Five Things Children of the Nineties Love That Kids of Today Will Never Have
Having been born in 1982, the 90s were my stomping ground. Beginning with a real life Ninja Turtles movie at the age of 8, and culminating in the year 2000 with the Y2K bug.Those fortunate enough to have grown up in the 90s are hitting our 30s now and having kids of our own. I have caught myself several times telling my own kids story after story of the awesome times I had as a kid. So it got me thinking: Are we as parents giving our kids the opportunities to have their own childhood memories?
Being a kid in the 90s meant coming home from school every day during the winters, watching T.V. while playing with your toys until you were forced in bed to repeat the same the following day. Video games were around back then of course, but if you were lucky enough to be one of the few kids on your block to have a game system, you still had to rent the cool games at the local video store before someone else snatched it. Not only that, I can almost guarantee that you were not allowed to rent games during the week. After your homework was done it was TV time! Commercials were the only way us kids had of learning what new toy was coming out. Each time screaming to our parents “I want that!.” Commercials introduced us to the Taco Bell dog, Ronald Mcdonald, and more recently the creeper Burger King guy. There’s a reason sites like Retrojunk are so popular. As the tech grew the amount of commercials we watched shrunk because of things like Dvr and Netflix, and man we were glad as hell, but in reality. . .we loved the shit out of some of commercials. These days we are either fast forwarding or skipping the commercials we do run across, while the majority of us, use Netflix, Hulu, Streaming, or even illegal downloading with the commercials already cut out. With the right equipment and hard drive space, you can build your own media library.
2) FINALLY Beating That Game
I spent weekend after weekend trying to be beat many a different games. You either had to get through all the hard parts with no guidance, or hope one of your friends or family has the latest Nintendo Power issue to guide you through. Even then you had one more infuriating barrier you would contend with. Someone else renting the game and saving over or deleting your save. Saving over my game I can totally understand especially if you were dumb enough to use the first save file (Yes I remember carefully plotting out the likelihood that the next person to rent Zelda was save file 1 or 2 type of person) . Every once in awhile you would come across the biggest dick of the video store, and all the save files would be completely gone. Today your save files are stored on the game system, or a memory card. Auto save is a mainstay in most games these days, and if you die you start of where you died just moments later, or you just fight through five minutes of a task you already completed. No more penalties for dying like losing XP like in the classic Diablo 2 days, or losing your equipment to a red pk in Ultima Online who generally humped your corpse and looted you dry.
3) Mix Tapes and Music and Napster and…
There are countless lists out there talking about how absolutely amazing and super cool it was to sit next to your radio for hours on end trying to make the perfect mix tape for yourself, or that girl that doesn’t know you were alive. In retrospect it was fun maybe the first time. Never failed that when you were paying attention enough to get the start of the song you wanted, the chatty D.J. would talk at the end or worse yet, your parents would come in your room and now they were on the mix tape. It was a tough time consuming process, during which (This one is for you Dad) I really could have been doing something more productive with my time. Then during in the year before my graduation, good ole 1999 Napster appeared like a golden gift from God. Within minutes we could brave the trenches of a peer to peer network getting as many songs as our heart desired, as well as several hundred viruses of course. With cassette tapes out the door by this time, we also had wonderful C.D’s to put all of our awesome free music on and listen at our leisure. We replaced our hours of recording off the radio with spending hours finding and downloading every song we ever wanted.(More than likely, never listened to them all) We all know the story in the modern world, in which we teach our children how to go online and buy cheap songs, and they soon learn that they can get them for free. We have music apps on our phones, and cars, all of which putting millions of songs at our fingertips. I would be surprised if most of our kids ever even buy a C.D. While this could be read as just another 90s nostalgic post, I want to emphasize that yes we really could make our children do the same long process that we did, but we are the tech savvy children of the 90s, we have six or seven devices to get music from.
4) Naked Girls!!!
American Pie said it best during the summer of ‘99. “I saw a tit!” The “illegal channels,” as Jims Mom so eloquently put it, was usually the first step we took as we delved deeper into the mystery of girls. Well, unless you had Skinemax of course. After the parents were in bed many of us stayed up for hours to watch Red Shoe Diaries, and panicked when they announced nudity before the show so loud we thought it would wake the dead! (Or worse, our parents!?) The common theme in all of this could almost be shortened to one word. Work. We worked for the crazy shit we wanted back then. Today, holy freaking crap. I fear that when the children born in the 2000s grow up and start looking for things on the internet, they could very well see a recording of the night they were conceived! 37% of the internet is nothing but millions of variety of porn!
5) Talking on the Phone
When composing this list I tried to stay away from the typical old technology nostalgia and focus more on what us tech savvy kids from the 90s have personally done to have the things we loved disappear, never to be shared with our children. The phone fits into this mold nicely. We could absolutely as adults keep a house phone line, or not let our kids use cell phones, or even just not allow them to text. There are presumably not a lot of people out there who married their High School sweethearts, but we still hold a fondness in our hearts for the hours we would talk to our crush on the phone, and stop talking the minute you hear that click which gave the indication that a nosey parent started to listen in. I estimate with no research at all that children of today will have seen at least half of their fellow classmates naked. Texting and picture messaging has created very impulsive people that can think of a terribly bad idea, and send a text to the person in that exact moment. I often describe texting the man/woman/girl/boy, you have a crush on, as the 21st century’s version of beer goggles. Hell it’s hard to even miss others at times since we text constantly.
In conclusion. Let your kids do cool shit.