13 Things Kids Today Should Thank The '90s For
Dear Generation Z: you're welcome. Because while the generation that came before mine is intent on portraying Millennials as lazy and entitled and all those other adorably unflattering adjectives getting tossed around, we Millennials have been much kinder to you. (I mean, mostly because we want fashion tips and need you to teach us how to use Snapchat every time it updates, but I digress.) Back to my point: remember the '90s? Of course you don't. You weren't there — or if you were, you were basically still in diapers during Y2K. But although you cannot remember the '90s, it is, in fact, the era that paved the way for a whole bunch of things that you really ought to be thanking us for.
Because you see, my generation is so much more than just ~Millennials~. We were the OG pioneers of the modern digital world. We dealt with T9 and dial-up. We learned to parallel park in cars that didn't BEEP BEEP BEEP every time something got too close to the bumper. If we wanted to get in touch with each other, we had to call from a landline that multiple people shared. And while you might think this "back in my day" rant has nothing to do with you, my Gen Z amies, the truth is, it has everything to do with you. We started paving the way for your lot before you were even a twinkle in some Gen X-er's eye. Here are all the things you've enjoyed in your (ridiculously trendy, terrifyingly savvy) lives, thanks to US.
Plaid On Plaid On Plaid
The next time you adorably Instagram yourselves romping around a pumpkin patch in your seasonally-appropriate flannel, blow a kiss to your autumnal gods and OG plaid wearers, the kids of the '90s.
Every Dimple On Harry Styles' Face
You think you invented Harry Styles? Oh, friends. Harry & Co would not have existed were it not for the sweet serenading of NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys who came before them. Without their legacy, the world would have said "Bye Bye Bye" to One Direction and 5SOS before they were even a thing.
Your Super Rad Babysitters
Remember all those cool high school babysitters you worshipped when you were a wee thing because they let you sneak-watch an extra episode of Dora the Explorer and whipped up a mean microwaveable mac and cheese? Yeah, that was us. And to be fair, we thought you were super rad, too ... even if we'll never get the Map Song out of our heads until death finally claims us.
In the '90s we had to carry three-ring binders with plastic pockets full of Pokemon cards and PRAY TO THE POKE-GODS that nobody would steal them. We had to get to Viridian City with no easily searched cheat codes on the internet, no auto-save to kick in when our double A batteries died, and no way to deal with your #rage when we realized we lost our best chance to get a Pikachu back in Pallet Town. YOU GEN Z-ERs, on the other hand, have the privilege of carrying as many Pokemon as you damn please in the back pocket of your skinny jeans — but only because '90s kids dreamed of a better life, and in 2016, it finally came for us all.
Making It Cool To Be A Nerd
I mean, to be fair, '90s kids can't take nearly as much credit for this as Queen J.K. Rowling can. It was her fault that all the nerds emerged from their dark corners and came to the forefront so aggressively we outnumbered all the normals, forcing nerdery into become the cultural norm. #Represent.
All Your Ensemble Sitcoms About Broke And/Or Aimless Twentysomething And Thirtysomethings
The next time you binge-watch How I Met Your Mother or New Girl or The Mindy Project, remember from whence they came and respect.
Your Precious Emojis
The iOS 10 update brought us so many new glorious new variations of emojis, but we had not the glory of a swipe and press emoji back then. We had to build our emoji by hand. With symbols. On T9. And then explain to everyone over the age of 18 what they meant. It was a lot of time we'll never get back, time you young folk probably used to get all hip and Instagrammable while we occasionally poked a zit and shrugged.
The Economy You're Going To Enjoy Someday
Within five years, we Millennials are going to make up over half the work force — and we 'bout to spend that dough that other generations hoarded after the Baby Boomers #wrecked the economy. Why do you think advertisers are scrambling to figure out the slant of our twisted little buyer's brains? It's up to us to revitalize this here economy so you punks don't end up graduating in the economic wasteland that we did (woops).
Front-Facing Cameras On Your Phone
If we hadn't nearly broken all of our limbs and blinded ourselves with the flash from our parents' (very first!) digital cameras back in the MySpace days, none of y'all would be enjoying the very conveniently-placed selfie cameras or, consequently, the many famous selfies of the Jenner girls on Instagram right now. (Also, you're welcome for trial-and-erroring that whole "duck face" nonsense before you could walk.)
The Bajillion Flavors Of Oreos, Pop-Tarts, And Peeps You Now Enjoy
Hey, remember when you only had one option of Oreo, and it was single-stuffed? NO, YOU DON'T. Because it was the unrepentant gluttony and enthusiasm of '90s babies that ushered in this glorious era of the Oreo Wonder Vault, a calendar year where you can buy Peeps in every season, and I assume more flavors of Pop-Tarts than there are chemical elements. Thanks to us you are 360 degrees of #blessed.
All The Reboots You're Getting
Turns out that we '90s babies remained, and forever will be, obsessed with the '90s. So now you get to live in a world where there are not one, not two, but three major Spider-Man franchises; a world where The Powerpuff Girls live in 2016; a world where Sailor Moon is accessible on your laptop at any time of the day, and not just on the mornings your mom laboriously and faithfully woke up before dawn to record it on VHS when it played on some strange syndicated channel before Toonami existed. Oh lord, you probably don't even know what Toonami is, do you? SMH.
Taking All The Heat From The Baby Boomers
For real, when are Millennials gonna get cut some slack? We are the scapegoat for anything and everything bad with the world, despite the fact that we have more work ethic as a generation than Baby Boomers themselves, and are each juggling approximately 10 side hustles to survive in the economy they left behind. But hey, there's the good news, Gen Z: you're all gonna look like rock stars. The shiny younger sibling to our punk rebel firstborn. Also, we're going to be a lot nicer to you when you enter the workforce than Gen X was to us. (Mostly because we don't know how to technology half as well as you do and are desperate for your intel, but let's pretend for a second it's out of benevolence.)
Appreciating You For All Your Gen Z Coolness
Plz sit next to us in the mall caf? (Er ... if y'all remember where to find a mall, that is.)
Images: Unsplash; Giphy