Ah the 90s.It was a simpler time.
The era of landline telephones, tamagotchis and rollerblades.
Fashion was dominated by “The Rachel,” curtain fringes and the Wonderbra 3000.
Whereas music was taking a new and exciting direction thanks to the rise of subcultures like hip-hop, grunge and “eurodance.”
It was the decade that we were first introduced to Toy Story, and it was the dawning of the Disney Renaissance. Can you imagine a time before ER, Beverley Hills 90210 or Sex and the City? No, neither can we.
The 90s were characterised by the rise of multiculturalism and alternative media.
This continued well into the 2000s.
Movements such as grunge, the rave scene and hip hop spread around the world, aided by then-new technology such as cable TV and the internet.
The 90s was politically defined by a movement towards the right-wing after the collapsing of communism that occurred during the first two years of the decade.
There was an increase in support for far-right parties in Europe, as well as the advent of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and cuts in social spending in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.
The United States also saw a massive revival in the use of the death penalty in the 1990s, which reversed in the early 21st century.
During the 1990s the character of the European Union and Euro were formed and codified in treaties.
The 1990s saw extreme advances in technology, with the World Wide Web, the first gene therapy trial, and the first designer babies all emerging in 1990 and being improved and built upon throughout the decade.
Still, the 90s ended almost a full two decades ago (we’ll give you a minute to let that sink in), which means you’ve probably aged by 18 years also (sorry about that).
If you got to live any of the decade’s best moments firsthand you’re probably no spring chicken (we mean like, 30), but be grateful you’re not a youth today.
I mean, they’ll never know the joy of roll-on body glitter or wallets with chains on them, and there’s no way Snapchat will ever be more worthwhile than a GameBoy.
If you did any of the things on this list below, you’re definitely old now. Enjoy!
1. Writing letters by hand
Winnie the Pooh stationery was the only cool way to keep up with your friends from vacation.
Of course, writing letters by hand is a novelty nowadays.
Hand-writing is becoming a things of the past due to iPads and such like.
Communication is done instantly over texting and Snapchat.
People email each other rather than communicate in writing.
Even when they do communicate in writing, it’s always spewed out of some machine.
2. Carrying around cash
Debit cards were literally for just taking money out at the cashpoint.
People wouldn’t think twice about using cash everywhere.
Now the opposite can be said.
Many places have even gone ‘cashless.’
You can’t get on public transport in London without a contactless device.
I once tried offering cash and they refused, to which I was shocked not being a London resident and needing to get places without a contactless card or an Oyster.
It will soon be our fingerprints that we are paying for everything with.
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3. Taking photographs with a disposable camera
Instagram? What was instagram?
You couldn’t just snap a picture on your phone and automatically upload it to social media.
You had to take photos on a disposable camera, and you couldn’t even view if the pictures had come out ok.
You had to wait and pray they were ok when you went to get them developed.
There was also the embarrassment of the person developing the photos seeing all your embarrassing holiday snaps.
Very often, someone would have had their finger over the lens or flash, but you’d only know after development.
You couldn’t really go back and take them again.
4. Actually having to be home when your favourite show was on TV
Either that, or record it on your VCR and risk accidentally taping over your baby videos (sorry mum).
You couldn’t schedule a series record or anything like that.
There was no way of recording several things at once.
There was no catch up channel either.
If you missed a programme of your favourite show, you had to prey that it would be repeated later on or the next day.
Luckily, nowadays, there’s no risk of that happening.
Everything is available all the time, any time.
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5. Having to sit near to your Playstation/Nintendo/Sega etc.
Since the controllers were actually connected to it.
There was none of this wireless controller stuff back in the good old day.
This probably wasn’t the best for our eyes, but we didn’t care.
I spent hours sat in front of the TV playing Tombraider and Spyro and various other games.
The graphics weren’t amazing, but they were the best at the time and we didn’t know any different.
I’d much rather sit down and play a PS1 classic than this new rubbish any day.
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6. Having to memorise all of your friends phone numbers
Or carry around an address book like a muppet.
There was certainly no way of storing them on your phone.
Early mobiles only had space for about 10 contacts.
Nowadays you have everything on one place, handily, on your phone.
No more scanning through the phonebook.
To be fair, I’m quite antisocial so I don’t need many contacts.
I think I might head back to the olden days.
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7. Needing to carry extra batteries wherever you went
Because your Walkman, Game Boy and virtually every other piece of technology you owned relied on AAs.
If something ran out of juice, you couldn’t just charge it up and your mates house.
You couldn’t carry around a potable charger with you either.
Batteries were your portable charger.
If you didn’t have a pair, then you were lost and had to wait until you could acquire some.
This is why it was always best to carry around a spare pair with you.
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8. Not having the internet
Or if you did, it made that awful modem noise and cost a fortune.
It was slow and clunky and would take years to load anything.
As if then, we though we were at the height of technology.
Luckily things sped up pretty quickly.
Nowadays, everything on the internet is done in a flash.
Maybe in the future though, we’ll look back and see how slow things were nowadays.
We’re not sure how they can get any faster, but I bet we’ll see soon.
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9. Then there’s always the chance your VCR player will eat the tape anyway
There was a very real danger that your videotape would come out with all its tape ruined.
