When a millennial tries to discuss stuff from the ’90s with a younger sibling, they’re typically met with an eye roll that translates to, “Ugh, you are old AF.” Yeah, you’re facepalming and feeling downright ancient, but that’s because there are some things millennials will be the last people to ever do.
Most of that stuff sounds completely unbelievable to anyone born before the year 2000, but if you’re blessed (yes, blessed) enough to be an aging millennial, you’ve had the pleasure of navigating both analog and digital worlds.
Your parents probably rented movies from Blockbuster for you when you were younger, a glorious perk something kids these days (ugh, such an old-timer phrase) will never understand. They will, however, promptly direct you to the more modern, less fossilized version of VHS tapes also known as Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services.
Since GenXers hold bragging rights as the last generation to remember life before the internet, Millennials deserve to have their own nostalgic cool kids’ club that will help lighten up their legacy of job-hopping and basically being blamed for, well, everything. Here are some things Millennials will be the last (and the best, ha!) to ever do.
1End a phone convo to use the internet.
“Wait, whaaa?!” says the confused younger millennial reading this and simultaneously scrolling Instagram in between typing text messages. Yes, as unbelievable as it sounds, old-school dial-up internet forced people to choose between placing a call and surfing the ‘net. It really happened. It’s not just the stuff of legends.
2Adjust a TV antenna.
You see, wee ones, there once was this media-consumption dilemma called “fuzzy reception” in which the TV antenna (just…Google it) refused to pick up the signal (keep Googling).
As a result, people used to miss the ending of our favorite shows, and there was no DVR to replay whatever catastrophe Steve Urkel caused this time around, which meant waiting until the rerun aired before next week’s new episode. Yeah, they were dark times.
3Record shows on VHS.
This was kind of the worst, tbqh. And don’t even get us started on what happened if someone else accidentally recorded over your show.
4Own cell phones that weren’t very smart.
Ugh, flip phones really were cool though. Also, that snake game.
5Record an answering machine messages (and be way too excited about it).
As corny as it sounds, hearing your voice on the family answering machine message was a privilege only rivaled by getting permission to finally answer calls on the house phone.
6Carry a pager.
So. Many. Memories. And heaven forbid your parents ever learn what certain codes meant.
7Use a payphone.
We still can’t understand how Maroon 5’s 2012 song “Payphone” became a hit in the 21st century, but we happily grooved along with it because, memories.
8Hang up the phone.
Admittedly, placing a phone receiver back in the cradle is a more complicated way of ending a call, but we’re always going to be conflicted about letting go of it. It was a deeply satisfying sound.
9Use too much hairspray on bangs.
One of the most embarrassing hair styles from the ’90s. Millennials should be proud to say that they’re the last people to spritz their bangs within an inch of their lives (and pray to the hair gawds that this lewk never comes back).
10Need a college email to access Facebook.
This painful period feat of waiting to graduate high school and be issued a .edu email address from your new college will never be endured by another generation since, obviously, anyone can sign up for Facebook now. That’s why your grandma’s killing it on Facebook as we speak.
11Apply for a grown-up job in person.
Some companies still engage in this antiquated practice, but for the most part, millennials will be the last ones to know what it’s like to visit a company in person, fill out an application (by hand!), then go back home and wait on a phone call or snail mail reply to see if you got the gig.
12Use a cassette player (in a non-nostalgic way).
We love our thoughtfully curated Spotify playlists, but there’s nothing like thrill of successfully record a song from the radio on a cassette tape. It required talent, timing, and commitment required to wait for a song to come on the actual radio. We’re all about convenience, but dragging and dropping a song into a playlist will never be able to able to hold the same satisfaction we felt upon completing a mixtape.
13Write in cursive.
Sadly, this artistic form of penmanship has fallen by the wayside. However, laws requiring schools to teach cursive are gaining steam, so millennials may not be the last to write in cursive for long.
14Find dates IRL and IRL only.
Like, how was this even possible?! Aging millennials deserve an award for their efforts back in the pre-app, pre-online dating days. At this point, the thought of trying to meet your perfect match without the assistance of an app sounds like a LOT of work.
15Cover bedroom walls with photos of a celebrity crush.
So, this was maybe a cringe-worthy trend, but you can’t possibly look back on the good ol’ days without recalling all those posters of heartthrobs covering your bedroom walls. We basically only bought magazines for the pull-out poster of JTT (again, Google it).
16Get homework answers from the back of the textbook.
Admittedly, Googling something on a phone under a desk is a much simpler alternative, so we’re not sad to be the last to ever utilize this super outdated way of cheating.
17Wait to hear the news on TV or read it in the paper.
Imagine having to wait for one of three daily news broadcasts or read the news in a physical paper instead of finding out what’s happening in the world via Twitter and push notifications on your phone.
Whew! Clearly, we millennials have come a long way. Let’s give ourselves a pat on the back for being the last humans to cap off the last analog era humans will ever know.