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People who grew up in the 90s share 10 things that they miss about the era

Discover the nostalgia-filled recollections of those who grew up in the '90s as they fondly reminisce about the era's defining moments.

People who grew up in the 90s share 10 things that they miss about the era
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Suzy Hazelwood

An unforgettable era

Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock project
Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock project

The 1990s was truly a transformative era that stands out as a series of a lot of cultural, technological and societal changes. The 90s had a lot of key characteristics such as the rise of personal computing and with it the steady development of the internet. All of these changes made the era even more memorable for individuals who grew up then. Reddit user u/Ok-Bandicoot asked the community, "For people who grew up in the 90's, what are some things you miss about it?" Here are 10 of the most insightful answers that people had to offer. 

1. Carpe diem 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Helena Lopes
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Helena Lopes

Not having photographic evidence of EVERYTHING. We could do dumb s*** as teenagers and not get caught. No one would take out a phone and record you. At concerts, events, special occasions, you had to be in the MOMENT and just revel in it. We were wayyyy more present. And it was ok for kids to be bored or create their own fun with their imaginations! u/MedicalAnamoly118. Now people always ask me “Oh show me the pictures.” I mostly forget to take them. Thank god I’m still that person who gets so wrapped up in the moment I don’t even think to memorex it. Haha. But I miss carrying around an SLR and getting the film developed or using the darkroom at my high school. The anticipation was exciting! u/WyldeHart

2. Simplicity

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Yaroslav Shuraev
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Yaroslav Shuraev

Everything just seemed so much more simple. I don't know if that’s just a product of my age back then but I look back even at world issues that dominated the headlines and it seems like we’d do anything to go back and have “only” those problems. u/Chez29. Also... phosphates were damaging our water, so we banned them. Aerosols were damaging our ozone layer, so we banned them. Second-hand smoke was causing cancer in wait staff, so we banned smoking indoors. A lot of problems were actually being solved, instead of creating fodder for the next culture war. u/propagandavid

3. More freedom

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Micheal Morse
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Micheal Morse

I miss absolutely everything about the '90s. Growing up as a kid throughout the entire decade was awesome. When most households didn't have a PC, laptops were barely rolling out, and most people didn't have cell phones. All the kids in our neighborhood ran around the neighborhood playing with each other, and none of the parents had to feel concerned enough to watch us the entire time, every day. People also didn't get butthurt about every little thing like they do now. Politics wasn't in every facet of life. People actually interacted with each other, and it feels like everyone was even nicer back then. The world is so much different, in such a short amount of time, and it's not in a good way. u/Bigman89VR

4. Having hobbies when bored

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Cottonbro studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Cottonbro studio

Being bored. Honestly. You were bored several times throughout the day, and you came up with creative things to do to amuse yourself. You started new projects. You did chores that you didn't have to do. You took on new artistic pursuits. In the end, it was all very fulfilling. Now I can't even keep up with the podcasts and YouTube channels I like, much less seek out new music or tackle all the shows I've been meaning to watch. And surfing Reddit is a great timesuck too. u/eltedioso 

5. Feeling special on holidays

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jonathan Borba
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jonathan Borba

The feeling of summer. Going to Blockbuster on Friday nights with my BFF. Staying home from school “sick” and watching "Little Bear" and "Gullah Gullah Island." Christmas and holidays in general felt more special. The excitement the night before going to Disney World. No internet or cell phones. Innocence. Imagination. Curiosity. I could go on and on. So many things! Can we go back? Please?? u/Love_VictoriaP. I could never sleep well the night before going to Six Flags Great America either. It's also hard to step away from all the distractions and actually let my mind and imagination work like they used to. As you've said, it was so easy back then. u/sanaru02

6. Shopping malls

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tuur Tisseghem
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tuur Tisseghem

Malls. The nice/new mall from near where I grew up closed permanently this year and it messed me up worse than I would’ve expected; I have so many memories of that place, especially around the holidays, going to Electronics Boutique, Waldenbooks, Radio Shack, Kaybee Toys, the Disney Store, the Dollar Store, the food courts and the dumb little kiosk. I wish we could have some of that again somehow. It was so much fun. u/somemetausername

7. No urgency culture 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Lisa Fotios
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Lisa Fotios

Space. It was very normal to call someone and not get a call back until maybe the next day. Like you have something you want to tell them but you just have to wait a full 24 hours or more for them to get back to you. And if you tried to call again within that time, you were a weirdo. I remember having to “break up” with a friend for being too clingy because he would call my house and I wouldn’t be able to call him back that day and he would get really angry and scream at me when I would finally call him back. I know it seems normal now to expect someone to be instantly reachable all the time but that was insane back then. I miss people giving each other space. I will say though that I remember my parents having no friends. They just lost touch with everybody. Now at the same age, I still have all my best friends and we’re still a part of each other’s everyday lives solely because of iMessage. So that’s nice. u/jonenderjr

8. No sense of impending doom

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Yuri Manei
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Yuri Manei

You had to develop soft skills if you wanted a social network. Kids played outside. You were forced to learn productive conflict-resolution skills. There wasn't a general sense of impending doom: no worries about global warming, immense student loans, affordable housing, diminished resources or people aspiring to become "influencers." Movies and TV shows seemed to have better writing. Malls were full and fun to hang out at, even if you couldn't afford anything. Information and knowledge were more valued than they are today. u/AdEconomy4032 

9. Less restrictive flights

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Brett Sayles
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Brett Sayles

Flying in the 90s. Flights had all kinds of free stuff. Baggage was no big deal and if it weighed a few pounds over, no problem. You missed your flight? No problem, we'll just get you on the next one, no charge. There were often empty seats on the plane, The airport was open. No TSA, visitors could go all the way to the gate. I still struggle every time I fly thinking about how much better it used to be. u/kmpdx

10. Localized culture

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Katii Bishop
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Katii Bishop

Choice. I feel like there were so many more choices on how to live. You could mess up a bit, and it didn't define you. Now it feels like everything is either banned or you end up being shamed on social media for making a mistake. No one has the opportunity to learn from that one stupid thing. Also, having a localized culture. Social media seems to have globalized culture, and nothing really identifies who you are anymore. Oh and being able to be home sick from school without your parents getting harassed by the attendance team. Now you can be suffering from horrific food poisoning and you'll still get letters telling you that you need to be in school. I remember staying home with a common cold, which now is just unheard of. u/DogApprehensive1482

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