WARNING: If you grew up in the 1990s, exercise extreme caution when visiting a trendy bar or shopping mall. You may experience a high school flashback!
Today’s youth has co-opted our teenage fashions, is “discovering” our grunge bands and has embraced retro video games. Not to sound like Ed Anger (outspoken columnist for the ’90s supermarket rag, The Weekly World News), but the next time I see an 18-year old NYU student in a Bart Simpson t-shirt, Doc Martens and ‘mom’ jeans, I may have to tap her on the soldier and lecture her about the ‘slacker’ generation!
Want to prove you are an OG when it comes to 1990s pop culture? Take this simple tech quiz, which will bring back memories of dial-up and Microfiche searches.
25 Signs You Were a 1990s Teen – Technology Edition!
1. You collected Beanie Babies instead of Bitcoin
2. You owned a pager/beeper
3. When you grew up, Apple was a disastrous failure and Microsoft was cutting edge
4. You thought a boombox with CD player was the height of technological innovation
5. You scheduled your evening activities around your favorite TV shows because you weren’t sure how to work the VCR
6. For most of your life, Blockbuster was THE place to rent or buy videos (on VHS and later DVD)
7. Your English teacher taught you how to write a research report using index cards
8. You know the Dewey Decimal system
9. You spent precious hours scrolling through microfiche to find old articles for a high school paper
10. You begged your parents for a second phone line for your bedroom
11. You thought dial-up was a groundbreaking invention—and so fast!
12. You were active on AOL when it first launch and eagerly awaited the “you’ve got mail” alert
13. You were kicked off AOL at least once for a Terms of Service violation
14. You took an analog photo class in high school or college that involved dipping your hands in toxic chemicals without gloves
15. Dreaming of Internet startup success, you imagined earning a 6 figure income straight out of college
16. You started your own ‘zine, which involved spending hours with the library Xerox machine
17. You grew up salivating over Kelly from Married With Children, as Internet porn had not gone mainstream
18. You distinctly remember when Google and YouTube caught on– after you graduated high school
19. You jogged around the high school track with a yellow Sony Sport Walkman in your hand
20. You were super excited to get your first portable compact disc player only to discover it skipped constantly unless it was sitting on a table
21. You used actual encyclopedias to write reports, not Wikipedia
22. You have accessed your email through a telnet account
23. You used Wordperfect for your school reports
24. You spent countless hours playing the Super Nintendo video game “Street Fighter 2”
25. You remember when your parents bought cordless phones and you could bring the handset up to your room for (semi) private conversations. What freedom!
What’s Your Score?
Poser! You clearly grew up after the Clinton administration. Click on Wikipedia immediately to study up on 1990s history. Dressing in a Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt from Urban Outfitters does not make you a 1990s expert!
Not bad! Your memories of 1990s technology imply you were living on a commune for most of the decade, spent only a few of your teen years in the ’90s, or went to too many raves to accurately recall childhood details. Dust off the Super Nintendo sitting in your parent’s garage to get back in touch with your 20th century roots.
Congrats! You are a bonafide 1990s teen. You don’t need to attach a corded handset to your iPhone or play 8-bit video games to feel cool. You lived in the 1990s and are a true OG.