Every generation has its own claim to fame. Baby Boomers barely had technology growing up, while Millennials were the guinea pigs who had to grow up with the advent of the internet.
The youngest generation, Gen Z, are starting to become adults and are curious about what kind stuff we Millennials got to use growing up. This article is shocking if you’re born between the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, and probably even more shocking if you’re a Millennial.
This Is Heartbreaking
A Millennial kid and a Game Boy went together like peanut butter and jelly. For most of our childhoods, we didn’t have internet, or iPads, or laptops. We had Game Boys.
From Spyro to Pokémon (every color of the rainbow) to Donkey Kong, this device was our lifeblood. The fact that the generation after us won’t understand the bliss of sliding a brand new game into the back of a GB and hearing it click in is devastating.
The Projector That Ruled The World
When your teacher brought out the projector, it felt like you were living in some virtual reality fantasyland. First stop projector in Spanish class, next stop the moon.
This was as high-tech as we could possibly get in the early 2000s, but it was everything we ever needed. Gen Z students are getting their own iPads with Google Glass X-Ray vision projectors while we had to attempt to read our teacher’s awful handwriting in erasable marker.
We Used To Have To Work For Fresh Air
There was a time not long ago that we used to have to put in a full arm workout just to get fresh air. Most cars, even the nice ones, didn’t come with automatic windows, which was where this lever came in.
You had to take a deep breath, calm your mind, and prepare for a tough 30-second battle ahead that involved spinning that thing as fast as possible. The end result was worth it, though.
This Was The Spiciest Thing You Could Put In Your Mouth
I’m not sure where these went but they need to make their way back into the mainstream. These strips would be placed on your tongue and then slowly melt while infusing your mouth with minty freshness.
If you are sensitive to Tic Tacs, just wait until you get blasted by one of these things. The entire evaporation process is an adventure that every Gen Z needs to experience at least once.
He Was A Generational Hero
This is the saddest entry on this list hands down. The fact that kids aren’t growing up knowing who Steve Irwin is makes me and every other Millennial extremely sad.
He was the wholesome crocodile hunter that we didn’t know we needed until he was gone. Everyone remembers exactly where they were when they heard the news of his passing. We long for the days when we’d get to hear “CROIKEY” on our 20 inch bulky TVs. Miss you, Steve.
Remember Having To Wait Weeks To See Your Vacation Pictures?
Way back before everyone on the planet had a smart phone and the ability to take a selfie, we had disposable cameras that we took on vacation. That means when we posed for a group picture, we had to just accept that the first take was good enough.
Honestly, half the fun of going on vacation was gathering all your friends and family together afterwards to go through all of the photos you took and see what came out great and what was super embarrassing. Now we can take 50 different photos in order to get that one perfect shot.
Half The Battle Was Finding The Game
Long before we had hundreds of games on our phones to play, the only option was to boot up the family desktop computer and play solitaire. Yep. The most entertaining game was solitaire. If you even wanted to play solitaire you had to go on a full detective-level search through your computer files to find it.
Of course, there was also minesweeper, but just admit it, no one actually knew how to properly play it.
Did Schools Suddenly Stop Using Pencils?
I find it hard to believe that a kid actually doesn’t know what a pencil sharpener looks like? Maybe kids these days are all lucky enough to have their own personal ones in their pencil cases.
For the rest of us back in the day, the wall pencil sharpener was like a retreat from the classroom grind. You would stand there sharpening and sharpening just to waste time so you didn’t have to practice your cursive writing.
The Is A First Generation USB
The image file size used to save this picture is probably bigger than all the available storage on that floppy disk. One single mp3 file likely wouldn’t even dit on this disk. A double-sided floppy disk maxed out at 800K. For context, the average USB today is 2GB.
The floppy disk did its best but eventually got replaced by CD-ROMs, so that you only needed one disk instead of eight to access your Encarta Encyclopedia.
I Can Hear This Image Skipping Tracks
Well, it’s great to see that my childhood is so highly valued. A lot of teenagers slaved over McDonald’s fryers to save up for a Discman. Granted, by the ’90s they were a little bit cheaper than when they debuted. In 1984, these bad boys cost $300.
