If you’re a ’90s kid, you probably have a treasure trove of memories of life “back in the day.” But imagine trying to explain these quirks to kids’ today. It’s like a time warp they wouldn’t even recognize! Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and unpack 10 common ’90s experiences that might as well be ancient artifacts by today’s standards:
10. Going Somewhere Without a Phone
Think back to camping trips in the 1990s. You could go off for days on end and have no method of contacting anyone other than maybe a pay phone in the nearest town. And it wasn’t weird. It was simply the only option.
Can you imagine doing that today? People would be up in arms, worrying how they’d contact you (or vice versa) if something went wrong. Or even worse, how would you post pictures of the trip on social media?
9. Accompanying or Meeting Someone at the Airport Gate
Back in the nineties, you could enter the airport and walk right on up to the gate with whoever was traveling. Just the idea of that sounds laughable nowadays! Can you imagine trying to breeze past security at LAX to bid a loved one goodbye? It’d be a one-way ticket to trouble.
8. Showing Up at Someone’s House Unannounced
You want to hang out with your mates, but you’ve got no way to contact them. So what do you do? Thirty years ago, you’d walk right on over to their house and see if they were free. Nowadays, a neighbor would probably call the cops.
7. Smoking in Public Places
Imagine going to a bar these days and seeing someone light a cigarette at the neighboring table. It’s crazy to think that was totally normal in the nineties! Back then, you’d be the oddball for saying something or complaining about it. These days, you’re ostracized (and kicked out) for smoking.
6. Paying By or Receiving a Cheque
In 2023, it sounds positively archaic that you could once pay for your groceries with a cheque! Heck, we’d bet good money that some kids these days have never even seen a cheque. The fact it was so normal to pay and receive payment with them just 25 years ago is a little nuts.
5. Phoning Your Friend’s Home to Speak to Your Friend
Kids these days will never know the terror of phoning the person you fancy after school and a) having to say hi to their mom/dad first and b) knowing they could be eavesdropping on everything you say from another line. Oh, and actually spinning that little thing on the front of the phone to make the call in the first place!
4. Navigating With a Map
Remember when the first GPS systems came out? That transition from a physical map to trusting the little gizmo in the front of your car was a big deal. Now most people couldn’t get anywhere without having Google Maps on their mobile. Map reading’s another one of those once-taken-for-granted life skills that are rapidly being lost.
3. Slow Internet
The internet’s a fundamental aspect of life in 2023. But in the early 1990s, it was still very much in its infancy. When it did become more “normal” to have in your house, the speeds were abysmal by today’s standards. According to this website, the global average connection speed then hovered at just under 14.4kbit/s. For context, it’s now at around 100Mbit/s.
2. Not Using a Computer
Kids today grow up with tablets, smartphones, laptops, smartwatches, and other fancy gizmos. But, in the nineties, there were really only desktops available – and they were huge grey boxes, not the swish modern models you get today. Laptops had only just become a “thing,” too, and even they were enormous.
1. Missing Episodes of Your Favorite TV Show
In the nineties, you made sure you tuned in at the same time each week to catch your favorite TV programs. If you didn’t, you missed it! With no live pause or streaming services like you have today, it was either “be there or be square.” There was no way to watch it again until the rerun.
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