As a person in her early 30s, it is always a little frustrating when people group me with millennials. Granted, I am too young to be in the Generation X category but I am sure that most people around my age feel too old to relate to those who were born in 2000. I always felt like there should be an in-between category, maybe “Generation X and a half” because we definitely have a unique set of experiences that the millennials can’t fully relate to. Ask a millennial or better yet, if you are millennial, ask yourself, do you know anything about these ten topics?
1. Nintendo & Super Mario Bros. Oh Mario, Mario, Mario. He went through some shit to save the princess but we enjoyed the full journey as we helped him step on mushrooms, avoid random ducks and hop over deadly plants. If it sounds like a game about being high, you could be right but as kids, we had no herbs around us, just Nintendo and that weird ass game.
2. Records, Cassette Tapes & Compact Discs. If you’ve ever heard a record scratch in a song, at some point, that sound was quite literal and DJs proved their skills by showcasing how well they were able to tear up a record and make it sound hot. Cassette tapes were probably one of the most annoying forms of listening to music because we had to rewind and fast forward to get from one song to the next and trust me, it could take awhile to get to the perfect spot. Lastly, I’m sure you’re familiar with compact discs a.k.a. CDs. They were the most recent forms of portable audio storage and unlike records, scratches on these were not really cool at all – more of a nuisance causing a certain part of a song to repeat itself over and over. Ah…the good ol’ days.
3. Slow ass AOL. You know, the internet wasn’t always this fast. In fact, we remember a time when there was no internet. 😳 I know. What did we do before Facebook? In any event, the internet did come along in our life time, probably around our early to late teens and we had to learn a very valuable trait – patience. When we logged onto the internet, we had to wait for about 10 hours before even getting to our email. I know, the horror but the wait was all worth it when we heard “You’ve Got Mail.” Hearing that was like getting a notification on Facebook – it was special!
4. Portable Cameras. Before Instagram, there was insta-go-to-the-store-to-drop-off-your-portable-camera-and-wait-for-prints-a-day-later. I guess that process wasn’t so instant after all. Also, we didn’t have the convenience of putting all of our photos into one device. We either had many envelopes stuffed with random photos or 30 specific photo albums. I’m sure you’ve seen these collections around and probably even took a few photos of the photos for the Gram. 🤓
5. Physical Maps & Spoken Directions. On the road and lost? There was no Google Maps. There were barely any GPS systems. There were only actual maps, which I never understood how anyone could follow them. Yet again, I am not that great with direction so it makes sense why maps are frightening to me. There were also moments where you had to trust a friend and/or stranger to guide your way to the right direction so you follow their pathway and pray you get there safely. Fortunately, most of the time all went well and if you did end up on a longer detour than planned, then you had a great story to tell your friends so I guess you can say there was a little bit more adventure back in my day. I’m going to make that assumption and stick to it.
6. VHS Tapes & VCRs. Ever worried about your favorite movie being recorded over? If you know about that life, then you are probably familiar with VHS tapes and VCRs. Tangled tapes, tracking buttons, warped sounds were all a part of the VHS Tape/VCR life and we just had to deal with it. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, just ask someone 30 or up.
7. Face-to-Face Conversations. In a world where texting and social media has become the normal form of connection, face-to-face connections seem to be sadly going out of style. People are quicker to send a text message than actually calling people and even when people are face to face, we can all be caught looking at our phones instead of being engaged with each other. This is an issue across generations but more so with the younger ones.
8. Rappers with Lyrics. Trap music, arguably today’s most popular form of rap music, seems to barely have lyrics. They may not even have actual words. Mainstream rappers almost seem to be mumbling incoherent sounds over a banging beat. Back in my day, the rap game was fueled with how well a rapper’s lyrics and delivery were in a song. Now, I am starting to get why my parents said they could barely understand rappers in my day. I guess this lack of understanding goes from generation to generation.
9. ABC’s TGIF. Topanga. Urkel. Jesse. If none of those names ring a bell, then you truly missed out on some of the best classic teen-friendly programs at night. Fridays used to be lit with Boy Meets World, Family Matters and Full House. The good news is you can probably catch some episodes on YouTube and laugh at our cheesiness while we sit back and enjoy the nostalgia.
10. Remembering Phone Numbers. Can you imagine a world where you have to remember your family and friends’ phone numbers? Pretty strange, right? We were like walking phone books that could recite plenty of phone numbers strictly from memory. I guess the closest thing to this now-foreign phenomenon is how many passwords we remember through our many online accounts.
I know there are plenty more that could be added to this list. Do you have some additional items? And millenials, are you familiar with some of these? Let’s talk about it!