It can be painful to consider just how much time has passed since the ’90s (seriously don’t think too hard about it) and how much of day-to-day life has changed since then.
But it’s hard not to be reminded when you start to realize some things that were 100% totally fine then are now at best completely unacceptable and at worst worthy of complete social exile. Here are some of the things we never thought twice about doing in the ’90s that we could never get away with today.
1. Stopping by someone’s house completely unannounced to see if they were home
We did it all the time as kids, but now if it happens to us we just pretend we’re not home.
Sure we knew how dangerous it was, but no one really cared. Smoking indoors and around kids was also just a regular thing that people did.
3. Using AOL
We all have that one family member that just won’t get rid of their AOL email and we all judge them a little for it. It’s been almost 20 years, Mabel, it’s time for an update.
4. Throwing/pushing people into pools
Thanks to everyone having smartphones, what used to be a pretty hilarious joke is now a very expensive prank.
5. Leaving your kids in the car when you’re just quickly running into the store
Considering how awful we could be while shopping with our parents, it makes sense that if they just needed to be quick they would leave us to wait in the car.
6. Offensive Humor
There are a lot of things we could say and joke about that just won’t fly now. Just try re-watching Friends and you’ll quickly realize it’s about 70% gay jokes about Chandler.
7. Kids playing or going places unsupervised
We would basically get kicked out of our houses for the day, but now if a kid walks to school alone the cops get called. Kids now at least have phones and can be in constant contact, as far as our parents were concerned we’d vanished off the face of the Earth until we came back home.
8. Calling someone just to talk
Talking aimlessly on the phone used to be a perfectly reasonable thing, but now you should really only call if there’s an important reason. Otherwise, just text.
And those aren’t the only things we can’t get away with anymore…
9. Being unreachable by phone
Even though none of us ever want to answer our phones, if someone does call you had better answer the damn thing, otherwise everyone will think you’re dead in a ditch somewhere.
10. Making plans days in advance and just going without confirming that everyone is still going
It used to be that when you made plans to do something you, well, did it. Now you have to confirm with everyone at least 34 times beforehand, and you’ll still have some jerk bail at the last minute.
11. Applying for a job in person
We’ve all had some clueless (if well-intentioned) Baby Boomer tell us that if we want a job “just go knock on their door and you’ll get a job.” But if you actually try and apply anywhere in person they’ll look at you like you’re crazy and tell you to go apply online.
12. Going out of town and just not telling anyone
Before social media and smartphones, if you wanted to just get away for a bit you could totally just peace out for a week without telling anyone, and no one would really say anything. Now if you try that you’ll be coming home to missing posters and search parties.
13. Meeting or dropping people off at airport gates
Before 9/11, airport security was a lot more laid back and going to the gate to say goodbye (or hello) just wasn’t a big deal. The ever-increasing security measures means no more dramatic, “will they, won’t they” rom-com scenes, so basically Sleepless in Seattle would never happen today.
14. Asking people for directions to their house
Thanks to the internet, if you have someone’s address you can easily find the directions yourself. Why are you even asking? Google Maps is faster at these things than I am, even MapQuest would be.
15. Actually memorizing people’s phone numbers
Seeing as our phones/”the cloud” can now store basically every number you’ll ever need, having someone memorize your number can either come across as really sweet or incredibly creepy. Usually creepy.