15 Facts All Older Millennials Know That Will Shock Young Millennials
If you're a millennial who spends a lot of time reading about millennials online (as one does), you've probably noticed that you don't quite identify with every single trait attributed to millennials. You might also notice that you don't really understand all of the millennial pop culture references, or that you don't remember all of the things many discuss from their childhood. That's because there are two types of millennials: older millennials and younger millennials. There's actually a distinct divide between the two groups, even though they are technically part of the same generation, which is why there are some facts all older millennials know that will shock young millennials and not older ones.
While it isn't actually official, most demographers agree that millennials refer to anyone born between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. That's a pretty big age range — someone who was born in, say, 1992, grew up a whole lot differently than someone who was born in 1981. For example: I was born in 1987 and my little sister was born in 1994. We're both technically millennials (although she's on the cusp), but our childhoods were incredibly different.
In general, younger millennials refer to anyone born after 1990, although again, the term isn't official. Young millennials are probably in their early 20s right now, the people who were born juuust before Generation Z came about. These are the people who probably didn't have to wait until their sophomore year of high school to get a cell phone. They probably don't know what it was like to rent movies from Blockbuster or to download music illegally from Napster. Sure, some young millennials might be aware of old millennial stuff due to older siblings, but in general, the way the two groups grew up is pretty different. Here are a few more examples of facts that will shock young millennials:
1. Pen Pals Were Once A Thing
Since the internet has taken over, written letters aren't necessary anymore — but for older millennials, that wasn't always the case. We used to have pen pals, which is something young millennials have probably never heard of, or at least have never had. Many schools did pen pal programs where you wrote letters to someone who lived far away. It was our version of social networking!
2. Mix Tapes Were Super Romantic
Young millennials almost definitely remember CDs and old iPods, but cassette tapes? Probably not. Cassette tapes could be once be made into mix tapes, which could be a fun gift to give a friend, or a romantic way to show your crush your feelings.
3. Justin Timberlake Owns Myspace
Young millennials probably only see Justin Timberlake as a singer and dancer known for catchy music and his playful friendship with Jimmy Fallon. What they probably don't know is that he also owns Myspace, the original social networking site. In 2011, he was one of a group who purchased it for $35 million.
4. AIM Was The Best Way To Talk To Friends
Young millennials practically grew up with texting, or at least the ability to call someone no matter where they were. But old millennials know that AIM was really where it was at, and away messages were the first versions of Facebook statuses.
5. Facebook Was Once Only Available To College Students
Speaking of Facebook, young millennials probably don't realize that, in the beginning, Facebook was only available if you had a college email address. It was very exclusive! Unlike today.
6. Carson Daly Used To Host 'TRL'
Young millennials might recognize Caron Daley as the guy who hosts New Year's Eve With Carson Daly or a radio host. But old millennials know that, back in the day, he was the OG host of MTV's Total Request Live... which, yes, still airs today. Just not with Carson Daly, so it's not as good. Just sayin'.
7. TGIF Was A Program Block On TV, Not Just A Saying
Young millennials might not remember the perfection that was ABC's TGIF, a programming block on Friday evenings dedicated to some of the best TV shows out there. TGIF included Perfect Strangers, Full House, Family Matters, and Step By Step, just to name a few.
8. Camera Film Was Once Used By Everyone
Today, only some old-school professional photographers use film in their cameras. It's considered a dying art form. But old millennials are well-versed in film — it's what we used to take photos when we were younger. We used camera film, then had to bring it to the camera store and wait days or weeks to get our photos back. It was mild torture! But also really fun.
9. Flip Phones Were A Thing
Old millennials were first introduced to cell phones when they were flip phones: bulky, almost impossible to type with, and made with tiny screens. Flip phones were just for calling people, and nothing else. Young millennials, on the other hand, are the iPhone generation. They grew up with smart phones.
10. Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen Did Mystery Movies
Young millennials probably know Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as child stars from Full House who went on to become eccentric fashion designers. They know about the Full House thing because of internet nostalgia. But they probably don't realize that MK&A were also once known for their mystery movies, party movies, and all of their other gems, like Passport To Paris and Holiday In The Sun.
11. YM Was Everyone's Favorite Magazine
Magazines were different for old millennials: we grew up reading and loving them. Young millennials were part of the internet generation, and magazines didn't mean as much. They probably don't even know about magazines like YM, Jane, and Sassy, which is a true tragedy.
12. Seth Rogen Started Out On 'Freaks And Geeks'
Young millennials may not realize that Seth Rogen has been around for a long time — he started out with a role on Freaks and Geeks, a cult TV show from 1999 that only lasted one season. Many young millennials were too young when it came out to have watched it - and if they are familiar with it today, it's because of Netflix.
13. Floppy Disks Were Like USB Sticks
Remember floppy disks? No? Then you're definitely a young millennial. These were once like USB sticks, just... not as good.
14. Madonna And Dennis Rodman Once Dated...
There are a lot of celeb couples that young millennials missed out on, but one of the most iconic? Madonna and Dennis Rodman. Yes, friends. It happened.
15. ...And So Did Sandra Bullock And Ryan Gosling
This is just adorable! The two dated back in 2002, so most young millennials probably don't remember it happening.