Nicole has a degree in psychology, and is a mom to four young sons. She loves all things art, and enjoys writing about her experiences.
Ahhh the 90's.... It Feels Like Just Yesterday, Am I Right?
I grew up in the late 80's-90's. Perhaps that's why I miss so many aspects of the 90's era. It was a more innocent time, with lots of wholesome TV shows and good music. Sometimes I wish we could go back!
Me, back in about 1999, on my parent's landline. Of course I'm multitasking :)
1. "Landline" Phones with Cords / Answering Machines
This might sound kooky, and you might think I'm super old-fashioned for even thinking this way, but sometimes I really miss talking on a landline phone with a cord. Back in my day, you had a "home phone" that you talked on to all your friends and family. It had a cord, and you had to stretch it around the corner if you wanted to walk into the next room with it. Sounds like a hassle, I know. But it was actually kinda fun.
Nowadays, I lose my cell phone about five times a day. Since it's never in the same place, like a landline phone usually was, I have a hard time remembering where in the house I set it down. I know, it's a first world problem, but still.
I do get into somewhat of a panic when I can't find my phone, because without a landline, I have no other way off dialing 911 in an emergency except for my cellular device. It's usually just hiding behind a couch cushion, though.
What was also really nice about having a landline, cord phone was that you never had to worry about keeping it charged. It was plugged into the wall, so it never ran out of power. I hate being on a phone call and realizing I have 3% battery left, thus having to preemptively end my conversation so I can charge my phone.
Having an uncharged cell phone feels super dangerous for emergencies, too. How can you call 911 if your cell phone happens to be on 1% battery and will probably die on you? I know, I know, we have chargers for this reason... but in the old days, it just wasn't a concern. (Of course, we also couldn't dial for help from our cars in the early 90's... unless you were super rich and happened to have a car phone already. Now that everyone has cell phones, it's a lot easier to call for help if you happen to end up in an accident on the side of the road... but, I digress).
I actually really miss leaving voicemails on answering machines, too. Doing this is almost unheard of nowadays. About 95% of my friends and family don't even check their voicemails or have a voicemail box that is set up on their cell phones. I've noticed that people usually just text one another if they miss each other's calls on a cell phone. Texting is quick and to-the-point, but there was something sort of endearing about leaving a voicemail message. You could be silly and funny and make goofy voices, etc. Yes, with texting, we now have a wide array of emojis and gif texts we can send, which is a lot of fun, too. But sometimes you just want to come home from being out all day and check your voicemail machine, like the old days... am I right?!
2. Wholesome 90's TV Shows -- TGIF, anyone?
You knew I was going to say it. But seriously, TGIF was the absolute BEST! I genuinely looked forward to Friday nights, not just because we got a break from school for the weekend, but because my absolute favorite TV shows were on, and in a super fun format. Boy Meets World, Step by Step, Family Matters... all were fair game and all where wholesome and fun. I have to say, Boy Meets World was (and still is) my favorite. It really made Friday nights something special. I loved popping some popcorn or getting a bowl of ice cream and settling in on the couch or on my bed in my room to watch my favorite lineup of shows. "Netflix and chill" is fun, too, but somehow isn't quite the same.
3. Having One's Own Website, Before MySpace and Facebook Were Invented!
I know it sounds shocking, but there really was a time, before MySpace and Facebook were created, when people just made their own websites using html coding. Gasp! Not to brag, but I was one of those people who learned (very basic) html coding and created my own website. Back in the early 90's, as a kid who happened to be the daughter of an engineer and had access to a lot of neat computer stuff, this was a pretty cool thing. Then, along came MySpace. Suddenly, everyone and their brother (and sister) had their own webpage, and they barely even had to do anything to create said page (and didn't need to know any html coding whatsoever). Kinda took the ingenuity out of it, really. After that, Facebook came along, and people really didn't have to know jack squat, or put much effort into making their page creative at all. At least with MySpace, it was a more colorful format, we could put music on our pages and background images, and so on... but, anyway, moving on....
4. The President Didn't "Tweet" or Have Social Media (Also, It Didn't Even Exist Yet)
This is kind of a "two in one" point. Back in the 90's, when I was growing up, the President of the United States did not "tweet" or use any form of "social media", i.e. instant posting of thoughts onto the world wide web. This form of expression was not yet even possible yet, because social media, as we know it today, did not exist yet. It seems to me that in many ways, this was a good thing. I don't want to get too political here, but I think posting one's thoughts on Twitter for the world to see, in an instant format, carries with it a kind of casual nature. The office of President of the United States should be taken seriously, and something about instantaneous posts popping up from the President on his Twitter feed just screams "tacky" to me, although I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it's just that this president in particular, lacks the necessary tact to filter himself enough to post on Twitter. Although I'm a conservative and I happen to like a lot of the good things President Trump has done since being elected, even I have to admit that the dude needs his Twitter account taken away. That, or he at least needs to hire someone to proof-read his "tweets" before they get posted publicly.
