We couldn’t imagine entering with… life before our world become technologically turned out. For millennials who were born in the early 80s, such as myself, and have experienced a time without the Internet as well as was is simply unfathomable. But guess what? There before and music. But for a certain range of millennials – those who were born in the late 90s to early 2000s and only know a world with the Internet and social media, the concept of life fashion. The 80s and 90s are popularly celebrated today through the world as it is now. But do teenagers and 20-something year olds of today understand how things have evolved? Possibly not, because they didn’t experience it firsthand. So here are some significant things we lived through and embraced because it’s all we knew!
1. Once Upon A Time…MTV Played Music Videos
Source: Another Flavor
From the pop “girl power” Spice Girls to the funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, the videos that aired on MTV in the early 90s were exciting for music fans on an international level! The concept of seeing your favorite artist, group, or band in a colorfully eclectic video felt surreal on many levels. Having the ability to record hot videos on a VHS tape so you could re-watch with your friends over and over and over, was a bonus!
2. Home Phones = No Privacy
“Is your homework done? You have a phone call!” was a typical mom and dad announcement in my house as a young teen in the late 80s and early 90s. Getting a phone call at home was the only mode of communication with friends and crushes, after school ended for the day. So when you received a call, most likely you were ready for it. As for privacy, however as compared to personal cell phones today, fuh-getttt about it. Not only did the person who picked up the phone become an instant screener and/or gatekeeper to your calls, there was always the chance someone would pick up a different phone and “accidentally” interject in your conversation.
3. The Inconvenience And Awesomeness Of Dial-Up Internet
AOL (“America Online”) launched in 1991, but it wasn’t until the late 90s that my parents decided to incorporate that into our home. Being that it was a dial-up service connected to your telephone system, families were presented with major ultimatums day in and day out (especially if they had teenagers); either the phone could be in use or AOL could be in use. But despite then horrendous dial-up sound, the wait time in connecting, and balancing out your personal time online with others in the home needing the phone ("I need to use the Internet! Please get off the phone!"), the excitement was in the anticipation of dialing into a brand new, virtual world! Yes, back then, it was a big deal.
4. Personal Visuals: Band Pics on Walls And Folders
Looooong before there was Instagram -- the insanely popular social media platform that allows you to share images that reflect your personality – our personal visuals were displayed on tangible properties. This includes posting tons of band posters on the walls in one’s room (I was obsessed with Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam's "Ten" album!), covering school folders and binders with friend pics, song lyrics, and favorite artists, and wearing music or band tees that categorized one’s interest. These were the main routes to communicating who you were without saying a word.
5. Mixed Cassette Tapes (And Playing DJ)
Remember buying a pack of blank cassette tapes and then creating mixed tapes based off of songs you recorded from the radio? And sometimes playing DJ by talking directly into your the speakers on your pink boom box? OK, maybe many of you don’t. But if you do, you understand the joy that came with making up your song list. And whether you kept the mixed tape for yourself, adding to your shelf collection of other mixed tapes, or decided to pass one to that special person you always pass in the hall – cassette tapes were FUN. Even when the tape got mangled and annoying!
6. “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Parody Videos
While some of you may know just who “Weird Al” Yankovic is, many of you don’t understand just how kick-ass this parodist was in the 80s and 90s. The curly-haired oddball singer-songwriter was hilarious, as he took a popular song and put a twist on it. One of his most popular parodies was Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” in which Yankovic turned into “Fat.” (“Because I’m fat, I’m fat, you know it…!”) His comedic songs and videos were such a hit, that I remember my friends and I always predicting which song he would tear up next!
What were some of your favorite things pre-Internet and pre-social media? Share your thoughts with us in a comment below!
Cover photo courtesy of: www.aryzauq.tv/