What Kids Want Today vs. The '90s

by Megan Grant
Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Don't you love talking to today's youth about Boy Meets World and Moon Shoes and homemade tie-dye shirts? No? Exactly. Because they don't know what those things are. The things kids want today versus what kids wanted in the '90s are, well, just a little different. And by "a little different," I clearly mean they don't resemble each other in the slightest.

You can't blame them, really. They're being raised in a culture where instead of Beanie Babies and milky pens, they're getting iPads and hover boards for their birthdays. Times, they are a-changin'! It's easy for '90s kids to dismiss kids today, because we spent our childhoods playing outside and getting dirty. But I'd also like to point out that some five-year-olds can work a smartphone better than most adults. So let's give them some credit.

I don't see much of myself in today's youth. I don't get their slang and I'm not into Snapchat and I cringe when I hear the words "squad goals." I relate more to their grandmothers than I do to them. But it's naive of me to think that we'd live in a world of Lip Smackers and Ring Pops forever.

Yes, '90s kids and today's kids? We're like night and day...

Image: Getty Images


How You Stay In Touch With Friends

In the '90s: Pagers! Remember? Those little boxes we used to clip to our pants?

Kids today: An iPhone — but not to actually make calls. Nobody talks on the phone anymore. That's sooooo '90s.


Dreams Of Future Employment

Kids in the '90s: You wanted to be the sixth member of the Spice Girls.

Kids today: Some kids want to be Instagram famous. That's a thing, right?


Your Jams

Kids in the '90s: Hit Clips. One minute of low-quality music? Sign me up.

Kids today: Anything inappropriate and way beyond their years. Also, Pandora. (Seriously, where was this when we were kids?)


The Family Pet

Kids in the '90s: Tamagotchi. This was a serious responsibility.

Kids today: The Tamagotchi app for your smartphone.



Kids in the '90s: Lunchables, Gushers, Surge, and Cosmic Brownies for dessert. A well-balanced diet! *thumbs up*

Kids today: Whatever it is, it needs to be vegan, organic, locally sourced, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, ethically produced, grass-fed, and cage-free. Or Starbucks.


Friday Night Festivites

Kids in the '90s: The TV line-up was dope and slumber parties were a weekly happening. It was all sugar rushes, pillow fights, prank calls, and tons of gossips.

Kids today: Netflix. Ben & Jerry's. Boom. Done.


How We Earned Our Money

Kids in the '90s: We all had those typical '90s jobs — babysitting, mowing lawns, working at the local movie theater... whatever gave you extra spending money for slap bracelets and tattoo chokers.

Kids today: Has this really changed all that much? They're just kids. It's not like they can open a dental practice or defend the innocent in court.


Having Fun With Our BFFs

Kids in the '90s: You'd go to Claire's and get the BFF necklace where you'd each wear one half. No friendship was legit without the necklace.

Kids today: You better watch each other's Snapchat videos, or there's going to be trouble.


The Toys We Wanted Most

Kids in the '90s: Basically, we had to have anything we saw in a commercial.

Kids today: It's probably expensive, and it probably starts with an "i."


Good Fashion Sense

Kids in the '90s: Jelly shoes, tie-dye shirts, overalls with one side unstrapped, and a Starter jacket for chilly weather.

Kids today: Crop tops, high-waisted jeans, septum rings, and overlined lips.


How We Spend Snow Days

Kids in the '90s: We froze our butts off outside until it was dark, building snowmen and making snow angels, and then came home for a late dinner and hot chocolate.

Kids today: Cold? Snow? But, but, reality TV!


Our Artistic Endeavors

Kids in the '90s: Arts and crafts in school involved glueing colorful tissue paper on cardboard and making popsicle stick snowflakes.

Kids today: Now, you can color in coloring books — on your smartphone. (Adults can do this too, right? Guys?...)


Our Love Lives

Kids in the '90s: Our parents said we couldn't date until we were 40, but we were usually able to sneak into the back row of the movie theater for a quick make-out sesh.

Kids today: Today's kids are all about "ship goals," which I only recently learned meant a relationship and not a ship. I'm not sure why kids would be interested in either one, but there you have it.