As I veer rapidly towards my late 20s (when did this happen and how can I make it stop?), I often long for a simpler time. For those of us who were tweens and teens in the early 2000s, it seemed like the world was changing rapidly — especially when it came to technology. That’s why a lot of the things we did in the early 2000s that our parents despised were directly related to our snazzy new cell phones, online presence, and TV habits.
Personally, I’m thankful that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter weren’t a thing when I was in middle school and early high school— I can only imagine the unnecessary amount of conflict it would have caused between my parents and me. Of course, like pretty much ever other Millennial, I had no shortage of habits that my parents absolutely despised.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane and recall the things we did back in the day that drove our parents crazy.
1Being glued to your new cell phone.
Remember the pre-iPhone days when the Motorola Razr phone was the most exciting item you ever owned? Sure, it was supposed to be “just for emergencies,” but we couldn’t resist texting our friends because it was just such a novelty! It was decidedly less of a novelty for our parents, who didn’t appreciate how distracted we became at dinner time, family time, and, well, basically all the time.
2Monopolizing the computer to use AIM.
Back in the day, a lot of us didn’t get our own computers or laptops until it was time to go off to college. If you have siblings, you probably remember some serious arguments about whose turn it was use the family computer. And when you used the excuse that you needed it for school only for your parents to walk in on you exchanging AIM messages with your pals? Yeah, that never ended well. (Neither did my angsty away messages, but that’s a story for another time and place.)
3Messing with the Netflix queue.
It feels like a lifetime ago that Netflix was a “DVD by mail” service — but streaming didn’t become its main purpose until 2011. So, we had to pick, choose, and compromise when it came to which DVDs would come in the mail and in what order. In a household full of people with very different taste, it could become a serious bone of contention — and some of us may or may not have been guilty of stealthily moving up the latest movie we just had to see.
4Wearing corset tops.
Okay, I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t have some serious regrets about lobbying to wear a corset top in public (or anywhere for that matter — what were we thinking?!) But our parents were totally not here for the idea of us wearing lingerie-type attire to the movies, the mall, or in any public space for that matter. I mean, they were pretty hideous — they just seemed so chic and edgy at the time.
5Our reality TV obsessions.
In the early 2000s, a whole lot of reality TV shows aimed at teens cropped up — Laguna Beach, The Simple Life, My Super Sweet 16… I’m not saying we meant to become so invested in these totally scripted TV series, but it just sort of happened. Our parents were significantly less invested and more horrified at the idea that we were wasting precious hours devouring each and every episode of our reality TV series of choice.
6Begging to own every single stylish item Summer and Marissa ever wore on The O.C.
This one can’t be just me, right? I mean, those wardrobes were to die for — and every item came with quite a hefty price tag. (Trust me — I spent a lot of time googling after every single episode.)
7 Dyeing our hair with Manic Panic at our best friend’s house.
And then coming home with purple hair when you were SUPPOSED to be doing your homework. Oops. And if unnatural colors wasn’t your thing, then maybe you tried to give yourself highlights with one of those dye kits. And we all know how that turned out, so I kinda get it, Mom and Dad.
8 Using “sleepovers” as a cover up to do something that does not solely involve sleeping over.
Eventually maybe you would get to your BFF’s house to spend the night, but sneaky you used that excuse to go to a party, or meet up with humans who were OF THE OPPOSITE SEX OMG. This was a very big deal, and your parents probably didn’t like it one bit (or maybe they would be totally cool with it, had you told the truth).
9 You saved your lunch money to buy “sex bracelets” from Hot Topic.
You know, those black rubber band-y type bracelets that had like, six different names, all edgy and subversive? Or maybe your lunch money was funneled into other nefarious purposes, like lip gloss or movie tickets to something PG-13.
Ah, the good old days.