It’s hard not to miss the ’90s. Not only was it the decade of our youth, but it gave us just so many incredible gifts that keep on giving. But time stops for no one, and it’s getting harder and harder to ignore just how much time has passed since we’ve been able to party like it’s 1999.
While it seems like just about everything from the ’90s has been making a comeback recently, there are some things that seemed perfectly reasonable back then that would never fly today.
1. Kids running around unsupervised
So many of us were “latchkey kids,” and our parents made it clear that they didn’t want us just hanging around the house until dinner time. Now people are calling the authorities over kids playing unsupervised in their own backyards.
While people were starting to acknowledge that smoking everywhere, all the time probably wasn’t the best idea, society hadn’t really started cracking down on it yet.
3. Being unreachable
Back when the only real phone option was a landline, if someone didn’t answer your calls then you just figured they were out of the house and went on with your life. Now, between cell phones, texting, and messaging apps, if no one can get a hold of you, you’re either being super suspicious or probably dead.
4. Just showing up at someone’s house
Showing up at someone’s house completely unannounced used to seem totally reasonable, it was the most direct way to see if they were home and what they were up to. Not only is it considered super rude now, but if you don’t call ahead they probably won’t even answer the door.
5. Dangerous toys
When it came to our toys, safety was just something that would ruin the fun. Today if you gave a kid half the toys we loved you’d probably get arrested for child endangerment.
6. Throwing/pushing people into pools
Don’t get me wrong, it was always kind of a dick move, but now that pretty much everyone has an $800+ computer in their pocket this harmless “prank” just became really expensive.
7. Assuming that plans you made days ago are still happening
Before cellphones let us get in touch with literally anyone in seconds, cancelling last minute was super inconvenient for everyone involved. Now if you plan something more than a day in advance, you’d better send a quick text the day-of to make sure nobody’s changed their minds again.
8. Offensive humor and jokes
There are a lot of things we used to say or joke about that now you just….can’t.
9. Leaving your kid in the car when you’re running errands
If our parents just had to grab something real quick, they didn’t have a problem with just leaving us chilling in the car until they came back. If we were really lucky, they’d even leave a window cracked.
10. Using AOL
We all have that one family member that still only uses an AOL email and we all judge them a little for it. It’s been almost 20 years, Carol, it’s time for an update.
11. Calling someone “just to chat”
While we used to spend literal hours on the phone just talking about whatever with our friends, it seems like now the only times people will call is if they’re trying to sell you something, or if something terrible has happened.
12. Memorizing phone numbers
Unless you had someone on speed dial, you had to either know their number off the top of your head, or have it written down someplace. Now somedays I have a hard time remembering my own phone number.
13. Being able to go right up to the airport gates, even if you weren’t flying
Many rom-coms end with one of the characters dramatically running through an airport to stop their love from leaving, but if they tried that in our post-9/11 world they’d only be able to get to the gate if they had a) a ticket and b) gone through security.
14. Going out of town without telling anyone
Unless you needed someone to check up on your house/pets, there wasn’t really a need to tell the world if you were sneaking away for a few days. Trying that now not only means missing out on showing off to everyone on your social media, but chances are someone will report you missing or something.
15. Applying for a job in person
Handing out resumes like candy used to be the best strategy for job hunting, but trying to apply anywhere in person now will have people looking at you like you’re crazy. Do employers even look at the resumes anymore, or do they just look you up on LinkedIn?
16. Wearing a helmet being totally optional
Sure, we knew why wearing a helmet was important, we were just more worried about not looking like a dork than about cracking our heads open.