Our childhoods seem like a million years ago — and largely thanks to monumental shifts in technology, culture, and science, there are so many things we did in the '90s that we can't do anymore. I'm not just talking about slap bracelets and Beanie Babies, because it goes so much deeper than that. Many of the everyday happenings that comprised our youth are not only out of date, but they're actually no longer even available. Some of our favorite foods and drinks were discontinued; the stores we regularly visited went out of business; and much of the habits we had come to master became automated and readily available thanks to the smartphone. (Do kids today know that phones used to have cords?)
Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. Well, I kind of am. I never thought life could get easier and yet simultaneously, so much more complicated. While I love my iPhone and playing on my boyfriend's XBox, I still remember the good old days when face-to-face communication and sending hand-written sentiments were still a thing. Wow, I sound old.
What kinds of things did we do in the '90s that we can't do anymore? I'll kick it off.
1. Listen To Messages On An Answering Machine
Or better yet, record your "Sorry, we're not home right now" message on that cute, tiny, little tape that the machine used. Remember tapes? Digital voicemail just isn't quite the same.
2. Pass Notes In Class
Do children even write on paper anymore? I know one thing for certain: Texting has made note-passing obsolete.
3. Follow The Food Pyramid As A Guide
Remember when the food pyramid looked like this? Then we learned that science was wrong, and putting away a box of cereal each morning became frowned upon, and the food pyramid was retired. RIP, food pyramid.
4. Enjoy Trix That Was Shaped Like Actual Fruit
I can't enjoy the spherical Trix. It feels like I'm eating a bowl of lies.
5. Ask For Directions
Do you have no smartphone, pilgrim? Who actually asks for directions these days? And if you pull out an actual map, I might faint.
6. Fix Your Nintendo By Blowing In It
Video games are so complicated these days. Back in the '90s, any problem could be solved by blowing in it.
7. Order From Scholastic Books
Don't lie: One of your favorite parts of growing up was going to your school's Scholastic Book Fair for some serious book-shopping. To be fair, the Scholastic Book Club is still a thing these days (it's just called the Scholastic Reading Club instead)... but I'm willing to bet that enough kids read via e-reader now that it doesn't have quite the same cachet.
8. Become An Artist Through Microsoft Paint
We didn't use fancy apps to make art; we used lines, spray paint, and the paint bucket.
9. Dial *69 To See Who Last Called You
Technically, I guess you could do this if you still have a landline. But... what's a landline?
10. Go To Kay-Bee Toys
Shopping here was an event in and of itself. You didn't even have to buy anything. You went in, played, and left.
11. Having Oreos For Breakfast
This cereal was discontinued, but you can still eat Oreo cookies for breakfast. Just kidding. Who would do that? Not me. Just kidding again.
12. Pick Up The Phone Without Knowing Who Was There
Sometimes, it was a fun surprise. You'd pick up your phone with its long, curly cord and exclaim, "Donna! Hi!" How nice was it when Donna called you? Do people even speak on the phone anymore? Do they speak... at all?