Technology In The '90s Versus Today
When it comes to remembering what life was like in the '90s, nostalgia tends to hit us full swing. It can be really fun to think about how our lives have changed since the decade of our youth — especially when you compare '90s technology versus today. I mean, yes, many things have evolved over the years, from who we are as people to what we eat, drink, and listen to; how we communicate, though, has (arguably, perhaps) changed the most. And besides, '90s technology is kind of hilarious in retrospect.
Whether or not you're super into technology yourself, it's become such a huge part of our lives that most of us probably use it daily. Technology helps us in a number of ways, from the cars we to drive to the medicine we take; heck, it's even involved in little things from what kind of cell phones we have to what sort of screen we use to stream our favorite TV shows.
Back in the '90s, though, many of us were exposed to technology for the first time. Who doesn't remember receiving their first Tamagotchi and feeling like a scientist? And, goodness, the very first time you figured out how to change a screensaver on a computer? The adrenaline rush was pretty unparalleled.
For more trips down memory lane, check out some of the major differences between '90s technology and what we use today:
How You Listen To Music
In the '90s: Listening to music in the '90s was all about rocking your Discman with CDs you burned from your friends — or even (gasp) a Walkman with cassette tapes recorded off the radio.
Today: It's all about the MP3 player and the smartphone — and if you're not using either of those, you're definitely streaming tunes from Spotify or YouTube.
How You Chat With People
In the '90s: AIM was all the craze in the '90s. You got to make a million screen names, customize your away messages, and troll random chatrooms. Glorious, right?
Today: Chatting online today is all about Facebook Messenger, Kik on your phone, and the occasional use of DMs on Twitter and Instagram. If you're really old school, you use Gchat for that classic instant message experience.
How You Curate Your Online Presence
In the '90s: Who didn't waste hours making Geocities webpages? And when it was time for MySpace, you know you dedicated some serious time to customizing your background and choosing your "top 5" friends.
Today: Now that we've grown up a little, we tend to curate our presence online through our LinkedIn, Twitter, and other professional websites. And our Facebook accounts are under lock and key, of course.
How You Watch TV
In the '90s: Watching TV back then usually meant sitting in the living room and sharing screen time with your entire family. If you were lucky, you had a TV in your bedroom for a little more control of the remote.
Today: You can certainly still use a television set to watch TV, but you can also stream TV shows and movies from your laptop, phone, or tablet. Heck, you can stream media while it's live or download it later pretty much at the drop of a hat. No more trips to Blockbuster! (Especially since Blockbuster is an endangered species at this point.)
How You Browse The Internet
In the '90s: Using the internet in the '90s often involved an AOL homepage and a good couple of minutes figuring out how to craft an appropriate question for Ask Jeeves.
Today: Browsing the internet today is pretty different — we have more choices for web browsers, more customizations for our Internet speed, and we pretty much live and die by the first couple of results we get on Google. Oh, how times have changed.
How You Play Video Games
In the '90s: In the '90s playing video games was all about your NES and your Gameboy (or your Sega and your Game Gear). The console was ideal for when you had friends over, or when you had to share the TV with your siblings, and the portable system was the best option when you needed some alone time or had the inevitable family road trip.
Today: Today, there are a ton of options for playing video games. Sure, we still have consoles and portable systems; they're just a lot more high tech now (hi there, Wii-U, Xbox, and Playstation). But you can also play games on your phone — including many of the games we used to play on our retro gaming systems. You haven't lived until you've played the original Sonic the Hedgehog on your phone.
Ah, the glory of '90s nostalgia. How very sweet you are.