Sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table consuming the same predictable conversation that revolves around bashing kids nowadays for their laziness is a given. Your uncle Joe talks about how he got beaten with a ruler if he spoke out in class, while aunt Beth is sure to mention the time she walked 12 miles to get fresh water every morning.
While these stories lose the interest of basically everyone at the table, there are certainly struggles that kids today don’t have to deal with that other generations were forced to. Technology like computers and cell phones are no longer new, which means the guinea pig phase we all lugged through is finally over.
This list outlines the many struggles — like clicking the wrong tab and giving your computer a chronic virus on Windows— that we faced growing up that are completely foreign to kids these days.
“Wait, We Actually Have To Talk To Each Other?”
Being able to hold an interesting conversation is becoming a forgotten art. With everyone’s mind and body being a slave to their phones and other technologies, it’s becoming less and less frequent to have meaningful conversations. Eye contact is becoming a thing of the past and it’s only mildly concerning.
TV Guide Channel
Remember when you would have to wait 30 minutes for the ticker to come back around if you missed the channel you wanted to see? You could literally go into the kitchen and cook a frozen turkey, come back to the TV and still have six channels to go. Heck, if you missed your channel you might as well go out to eat at a sit-down restaurant. You’ll still be back in time.
All The Problems Associated With A Walkman
Listening to music today is a breeze considering what we had to go through even 10 years ago. Discman and Walkmans were revolutionary in that they allowed for mobile listening, but don’t think for a second could just slip it in any pocket. Your pocket’s had to basically be one foot long and one foot wide to be able to hold those things and it added about five pounds.
Coming up we look back at the Blockbuster days when watching a movie was a full day commitment.
Disposable cameras were outstanding and unpredictable. When you would take a picture you could’ve either taken the best family photo ever, or you could’ve cut everyone’s head out of the picture except the dog. You just wouldn’t know until the next day when you went to get them developed. Not to mention having to crank the toothed wheel on the back to reload the picture which added a painful element.
Without Google Maps or GPS, most of us would be absolutely screwed and probably lost as we speak. It’s mind-boggling how people found their own home without technology, not to mention taking cross-country road trips. This is one modern-day invention we are so, so thankful for.
“This Is Late By 40 Days”
Remember when you couldn’t “Netflix and chill” but instead you had to “Blockbuster and hope”. Staying in for a movie night wasn’t the lackadaisical process it is today because you actually had to trek to the movie store to grab what you wanted. You would go there with one movie in mind and if they didn’t have it, well, plan B was always Star Wars.
Before contact lists, there were one billion page phone books that took an investigative team to skim through to find who you’re looking for. We examine it just ahead.
Okay, We Get It
Long are the days when your computer would have a spaz attack and just start glitching until you shut it off. What about when Windows would randomly close on you mid- AOL dial-up and wouldn’t tell you why. Every time you went on the internet there was a strong chance you would accidentally click on a website that would immediately give your computer a chronic illness.
It used to be that if you wanted your crush to call you at night you had to tell them a specific time that you would be waiting for their call right by the phone. God forbid your parents picked up and stood right beside you as you talked awkwardly about which seventh grader had a sip of alcohol without permission.
“But There’s Like 10 ‘Smiths’ In Here”
Finding numbers used to be near impossible when your main resource was the phonebook. Not only did you have to know that your friend’s last name was “Johnson” and not “Johnston,” but you also had to know their address. Even still it was never a guarantee that when you would call the number an old lady named Elenor — who was certainly not your friend Mike — would pick up and yell at you to stop calling.
Coming up we take a hard look at the entertainment features on early 2000’s cell phones. Oh boy.
“Do You Have The New Destiny’s Child Album?”
One of the most exciting things in the world was getting into a car with someone who had the world of music by the jockstrap. Anyone who was flaunting their 17-page disc binder around the hallways was immediately apart of the cool crowd. If they had Ultimate Dance Party 2000 then they were Prom King or Queen with no contest.
These things were dangerous but the adrenaline rush was absolutely worth it. Firstly, they hurt your knees because there’s no padding, and secondly, there was no controlling the speed. You could either be rolling nowhere or, with the help of a push you could be going warp speed for the cement wall.
Sweet Apps, Man
Oh, the simpler times. Now we’re bombarded by a million apps that consist of everything from slingshotting cartoon birds into brick walls to a cow milking animator. It doesn’t seem that long ago when the only games to play were one-pixel bowling and backbreaker. Those days are most certainly missed.
Remember that projector that your English teacher enjoyed WAY too much? That’s coming up.
The “Pre-Fun” Marathon Search
Here a list of things that take less time than logging into Windows and pulling up Solitaire: Flying to Mars, waiting in line for a bathroom at an NFL football game, driving anywhere in Los Angeles, and climbing Mount Everest. It’s harder to find the “Games” tab than it is to find Waldo in Beijing.
They See Me Rollin’
Rolling this baby up was the best forearm workout you’d get that day. For anyone who’s lived in an area that sees snowfall, you know it only gets worse when it’s cold. Trying to roll the window down when it’s frozen should be the next Olympic sport because it’s nearly impossible.
The Projector Was Lit
When the teacher brought this out you knew things were going to get smudgy. Literally, the number of times that the teacher would have to lick a piece of paper- towel (or even worse their finger) to smudge the writing on the projector was outrageous. It was also really fun to maneuver your hands in a certain way so that it created the shadow of an animal on the whiteboard.
WARNING! Mental math pop quizzes are just ahead, so prepare for the psychological breakdown.
Tainted Beanie Babys
Beanie Babies were more than just a plush toy, they were a lifestyle. In fact, a couple went to court over their Beanie Baby collection in 1999. They both had a collection worth over $5,000 and they brought all of them into the courtroom and separated them under the supervision of the judge.
Old Stomping Grounds
Splinters and wasp bites were the main causes of tears on these old wooden playgrounds. We see metal ones today, but way back when it was all wood, all the time. If you didn’t get stabbed with a loose piece of wood you were getting ravaged by the vicious wasps burrowing in them. The playground was a lot more dangerous back then.
It’s okay, you don’t have to look at this picture too long if it makes you nervous. These mental math pop quizzes were the main cause of stress for anyone under grade five and rightly so. Not only were you under the pressure of being timed, but you also HAD TO DO MATH IN YOUR HEAD. Imagine doing math in your head nowadays, no thanks.
Waiting For Anything To Load
Think about it, if you have to wait more than 10 seconds for a page to load or for your computer to process something you immediately become impatient. By eight seconds we’re re-clicking or refreshing the page and by 15 seconds, oh boy, all hell is breaking loose. Let’s not forget we used to have to wait 39 years to download The Sims 3 onto our desktops.
Limewire Was Sketchy, But Worth it
Itunes and Spotify have revolutionized how we get music today, but it’s hard to forget about the back alley downloading we used to partake in before. Torrent programs like LimeWire would bring our already-slow family computers down to turtle speed, but as long as we got the song we were looking for it was more than worth it.