Are you a child of the 90s or earlier? It was a simpler time, right? Bedrooms were filled with Beanie Babies, Nickelodeon was forever on TV, and your biggest responsibility was remembering to feed your Tamagotchi. How times change! Here are 10 everyday Nineties scenarios that kids today will never experience (as voted for by Reddit).
10. Doing Crazy Stuff without Being Filmed
Remember when HD video cameras weren’t something everyone had in their pocket at all times? Those were the days. As one Redditor put it, “You could do the absolute dumbest, craziest, most embarrassing s*** you could possible imagine, and no one was recording it.”
9. Renting Videos and DVDs
One of the biggest changes to occur in the last 20-30 years is how we get our entertainment. Indeed, back in the 90s, Netflix was a DVD rental service. Reddit user ekimlive remembers when “Getting a video to rent and watch at home made you feel like you were going “out” to do something.”
Not only that, but there was no guarantee you’d be able to watch what you wanted! As one person put it: “Another thing the youth won’t understand is going to rent a specific video only to find out other people beat you to it. So you have to rent your second choice…that always sucked.”
8. Using Landlines
MixedSyrup offered this suggestion: “Talking to someone’s parent and asking for your friend since it’s the landline and no caller ID.” This prompted all sorts of related comments. One person wrote, “That terror. “Uh… hi, Mr./Mrs. ______. Is Eric there?” And someone else put, “‘It’s for you’ is something people don’t say a lot anymore, and something I said or was told all the time as a kid in the 80s/90s.”
Oh, and remember when you could listen in on each other’s calls? Manderifffic remembers “Answering the phone in the kitchen, then running back to your room to take it there and yelling, “MOM HANG UP THE PHONE! MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM HANG UP THE PHONE!!!!”
7. Using Dial-Up Internet
Kids today will never know what it is to go online and be greeted with that loud, high-pitched tone. As one Reddit user put it, “That tone is ingrained in my memory.”
And the noise wasn’t the only bugbear. By today’s standards, the speed and reliability was laughable, too. Cute_Panda9 wrote, “The experience of losing connection when you downloaded 99% of the file because your mom picked up the phone. Still hurts.”
6. Setting a Meeting Time/Place
We take sending a quick text to see where someone is for granted now. But it wasn’t always an option in the 90s! This suggestion came from MixedSyrup, who wrote “Making plans beforehand and having a meeting place since no one owned cellphones.” If someone didn’t show up on time, it became a matter of deciding how long you were going to wait…
5. Enjoying Separation from the Outside World
Own-Firefighter-2728 recalls “The feeling of coming home from school or work, and the outside world being very separate from you until the following day. You couldn’t easily find out what your friends were doing (they weren’t doing anything anyway) you couldn’t easily catch up on the news unless it happened to be on, you couldn’t catch up on new movies or celebrity gossip unless you had a magazine lying around which would come out monthly. It’s a level of relaxation that we took for granted but we were likely the last generation to experience it.”
4. Listening to the News on Snow Days
Some things don’t change. Kids still eagerly await the news that school’s closed for the day because of bad snow. The difference is how they hear about it! One Reddit User remembers “Waiting for your school district to be announced as on time, late, or cancelled on the new when it snowed.” Another added, “And getting up at the freaking crack of dawn to see!”
3. Rewinding VHS Tapes
Here’s something crazy: DVDs weren’t even a thing in the US until March 1997. Before then, we made our recordings and watched our movies on good old-fashioned VHS (short for video home system). As monkey_bugz points out, “having to rewind a VHS” is something today’s youth will never have to do.
2. Using Maps and Asking For Directions
Imagine trying to navigate without Google Maps on your phone. It’s another creature comfort that people in the 90s never knew. Reddit user Actuaryba notes that young people today don’t know much about “Stopping at a gas station and asking for directions. Or driving around aimlessly looking for a place to eat.”
Continuing that train of thought, someone else chimed in with “Using an actual physical map. Then trying to fold it again.”
1. Being Unable to Pause Live TV
Last but not least, we have this suggestion from NicGyver, who remembers “Making a dash through the house from the kitchen to the couch when someone yelled out ‘It’s back on!’” Similarly, another Reddit user notes how today’s kids don’t have to worry about “Running to the bathroom during commercial breaks. Only had like 30 seconds total.”
Can You Think of Any Others?
Feeling old yet? Riddled with nostalgia for simpler times? Got any other suggestions for scenarios you knew intimately in the 1990s but never experience anymore? Drop a comment to let us know!
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