‘90s-Kid Problems: 25 Things Our Kids Will Never Understand

Growing up in the ‘90s and 2000s was pretty cool because you were able to witness the insane growth and evolution of technology, weird trends that only Drew Barrymore could pull off, and the way we slowly started to become more and more reliant on the Internet.  I don’t have kids yet, but someday I probably will. And someday they will wonder what it was like without Instragram, or the newest social media application the future holds. What was it like when we actually had to take out a map and figure out how to get to a restaurant? How did we even express ourselves without a tablet?!

Here are 25 things our future kids will never, ever get:

1. Dial up Internet

It’s weird to think that once we actually had to wait centuries for Internet connection. Remember this gorgeous noise? That’s the sound of patience, dwindling and dying.

2. Microsoft Paint

Paint may still exist on PCs, but it’s hard to be artist with no mouse. Furthermore, will our children spend hours upon hours creating digital abstract portraits? I think not. To see if I still had some Paint skillz, I had a go using my fiancee’s laptop:


Okay so I kind of look like Samara from The Ring but with crappy vision, and my body is disproportionate but whatever. I still got it.

3. No Caller ID

Every phone call was a mystery! Now we can choose to proactively avoid and ignore people.

4. Rewinding VHS tapes

Our kids will never have to deal with the anguish and frustration which a tape that has not been rewound brings.

5. Floppy Discs

Our children may ask, “Mom, why is the ‘save’ button a square thingy? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?” And we’ll have to tell them that a long time ago, we used to save our precious documents on to thin plastic squares called “floppy discs,” which we then labeled with Sharpies so we could stay organized.


6. TV Guides

This is pretty much the only way you knew about TV shows and what time they aired. Before DVR and the Internet, a lot of color coding and sacrifices happened on my part.

7. Tomagotchi, Nano Babies, and Giga Pets

How are our kids going to learn to feed, entertain, and clean another living thing if they can’t practice with a digital one first?


8. Blockbuster and Hollywood Video

One of the best ways to bond with new friends was to have your mom take you to Blockbuster to choose one or two movies, but maybe not the new releases, because those were like $7 for two days.

9. Passing notes

Gossiping is much more efficient via text message and Snapchat now.

10. Toys that came in cereal boxes

Our kids will never get to shake useless, plastic figurines out of cereal boxes and into their bowls of milk!


11. Asking people for directions

Who needs humans giving mostly confusing and indecipherable directions on how to get somewhere when you just have your phone and Google Maps?

12. Commercials

Will TV commercials even exist in the future? Who even watches commercials anymore when they’re not for the Superbowl?

13. A Food Pyramid that tells you to eat mostly carbs

Because bread and pasta used to be the most important food group.


14.  The D.A.R.E. program

I heard D.A.R.E. actually encouraged kids to do more drugs, so maybe the disappearance of this program is for the best. However, our kids will miss out on the super fashionable black t-shirts that have “Dare To Be Drug-Free” or “Dare to Keep Kids Off Drugs” emboldened on not-super-high-quality Fruit of the Loom fabric.


15. Angelfire and Geocities

WordPress makes creating websites so easy! Before blogs with pre-made templates, you had to pretty much be an HTML wizard to have your own “website.”


16. CD cases

Flipping through a CD case in the car is one of the best things, ever. Nothing Compares 2 U, CD case, not even an iPod that has alphabetically and categorically arranged your albums.

17.Kazaa and Limewire

Not that any of us illegally downloaded music or anything, but if we were to download music, we used Kazaa and Limewire. And consequently infected and destroyed our parents’ computers.

18. The original Roller Coaster Tycoon 

This was the most amazing game (besides Oregon Trail, obviously) ever, and I used to spend hours building rides as well as developing mad entrepreneurial skills. Nothing will ever be this epic. Nothing.


19. Mom using the landline so you can’t go on the Internet

“GOD MOM, I WANT TO CHAT WITH MY CRUSH ON AIM, GET OFF THE PHONE ALREADY” = monologue every ’90s and early 2000s teenager is familiar with.

20. Dramatic AIM away messages

Nothing showcased your true emotions quite like a passive aggressive AIM away message or lyrics from a Brand New song.

21. Anticipating a college acceptance letter via thick envelope 

Back in high-school, you pretty much knew right away if you were accepted into college, based on the weight of the envelope. If you were accepted, you were mailed a welcome packet, but if you were rejected, you were given a measly standard rejection letter. Now it’s all through e-mail. Lame.

22. Wherehouse Music, Tower Records, basically any record store

Our kids will watch Empire Records and totally not get it. That’s depressing.


23. Big, glittery, vending machine stickers

I used to specifically go roller skating JUST so that I could collect sassy stickers from vending machines. They offered mantras, such as “FREAK OUT,” “CENSORED,” and “EXOTIC.” There were also a LOT of cats, amphibians and aliens with peace signs. All of these ended up on my dresser, infinitely shiny.




24. Getting your film developed

Using a disposable camera meant waiting a few days for your roll of 24 pictures to come out and there were no guarantees you didn’t forget to press flash.

25. Mixtapes as the ultimate romantic gesture

How else will teenager profess their love for each other?


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