Sometimes the tapes were salvageable.
You had to get a pencil and wind the tape back in.
Sometimes this was enough to get the tape going again.
Other times, your video was just beyond repair.
That would mean R.I.P to your favourite film and a trip to the video store to buy a new one.
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10. Recording On Videocameras
It was the one up from disposable cameras.
Video cameras were often a staple of many holidays.
Mother’s up and down the country would spend the entire holiday filming everything rather than participating in anything.
It was as almost though they weren’t on the holiday, because there is nothing to suggest otherwise.
They were always behind camera, and never seen.
And if by chance they were caught on camera, they didn’t like it and would always quickly hide their faces.
You then had to get these small tapes put onto bigger tapes, which was always a pain.
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11. Buying an overpriced crap album for one song
There was literally no other way to get it.
You couldn’t download it as a single.
You certainly couldn’t look for it on YouTube.
You had to buy the entire album if you wanted to hear one song.
Vinyls didn’t have this problem, you could merely purchase the single.
It seems like music just went through a period of going backwards.
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12. Ordering clothing out of a catalogue
The Argos catalogue, to be exact, and you’d have no idea when they’d show up (thank God for today’s dispatch notices).
Of course, you can still order plenty out of an Argos catalogue, just not really clothes.
And with Argos recently being snapped up by Sainsbury’s, you’ll probably soon be ordering food from a catalogue too.
We remember the days standing at the counter and flicking through the book.
You’d write your number down on a piece of paper and pray that they had some in stock.
It was then a case of getting a ticket and well…waiting for it to slide down the shoot and be placed on the shelf.
You could see it there, but you couldn’t get your hands on it until they called you up! The torture.
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13. Sending postcards to family and friends whenever you went on holiday
Before Instagram, it was the only way to #humblebrag about what a good time you were having.
Of course, there was no actual guarantee of when your postcard was going to arrive.
Occasionally, the card arrived after you’d come back from holiday.
My grandparents would always get our address wrong, but it always turned up at our house someday.
They’ve stopped sending them now because they go on a lot of cruises.
We’re pretty sure you can still send postcards from cruises though.
Thanks Nan and Grandad.
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14. Looking up film times in the newspaper
Or God forbid, you’d have to call the cinema and ask.
You couldn’t just look on the internet for when your favourite film was showing.
You couldn’t order your tickets online either.
You had to go to the cinema and purchase your tickets manually.
And then you had to cue up.
At least the films were great though, so it didn’t matter.
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15. Renting Videos from your local Blockbuster
You had to get there early to snag the new releases.
The feeling of being in Blockbuster was almost like being in a cinema.
There was popcorn and sweets and drinks to buy, just like there was in the cinema.
Luckily, these things no longer exist and we don’t have to go through the pain of trekking to hire them and then bringing them back.
The people who owned the company must have known it was a short lived venture.
What with the speed technology develops at nowadays.
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16. Physically buying your gig tickets from a music store
We don’t miss the queues, but you had a better chance of getting a ticket.
Today, most of the tickets are snagged up within a milli-second of them being available online.
We think it would be a good idea to hold some back which you had to physically go and purchase.
This would stop all the computer bots snagging them all up to sell on at ridiculous prices.
We’ve all had the pain of being in a virtual cue.
Having to wake up ridiculously early in order to sit there on multiple laptops.
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17. Then have an old person tell you your eyes were going to go square for sitting too close
Because that’s logical grandma.
It’s also not actually true.
Science has proven that sitting too close doesn’t damage our eyes.
Maybe one day this way true, when TVs were slightly radioactive.
Nowadays, new materials means that is not the case.
There is no evidence to suggest causing damage to eyesight.
It can, however, cause eye-strain, but this is not permanent.
It’s just a little painful.
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18. Making collect calls from phone boxes when you had no change
Then getting told off by whomever you rang because collect is expensive.
Again, with the invention of the mobile, this is now reundent.
Phone boxes are mostly now used to shelter from the weather, or generally hang around and be annoying.
There was once an interesting story of a man walking past a random phone box miles away from home.
The phone box rang and he went in to answer.
The person speaking was his mother.
She thought she was ringing his mobile, but got the wrong number and ended up calling the phone box he was happening to be stood next to instead.
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19. Haven Holidays
If, like us, you didn’t venture abroad, you were more or less certain to go on a Haven holiday.
These holiday camps were scattered all across the country, mostly near the seaside.
Each resort offered different levels of entertainment.
If you don’t know the words to the Tiger Club song, were you even a kid in the 90s?
We would spend hours in the clubhouse doing all sorts of activities.
‘We’re looking for tigers, we’re looking for cheetahs, we’re looking for rhino’s and big alligators, from giant gorillas to little bear cubs we’re all in the tiger club, t-t-tiger club.’
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20. School Disco Food
Remember that school discos used to be a thing?
They were either held in the school hall or your local village hall.
One of the best things about these discos was the food.
You would go with a pocket full of change planning to buy Space Raiders or those strange tomato ball crisps.
And you’d also go for the pop!
If it wasn’t a bottle of Panda Pop, then it would be a Calipso.
And of course, there’s was the cheesy 90s music that we got to listen too as well.