12 Ways Life Was Different 20 Years Ago

CBS Television Distribution

As we near the end of another decade that's been jam-packed with technological evolution and massive cultural shifts, it's fun to look back and consider how much everything has changed. For instance, look back at what the world was like 10 years ago: back then, the first iPhone was being introduced and Barack Obama was still President of the United States. That seems like forever ago! It's tough to even remember what life was like back then. What about going back even farther, though? What about thinking of all the ways life was different 20 years ago? It's hard to even imagine that we were functioning humans without the technology we have now. Was there really life on earth in 1997 and 1998?

If you're sitting there trying to wrap your mind around everything that has been introduced into our lives in the last 20 years right now (as well as trying to remember if there was even electricity back then), you're in the right place: I went through the very same thought process, so I did a bit of research. I can deduce that we did in fact have electricity — and a whole lot more. Here's a brief brush up on life 20 years ago. Spoiler alert: we were already showing signs of being a generation likely to be obsessed with technology and anything that's fantastical.

We Were Titanic-Obsessed

Despite the fact that the movie was about three hours long, we watched it over and over again. At sleepover parties, on weekends, and after school. And because that wasn't enough, we bought posters and plastered them to our walls.

Will Smith Could Protect Us From Aliens

When Men in Black came out in 1997, we were pretty freaked out about the prospect of aliens existing, but felt pretty confident that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones could keep us safe if the threat became real.

We Wanted George Clooney To Take Our Temperature

George Clooney was still playing Dr. Doug Ross on ER, making us all secretly hope that we'd break a toe or need a stitch or two so we'd win a trip to a hospital where a Clooney-esque doctor might care for us.

We Were More Like Quinn Than Daria

While Daria was the moody older sister in 1997, we were still young hopeful Quinns who didn't realize that Daria was actually the cooler sister. Now, in 2018, we're all Darias and when we look at pictures of ourselves from high school, no matter how down to earth we thought we were, we see Quinn.

We Waited Minutes For Pages To Load

About 20 years ago, the internet moved at a glacial speed. If you wanted to load a website page, you were going to have to wait seconds to minutes. If there were a lot of pictures on the page, you'd have to sit back and relax, because that could take even longer. And if you wanted to watch a video, well — you'd have to make a snack to pass the time.

If We Were Looking At Our Phones, We Were Playing Snake

Most of us didn't even have cell phones 20 years ago. But those of us who did likely had Nokia phones that were really only good for phone calls. So if we were looking at our phone screens for more than a few seconds, it was definitely because we were playing Snake. There's no way we'd be reading a book or watching a movie or browsing the web back then!

We Were Listening To The Spice Girls At School Dances

The Spice Girls were probably the most popular girl group in the world 20 years ago, and even though we didn't understand what their lyrics were about, we knew there was something sexy about them because every time their songs came on, we'd start grinding.

We Shared iMacs With Our Families

Households usually had about one computer, if they were lucky. If there was a laptop, it was likely a parent's, and it was thick, ugly, uncool, and probably didn't have anything more interesting than Solitaire on it. iMacs were the cool computers, but we had to share them with our entire family. Now, some of us have more than one computer just for ourselves. And laptops definitely have more interesting programs than Solitaire.

We Paid Way Less For Gas

The average U.S. price of gas in 1997 was $1.22 per gallon. Now, we're lucky if we can find a pump that sells gas for less than $3 per gallon.

We Took Care Of Nano Pets

Giga Pets and Tamagotchis were all the rage. We didn't care about real pets when we could take care of our pixel pets.

The Average U.S. Home Was Less Than A Third Of The Price It Is Now

Back in 1997, the average price of a house in the U.S. was around $79,000. Now, it's about $377,000. So, yeah, that's why millennials can't afford houses.

Harry Potter Hit Bookstores

About 20 years ago, the book series was just hitting the shelves. J.K. Rowling had no idea how many lives she would enrich and how far her series would take her.

We Thought Y2K Was The End Of Us

We thought that when the clocks hit midnight on Dec. 31, 1999, all technology would reset and create a domino effect, essentially rendering everything, even electricity, non-functional. For years, we lived in a low-key fear that a single button might be the end of us.

Now, we live in fear that our President will hit a single button, and that will be the end of us.