If you could send a message back to your younger self, what would you say? Besides totally obvious stuff like “Don’t let mom throw away all your Beanie Babies.”
Of course, even as kids we knew the future would be very different, but there’s no way we could have wrapped our minds around this year’s events. Try and imagine how you would have reacted to hearing these 13 news stories in the 90s:
1. Online shopping? Kind of a big deal
Okay, stay with me on this one, you know that Packard Bell that your parents let you use to type up your homework? In the future that’s how we’ll order our toilet paper, DVDs, clothes, and pretty much everything else. Yes, really.
And business is so good that the owner of the biggest online retailer actually became the world’s richest man this year (just for a day, but you get the picture).
2. We still smell what the Rock is cooking
Yes, “the most electrifying name is sports entertainment” is now Hollywood’s biggest movie star – as in he’s very popular, but also because he’s ginormous.
His movie career won’t take off until the early 2000s, but nowadays the Rock – er, we mean Dwayne Johnson – is starring in everything from Disney flicks to the Jumanji reboot (more on that later).
3. Recognize him?
SNL funnyman Al Franken is a United States Senator now, and he’s actually been in politics for almost a decade.
Meanwhile, you might remember this world famous neurosurgeon from the news.
He’s become the Secretary for Housing and Urban Development after a failed run for the presidency.
And finally, even Kid Rock seems to have changed careers.
The rapper hasn’t made it official yet, but he’s announced his interest in running for the Senate in Michigan. Who could have predicted any of these in the 90s?
4. Yes, we have hoverboards
It’s not like you can pick one up from Toys ‘R Us (especially since they could be closing soon) but pretty soon you’ll be able to step into Marty McFly’s shoes.
Actually, you can already step into Marty McFly’s actual shoes, now that self-lacing sneakers are finally a reality.
5. The Backstreet Boys are still touring
We’ll call this good news, but even the band’s biggest fans wouldn’t have guessed that the “boys” would still be on the road by now. Their tour next year coincides with the band’s 25th anniversary. Talk about staying power!
But the more things stay the same, the more they change as well…
6. Technology has gotten a little better
The newly announced iPhone X has 3 gigabytes of memory, which is about the same as 19,659 separate 160 kilobyte floppy disks. It also has a few other nifty features: it’s pocket sized, it includes a facial recognition lock, and you can order pizza with it, which is nice.
7. O.J. is back in the spotlight
Depending on what year of the 1990s you hear this news in, your reaction will be very different. The football star and Naked Gun actor’s trial was must-see TV in 1995, but he didn’t go to jail until 2008 for something completely unrelated.
Now he’s making headlines after finally being released. People watching his 1995 trial would probably be surprised to learn that we’re still obsessed with it, and basically re-watched the whole shebang last year when it was covered on American Crime Story.
8. So are your favorite 90s shows
Not only did we get a Full House sequel this year, but there’s a host of TV shows getting modern reboots, including ReBoot, Duck Tales and even The Tick. Who would have guessed?
The 90s are back in force at the movie theaters too, with a new take on IT and even a Jumanji reboot featuring The Rock. Honestly, if you told me The Rock was starring in a Jumanji movie, my younger self would have laughed in your face.
9. R. Kelly is….well it’s complicated
R. Kelly’s first public scandal (we’ll call it R. Kelly PR Disaster #1) came about in the early 2000s, but his fans in the 90s would be even more shocked by what he’s up to now. BuzzFeed recently reported that Kelly has been accused of running a cult by three sets of parents, who say their daughters are being held against their will. Nuff said.
10. Pluto isn’t a planet anymore
Don’t even ask us about this one, we’re still too upset.
11. Get this man’s autograph, it will be worth a lot someday
In the early 90s, a frustrated TV writer took up writing novels again, starting work on an epic fantasy series. The first book, A Game of Thrones was published in 1996, and the rest is history. While the series didn’t gain wider public attention until the fourth book was published in 2006, it had become a global phenomenon and inspired one of TV’s biggest shows.
12. Things aren’t so great between the U.S. and Russia
Our parents told us over and over again that we were living through a historic period when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union gradually collapsed, but a few decades later the Cold War doesn’t feel dead at all. Maybe that has something to do with the last piece of news…
13. Remember that guy from Home Alone 2?
He had that confusing cameo, and your parents explained that he was actually a famous real estate developer? Maybe you remember him from some of these commercials:
Well, these days he’s the Leader of the Free World.
Share this list and tell us what news stories would have shocked you in the 90s!