or texting or stalking your exes new girlfriend.
Because we weren't hunched over, leaning on the crutches of technology, we were able to keep our heads up and smell the roses. If you were born in the '90s these are probably some of the things that you attribute to the shining human you are today:
You Know How To Entertain Yourself When The Power Goes Out
For the most part, you grew up learning how to have fun and pass the time without the help of technology. You're a board game wizard, a Mad Lib master, and a late night conversationalist extraordinaire.
You Know How To Write A Letter
Remember thank you notes and pen pals? You knew the importance of correspondence and thoughtful communication. When you didn't have the option to send a "thx 4 the gift" text, you took the time to write a special note and put it in the mail. Not to mention, opening a letter is much more exciting than getting a text message notification.
You Have A Full Library
You didn't have a Kindle. When you wanted to read a book, you either went to the library to check it out, or you went to a bookstore and bought it. You had an overflowing bookshelf by middle school and you understand that value of holding a physical book. You like to write notes in the margins and underline your favorite lines. Your reading experience is incredibly intimate.
Your Music Taste Is Epic And Vast
The '90s were an amazing time for music. The rock scene was incredibly multifaceted, from grunge, to indie, to punk, to metal, there was always a concert ticket worthy of your allowance. With the remaining influence of folk rock, Shoegaze and experimental lyrical music came on the scene. There was literally something for everyone all on one radio station.
You Understand How Gadgets Work
When things broke, we had to take them apart. Unlike our phones now, which we literally cannot take apart mainly because we know nothing about its contents, we knew how to fix our Discman and boomboxes. We knew how to change batteries and reconnect wires. The intestines of our gadgets made sense to us.
You Know What To Do With A Pen
Pens were not just things that lay on the bottom of your purse and under the seat in your car. We used pens and pencils all the time. We could write a 10-page paper without suffering severe hand cramps, and because of it, we actually really enjoyed the process of writing things by hand.
You Know What Math Is
We didn't walk around with calculators in our back pockets so when we were trying to figure out the tip at a restaurant — we had to use our actual brains. Our knowledge of multiplication and fractions came in handy more than often.
You're A Natural Problem-Solver
When your car broke down or you got lost or felt sick, you had to figure out what to do about it on your own. You couldn't Yelp the nearest auto body shop and you couldn't WebMD your every symptom. When you had an issue, you solved it, because there was no choice. Now, you're more lax about issues that come up because you know you have the capacity to problem solve. No service? No problem.
You Know How To Be In The Moment
When a conversation hit lull or a a car ride became too long, you couldn't check out and disappear into your phone. When you were sitting alone in public, you couldn't pretend to be busy on your device, instead you had to just be. A concept we can barely stomach now.
Images: Giphy, Buena Vista Pictures