The Backstreet Boys explain why they’re so glad social media didn’t exist in their heyday

Children of the ’90s have a lot to be thankful for — the music, the fashion, the ability to see She’s All That in theaters, and the fact that Facebook didn’t exist yet. It turns out that the Backstreet Boys agree that social media would have changed the game for them when they were big.

Back then, we dealt primarily with AOL chat rooms and AIM “warning fights” with friends. These days, we use social media to socialize and promote ourselves. Celebrities, especially, need to keep up appearances on a bunch of different platforms. And if they happen to break a rule, or cause an issue while out in public? Well, the world will find out sooner or later.

Nick Carter and the rest of the band chatted with Elle about how thankful they are that their shenanigans never got caught on tape.

"I'll tell you this," Carter said. "There is some s**t that AJ [McLean] and I both did that I'm really glad that social media wasn't around for. Because Justin Bieber couldn't hold a candle to what we did."

Him and AJ, huh? Interesting. Well, we always knew that AJ was “the bad boy.”

Of course, McLean decided that it was probably safe to reveal what they did after all this time. Which we’re thankful for, since we’re awfully nosy.

"We would have been like TMZ's saving grace, bro," McLean said. "Just anything from me being drunk or irate at a club. Or me walking naked down the hallway in a hotel for no apparent reason...just random stuff that never really got out."

We must say, we’re wondering what they were thinking. After all, they were pretty much the hottest boy band of the ’90s. (Until ‘N Sync came along. But hey, we all have our preferences.)

McLean went on to note that the lack of social media back then was also negative for a big reason— artists like Justin Bieber were discovered based on sites like YouTube, changing the way talent was sought out. Plus, with video sharing, it’s easier than ever these days to get your creative work out there and form a connection.

"Without social media, without YouTube, without instant access, we had to do everything grassroots. We had to do every interview, every radio show, every outlet. We had to go to every country—that was the only way to do it," McLean added.

So, while the BSB got to strut around sans clothes, they also lost the opportunity to take some control over what they shared with their fanbase. It just goes to show how much the industry has changed in such a small amount of time!

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