9 '90s Songs Whose Problems Could Be Solved By A Cell Phone
It’s weird to think that, once upon a very short time ago, cell phones were a luxury item. They existed as a bulky piece of machinery only the privileged elite like Zack Morris or Cher Horowitz could own, not something you flippantly hand to your 4-year-old nephew so he can play Angry Birds. And while in ways we have to value our childhood for its dearth of technology, you have to consider: there were a lot of ‘90s pop music problems that could've been solved by cell phones.
Granted, I don’t necessarily mean the large brick Zack Morris type phones that plagued the halls of Bayside High. I mean the large brick ones that you’re probably reading this article off right now. I’m just saying that, if we had a time machine and we could drop off a whole bunch of iPhones on the set of TRL, we probably wouldn’t have the same great music we have today... but your pop favorites also wouldn’t have so much damn heartbreak and anxiety. Hey, I think it’s a great use of a time machine.
If you beg to differ, let me just argue how smartphones would’ve profoundly solved a lot of musical ‘90s angst (especially when paired with all that ‘90s apathy).
1. "You Oughta Know"
The girl power break-up angst of "You Oughta Know" could've been really pacified via the magic of a cell phone. The easiest way would have been through text, with a succinct, emotionless, "I'm happy for you" sent to your ex-lover, and the veritable stream of rage let out only in the closest confidence of your girlfriends and Court Jester's margarita night.
2. "What’s My Age Again?"
I never understood how you could call someone's mom from a pay phone and they could Call ID you and that's what outs you as a prank caller. It's a pay phone. Do you own the pay phone? Is your name attached to the pay phone? When it comes to modern prank calling — whether it's hiding your number or masking your voice so you don't sound like someone's immature boyfriend — I'm sure there's an app for that.
3. "Mmm Bop"
"Uh, there's no problem in that song, it's a perfect shining example of pure-hearted feel-good bubblegum pop." I'm sorry, but the chorus makes literally no sense. Somebody needs to run that through an autocorrect, stat. "Did you mean...?"
"I think we need a break." THAT'S IT. THAT'S ALL. No need for lengthy explanations. Better yet, just do the fadeaway and avoid the places you know this dude frequents for a few weeks. For all the communication opportunities cell phones give us, they give us infinitely more ways to ignore people.
Cool news, you don't have to screen your phone calls with modern technology, at least with any real effort. You'll know precisely when "Matt - Tinder" is calling you... presuming he even calls you, because, more likely, you can just ice out his texts, Spice Girls style.
6. "As Long As You Love Me"
True Life: I'm concerned that The Backstreet Boys don't care who you are, where you're from, and what you did so long as you love them. I feel like they should fact check aaaaaall of that before they take someone home... and with the magic of a smartphone with Internet capabilities, they can.
7. "No Scrubs"
I guess the age of cellphones could be pretty problematic when dealing with guys like this, especially if they pull the "Give me your number and I'll call so you can have mine" shtick in front of you. Such a trap. If you get cornered into the worst case scenario, though, you won't have to be on pins and needles about whether he's calling you. You'll see "Matt - Scrub" pop up and can just ignore like a champ. It is the way of our times.
Oof, how can a cell phone solve your unrequited love? Maybe flinging yourself into the dating app of your choosing will distract you long enough to keep your mind off that undeserving man.
9. "Tearin' Up My Heart"
You know what? Mixed signals aren't a problem when you just have the ability to swipe right or left.
Modern technology truly does change the '90s musical scene, whether it comes to a breakup, a makeup, unrequited love, or figuring out what on earth Hanson is talking about. It's times like these where I truly realize that, though it's fun to get nostalgic about the '90s, I wouldn't actually want to go back to a time with no cell phones.
Images: Giphy (9)