As is the case with many of my fellow '90s babies, I have this horrible habit of remembering things from the late '90s/early '00s and thinking they only happened ten years ago. NOT SO MUCH. Things have changed a lot, and that might be the understatement of the decade. Things happened in the 1990s that simply would not, could not, and probably should not happen today. Other things happened in the 1990s that maybe should come back, but they probably won't. Even though we look upon the '90s with idealistic nostalgia, we did some pretty unacceptable things. Some stupid things. Some dangerous things. Let's take a look, huh?
Oh, these wonderful days are so long gone. In one way, it's understandable. In another way, don't you wish you could still do this? Not only would dropping off travelers be a lot easier, but I miss the days of being able to kiss or hug or otherwise say goodbye at the gate.
Yes. People did this. I remember my parents' friends, their co-workers, my teachers, and nosy relatives telling my parents that they were making a huge mistake by buying a desktop computer and installing that evil, wicked AOL. We lived near Lynchburg, VA, though, so the geography might've had more to do with it. The point is, though, in the '90s, people were more likely to cling stubbornly to their VCRs, landline phones, and first-gen video game consoles until they stopped working entirely. Now, newer, better, faster, and smarter is (seemingly) always better.
These days, you have to schedule a visit at least three weeks in advance, and the odds are high that one of you will end up canceling before you see each other. We rarely just drop in on our friends and neighbors. We're far more likely to text or play catch-up over social media.
We listened to them. We made mix CDs. We saved files and documents on them. We installed programs with them. We used CDs for everything. They ended up everywhere. What can you even do with them now? Turn them into art, honestly. Or coasters. Or keep them for posterity … but only if they're not scratched all to crap.
Once upon a time, we thought it looked so good. It seemed so edgy and cool. Now … well, frankly, I'm not prepared to rule this one as “unacceptable.” I have a feeling that, like coveralls and chokers and platform shoes, frosted tips will make a comeback before the decade is over.
I STILL HEAR THIS SOUND IN MY NIGHTMARES. It shrills in my dreams – where, invariably, I am always hung up on AOL's connect screen for hours, days, weeks. Thank god for wireless, for broadband and cable and every piece of new technology that made hardwired dial-up connections obsolete.
Tapes, man. Back in the day, we had to rewind everything. Specifically, it was a cardinal sin to rent a VHS tape and return it without rewinding it. Rude.
We said some garbage things in the '90s. Watch the episode of “The Office” where Michael accidentally outs Oscar after calling him “faggy” as a synonym for “not manly enough to like Die Hard,” and you'll see what I mean. Remember when “that's gay” was an insult? Yeah, I'd like to forget, too.
This was so horrid. Getting kicked off the internet because of an incoming call, getting kicked off the internet because one of your parents picked up the phone, getting kicked off the internet because you had to make a phone call … so, clearly, some of us got obsessed with the internet VERY QUICKLY. Some of us definitely sang the praises of second phone lines.
People still do this, I know that. They should stop, though. I learned how to write a check in the third grade. I have not written one since.
Anything you miss from the '90s? What about the things you're glad to see the back of?
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