'90s born individuals spill the beans on 10 unique things of their time that are bound to leave 2000s kids utterly confused.
There is no denying that things change with time and with it, people change too. Over the years, people across different generations have developed distinct tastes and ideologies. It's almost like trying to tell a Gen-Z kid about the working of cassette tape when they are already overwhelmed with countless streaming services. This is just one example to showcase many other key differences that one generation has with others. u/Amerisbf asked the community, "What is one thing a kid born after 2000 will not understand no matter how long you explain it?" Here are 10 of the most interesting answers that people had to provide.
'70s kid here. Checkout ladies in supermarkets (yes, it was mostly a lady's job) used to manually type in the prices of every item purchased. (Every item had a price tag stuck on it by another member of staff). Their fingers could really fly around a numerical keyboard. It used to fascinate me as a kid. u/Carl_Clegg. Ever been to a Hobby Lobby? To this day everything has to be labeled and entered manually. No inventory system. Can’t remember why, but it’s per the owner. u/CoyoteDown. I worked at a local grocery store in the late '90s that did that. We had to key in the fruit/veggie number on the sticker and if it didn't have a sticker you either had it memorized or had to refer to a giant laminated chart. They got scanners about two years after I left. u/monstermack1977
Looking forward to Monday’s newspaper having that week’s TV guide so you could see what movies were on that week. u/winoforever_slurp_. In the same vein having the TV guide channel on TV and having to wait two minutes to see what was on a channel that just scrolled past as you got to it so you could see what was on or coming up. u/1fatsquirrel. As a kid, I remember all the free HBO preview weeks. I'd go to the back of the TV guide where it listed all the movies. Being the typical 10-year-old, I watched every movie that had nudity listed. u/C4242. Oh yeah! We'd go through the TV guide each week and circle any we really wanted to see. And the big double week one at Christmas time was amazing. u/JezraCF
Others have mentioned not being online 24/7, dial-up internet, the world before social media, being without the internet, etc. I don't [think] any of those are really that hard to explain because you can simulate that experience today. What you can't simulate is what the Internet used to be. Search engines were borked, there was no "good" search engine and your bookmark field had an actual purpose. Wikipedia didn't exist, the closest you got to something like that was a list of links at some random website: Want to know about ants? Here's a link to a site with pictures in wildly different resolutions and a background made to mimic old parchment. You couldn't use the internet to listen to music, you could barely use it to look at low res pictures and you'd be lucky if even half the features of anything functioned. Old-time internet was wild, it was also in today's eyes an uncanny valley. u/Flanellissimo
I tried to explain to my nieces that you used to get the internet through your phone. They were all like “Yeah, duh”. Then I had to explain that the phone line had to be connected to a special box that had to be connected to a computer that you could only connect to the internet if no one else was using the phone. u/othybear. I remember when my dad told us that if we got a "router" and "DSL", more than one computer could use the internet at once. u/EagleCatchingFish. My dad just got multiple phone lines because he got tired of my sister's friends calling and talking for hours. I had my own PC I built from the old parts of his PC as he upgraded (a 286 when 486 was new), it was great to be able to dial into my favorite BBS without my sister disconnecting me. u/madogvelkor
People just went away, and you never saw them again or had any idea what they were doing with their lives. Without social media, everyone but your closest friends or family disappeared from your life forever, and you have no clue what they were doing (remember you can't google them either). Ex-boyfriend? I heard a rumor from an old buddy of his I ran into at the mall that he moved to New Jersey. Camp buddy? Randomly ran into him two decades later, and he was totally different. Those stories just don't happen anymore thanks to social media. Women know what hockey team their high school boyfriend's kid plays for. It's why kids don't understand the point of stuff like high school reunions. u/slightofhand1
If you wanted to know something your family or friends didn't know, and you couldn't find it in the library, you were unlikely to find out the answer. This applied to all sorts of things all of the time. I doubt younger people today can really imagine the difference immediate information availability makes in our daily lives. u/john_jdm. Back in my day, you’d ask an older person a question, they’d make some s*** up, and you’d go on to believe them for years and years. u/slapshrapnel. I was trying to explain this just yesterday. It’s my favorite thing. Being able to think of any random question and just get an instant answer. Still blows my mind after growing up with encyclopedias on the shelf and a card catalog at the library. u/JCKligmann
Missing the new episode on TV, having no way to see it again, and being completely clueless when it was all anyone at school or work talked about. u/Themeloncalling. Kids won't understand "it was all anyone at work or school talked about" in this day and age. Hard to explain what it was like when everyone from the 10-year-old to the 95-year-old granny was watching the same TV show, at the same time, in like every house in America. u/slightofhand1. I missed the episode of 'Friends' where Ross said Rachel's name at his wedding and I made my cousin tell me in detail what happened the next day over the phone. I couldn't believe I forgot to tape it. u/manderifffic
Smoking was not illegal anywhere. You could smoke on airplanes. Restaurants, in the mall, in the stores. School parking lot. u/runningwiththedevil2. This is what I came to comment on. Most public spaces were built with smoking in mind. So many people smoked and walls and ceilings were yellow with tar residue. Ashtrays were located every 20 feet, and ground-out butts littered sidewalks and gutters. The carpets smelled like stale smoke. There were even ashtrays in car doors and plane seats. So gross, looking back, but it was so normalized that we didn’t think anything of it. The tobacco companies really had it good there for about 50-60 years. u/omgdeadlol
Getting pictures developed after a vacation. u/MaddenRob. I went to Europe as a teenager in '97. I worked and paid for the trip myself. I was so excited. My parent bought me a brand new Kodak camera and a massive thing of a roll of film. Over the weeks I took 17 rolls of film. Took them to the local experts to get developed. When I went to pick them up I almost cried. The lady told me she only developed 5 rolls because they were all just this gray fuzziness. Turns out that fancy Kodak camera has an internal shutter that malfunctioned and there was no way I would've ever known it was doing so because the outside shutter made a clicking noise like they normally do. It's been 25 years and I still flip the bird when I hear the word Kodak. u/goodgriefnow
Watching stuff because it's on. Listening to a song because it's on. Everything's personalized now. We had a much better understanding of the world/old movies/old songs/even sports because we had so little choice. Sebastian Mani-whatever does a great joke about this. If your dad wanted to watch "60 Minutes," you were walking into school on Monday like, "You hear about what's going on in Lebanon?" u/slightofhand1. I really do think this is a societal problem. My kids don’t know what golf looks like. Or the inside of a megachurch. I knew both, and not because I’d ever been. That’s just what was on TV on Sunday. You wanna watch TV? You watch what’s on. I didn’t watch "Love Boat" because I liked it. I watched it because it was on. And I was subtly learning about comedic timing, social cues, other cultures, etc. u/ClutterKitty