The Discman was an instrumental part of every Millennial’s teenage years and now they sell for a mere 79 cents. It feels like our childhood just isn’t really appreciated.
Gen Z Never Experienced The 15 Foot Phone Cord
It’s mind-blowing to see how our language changes as things go out of style. Gen Z has only ever had to press a button to end a phone call. They’ve never had to go all the way back into the kitchen to hang up the phone on the wall. They’ve probably never even had to use a payphone.
That mean Gen Z has also never had to stretch their corded phone to the limit so you could talk on the phone in the bedroom so your entire family wouldn’t hear.
Take A Deep Breath
Picture this. It’s 1998 and you’re playing your Nintendo 64. The game crashes every 10 minutes when you try to save the new character you unlocked. You have to take out the cartridge, blow on it for absolutely no reason, and suddenly it works again. Then one day, no amount of blowing will fix it and it will be broken forever.
Gen Z would lose their minds if they had to go through all that work to save a game on their phone or PS4.
BBM Pins Were Where It Was At
Gen Z will never know the power of having a Blackberry cell phone. BBM pins were like an exclusive Facebook Messenger but for only people with other Blackberrys. You would actually try and collect as many BBM pins as possible to see who had the most friends.
Since everyone had Blackberrys, you could also do crazy stuff like just switch batteries with someone else or changing your BBM setting to have a funky font.
Be Kind, Rewind
There was nothing worse than going to Blockbuster on a Friday night, managing to snag the last copy of Rocky IV, and getting home to find that the last person who had it didn’t take the time to rewind it before bringing it back.
It wasn’t a big deal if you had seen the movie before, but if it was a new release, you had to cover your eyes the entire time it was rewinding so it didn’t give anything away.
The Holder Of This Card Was The Ruler Of The Schoolyard
Way back before PokémonGo and Detective Pikachu, the only Pokémon experience was using the actual cards. Out of all the first generation cards, the Charizard one was the most valuable.
Whatever kid had this at school was practically carrying around liquid gold. The other kids would gather around and ask to hold it. Seriously, this isn’t a joke. If you held on to a Charizard card like this, it has a modern-day value of more than $1200.
No, Those Seats Aren’t Broken
If you were the youngest child in a middle-class family during the late ’80s, there is a 5000% chance you were stuck in the “back-back” of a station wagon. Practically every family drove one of these bad boys as their family vehicle.
Minivans and SUV crossovers didn’t exist at the time. If you wanted to bring all 4 of your kids to the beach, you either needed a VW Minibus or a station wagon with fake wood paneling on the side for ~*pizzaz*~.
Myspace, AOL, MSN Messenger, And Finally Facebook
Millennials watched as social media became a thing, from having Tom as your top friend on MySpace to customizing your status on MSN Messenger. Finally, Facebook came around. This layout from 2006 was what every Millennial college kid saw logging on for the first time.
This was when you could only talk to your friends by writing on their walls, and you shared statuses like “Comment on this and I’ll tell you how I really feel about you!!! 😉 ;-).”
The Cereal Lobby Is Trying To Ruin Our Childhood
Cereal was the breakfast of champions in the ’90s. There were no rules or regulations on how much sugar you could pack into a “healthy” breakfast, and they had toys in them! Decoder rings, special edition actions figures, playing cards, you name it.
If you’re wondering where they went, cereal companies decided to swap out toys for box tabs that you collect to get a bigger prize. But in reality, no one actually collects those.
The Struggle Was Real
Is there any reason or evidence behind this? No. But any millennial can agree that they just never owned ankle socks. If you were wearing running shoes in the summer, it was tube socks all day. When you wanted to not look like a fool in P.E., you had to get crafty.
You could either pull the top down and roll the toes back over, or you could fold down the top around the back of your ankle. The struggle was real.
Everyone Had A Friend With A Big Screen TV
Long before there were 4K Ultra HD 60-Inch flatscreen televisions, there were these televisions. They cost an arm and a leg, but they were so worth it. The child of whichever parent decided to buy one of these was basically the most popular kid in school.
If the parent who bought this television was really committed to it, they would cut a hole in the wall and push it back to make it look even more like a flatscreen tv.