5. "Alternative" Music
I'm a big 90's music fan, even to this day. Backstreet Boys was the first CD I ever got. It was given to me as a gift for my 13th birthday, and I have many fond memories of listening to it on repeat on my CD player in my room, often while doing homework. I also really loved "alternative" music from the 90's--bands like Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20--just to name a few. I still like listening to these bands on occasion, and it definitely brings back a lot of memories from junior high. I don't know if it's just because I grew up with this music, but I've never really found a sound quite so interesting to me as alternative / 90's music. My husband cringes when our oldest son asks to listen to Backstreet Boys in our van, but I just smile... the indoctrination is starting young, folks!
6. Not Paying Bills
As a kid, I was thankfully never really worried about how the bills were going to get paid (for which I'm very thankful). We're in such a rush to grow up when we're children, am I right? I remember being so excited to get older, go on dates, get married someday, and have children of my own. I wanted the future to come as fast as humanly possible! It all seemed so exciting. I remember watching my older cousin write out a personal check at my grandma's kitchen table one day. I just sat there in awe, so amazed that my cousin was old enough to write checks! Wow! She laughed at my innocence (she's 5 years older than I am). Nowadays, what I wouldn't give to not have to write out the one personal check I write once a month, for, you guessed it...my rent. We have awesome landlords, and I'm super thankful that God blessed us with our apartment. But looking back to the 90's, not paying bills was actually quite amazing!
7. Being Bored
I remember, as a kid growing up in the country, I would get bored sometimes. It was really those times of boredom that sparked the greatest creativity, when I look back on that time. Being bored usually caused me to make up a game with my younger brother, or pretend we were on a radio show. It made me get my art supplies out and start drawing, or get on the computer and start writing a short story or a poem. Nowadays, being bored is pretty much a thing of the past. There is simply no time for boredom! Our society is so fast-paced with the invention of social media outlets, that we can barely catch our breath. There is always somewhere to go, and some activity to be doing. This is definitely fun, but can also be straining on the mind and body. If one is not out doing or going, social networks are constantly buzzing or texts are steadily incoming. It can all feel a bit overwhelming. On top of that, having a husband and two children to care for and manage on the daily keeps this mommy pretty busy! Sometimes I think I wouldn't mind going back to those boring days in the country for awhile. There were peaceful times of just laying around in a hammock with my pet kitten, for example, that I still recall with fondness. It's easy to forget sometimes, in our fast-paced culture, that it's okay to just rest, be a little bored, and...wait for it... not do anything!
8. Writing Notes in Class
I know it's probably not a good example, but I was one of those kids who wrote notes in class. And I miss it. I was a good student and I still paid attention, but I'd also be writing a note to one of my friends on the side, in a little composition notebook or on some college ruled binder paper (wide-ruled is terrible and I'm not sure why on earth it was invented. I feel very strongly about it!) With the invention of texting, and the cell phone being placed into pretty much every kid's hand, I'm sure writing notes in class is largely a thing of the past. That's really sad, because gel pens were super cool and we would fold our notes into all different kinds of shapes and sizes,.and drawing on our hand-written notes or writing them in code was the best. Getting a note was not instantaneous. You had to wait until class was over, and then be pleasantly surprised when your friend handed you a special note that they took the time to write you. Oh, how I miss it.
9. "Blockbuster Video" and "Hollywood Video" Rental Stores
Back in my day, if you wanted to have a fun movie night with the family, you didn't go stand a kiosk, aka Redbox. You went to an actual video rental store-- either Blockbuster, or Hollywood Video. It was cool because you could actually walk the aisles and pick a movie from whatever genre you wanted, and then get some popcorn and candy at the register along with your video rental. There was something magical about getting a video with mom and dad and watching it all together as a family on a Saturday night. Those days are gone now.... although I've heard there is still a Blockbuster up in the mountains, in Big Bear.
Angela and Jordan on "My So-Called Life"
10. The fashion -- Big, Oversized Shirts and Lots of Plaid
Ok, to be honest, I'm not sure I miss this one all that much. But back in the 90's, there were a lot of oversized shirts and LOTS of plaid. Also, my favorite shoes were big, chunky-soled Sketchers, and we all wore Bell-Bottom (we called them "flared") jeans. 90's fashion was.... interesting! Doesn't a 90's-themed party sound fun right about now?