I have two children that are born in the 2000s and they truly are living in a different era. Technology is readily available everywhere you turn. I am currently wrestling with giving my son a cellular phone. My daughter plays games on a tablet and can use my smart phone better than I can sometimes. When I take the kids to an arcade, they gravitate towards the new games (new to me) like Temple Run and Fruit Ninja instead of skee ball. This post is partly for those born before 2000 to remember what it was like growing up, but also to remind kids born in the 2000s what life was like “before being attached to a portable electronic device” was the norm. I am also about to turn 40 so this will most likely resonate with the 70s born generation.
Here are 30 things kids born in the 2000s would never understand.
1. When you said: Mom and Dad, we are going “outside”
Gone are the days where you just knew to be back home by ‘dark’ and you could roam the neighborhood with your friends on your bikes or make a trip to the local convenience store to get some candy from your allowance money. We roamed the neighborhood, we spend almost every day outside, at the park or at different friends houses. We were trusted with our semi-independence and we came back home when we were told to and grew up safely. In the world today, CPS is called if you allow your children to walk home from the park alone and many days are spent staying close to home with numerous check-ins with parents.
2. When you avoided the paddle at all costs
In elementary school, you really did not want to have to go to the “office” or have an encounter with the paddle back in my days. There are only a few schools left that allow disciplinary action outside of time outs or making a phone call to the parents. For those that grew up when I did, you feared the possibility of making an office trip and getting paddled. But kids to day don’t have to worry about this anymore.
3. When you had to dial a rotary phone
You know the one you had to dial with your finger. Of course when I was growing up there were plenty of other types of house phones available by then, but my parents liked to keep things until they no longer worked so we had one growing up.
4. When you said: Yo, did you page me?
Before cell phones,there were pagers. It was the only way you knew you were needed when you were away from your house – imagine that kids, a world without a cell phone. The longer you used it, the better you got at writing hello and other words with numbers. You can do a lot more with cell phones today.
5. When you watched Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2 and wished you could break dance
If you were a girl you wanted to be Kelly, and if you were a boy you wished you could dance like Turbo or Ozone. Yes these movies that came out in the 80s still provide us with awesome break dance moves to this day. I seriously can’t be the only one that got out some cardboard and tried to do a back spin.
6. When you saw the first cell phone
Ahh..the brick phone. The only reason I got to use one of these is because my mom’s work gave one to her. I got to use it one time in high school when I was taking a trip and she wanted me to use it ‘in case of an emergency’. SBTB is not on the list..so here is Zack with a brick phone to reminisce over. Just compare these things to what kids use today!
7. When you really believed these graphics were the best
Most kids I knew had ATARI. Apparently Intellivision was cheaper so that’s what we had. Regardless, the best graphics back then were pretty crappy but we played the heck out of it anyway. Today no child would bother with a game so simple.
8. When almost every girl had a perm
Remember when every girl with straight hair wanted it to be curly and every girl with wavy hair wanted it to be even curlier, so we all got spiral perms? Ewwww the smell. I do not miss the days of my mom putting that nasty stuff in my hair. I posted this pic for a #TBT the other day and I feel it’s the perfect representation of spiral perms in the 80s. That’s me on the left.
9. When we all had those BANGS
It was the teenage years and for whatever reason, big hair was in but most importantly BIG BANGS. I have no idea where the fad began or why, but we all did it. Even though the boys had nothing to do with this fad, they sure remember it too. Who else used a curling iron on their bangs just to rat them out with a comb and spray them until they felt like plastic? Aqua Net…I kind of miss you.
10. When you couldn’t wait to wear your new pair of JAMS on field day
JAMS were the coolest, I’m surprised they actually haven’t made a comeback. Every year on field/play day in elementary school you could look across the wide open grass and most boys and girls alike were sporting their JAMS.
11. When you first thought who is this Max Headroom?
I suppose the first and only “talking head” was this satirical character portrayed by Matt Frewer which took Britain, MTV and even our commercials by storm when he was the spokesman for New Coke (see #14).
13. Before energy drinks, there was Jolt Cola
This was the pre-monster drink we couldn’t get enough of. Kids everywhere were having Jolt Cola parties and getting the beginning signs of ADD with this highly caffeinated soda. Do they even make it anymore?
14. When the only cool thing about ‘New’ Coke was Max Headroom being in the commercial
This was probably the most ill-conceived idea by Coca-Cola. I mean…why not just drink Pepsi? Ca-ca-ca-ca-catch the wave!!!
15. When you knew exactly where you were when Challenger exploded
This was one of those events you will never forget, just like where you were on 9/11 and any other really tragic events in history. I was at school watching it live on TV and it was just heartbreaking.
16. When the best thing to give or receive was a mix tape
Besides passing love notes in class you made a mix tape for your boyfriend, girlfriend or best friend or someone you loved. Guardians of the Galaxy is a perfect modern day representation of that and has an awesome nostalgic soundtrack to boot.
17. When you first saw Michael Jackson moonwalking
Personal opinions aside about MJ as a person, you can’t deny you weren’t mesmerized when he was on TV doing the moonwalk for the first time.
18. You remember when MTV just played videos
Yes kids, it’s true. There were no shows whatsoever on MTV. They had awesome VJ’s and tons of music videos for your eyeballs. Ahhh…the good old days.
19. When you had scrunchies in every color
We all had them, we all used them and we had more colors than we could count and they are apparently making a comeback. I would be fine with leaving these in the 80s.
20. When you knew all the words to Ice Ice Baby
Say what you want about Rob Van Winkle but he was able to infiltrate your earholes without the power of social media, soundcloud or any other music sharing site. This song went viral before viral was a thing. I am pretty sure I’m not the only one that memorized all the words to Ice Ice Baby growing up.
21. When you got the perfect tight roll on your jeans
Ahh acid washed jeans tight rolled of course. This was the epitome of fashion back in the day.
22. When you first saw the video for We Are The World
This was another song we remembered growing up and we were in awe that so many artists got together in 1985. We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving.
23. When you got your first cabbage patch kid
Whether you liked it or not, Cabbage Patch Kids was a part of your youth. Mine was named “Felicia” ironically and she had a birth certificate and everything.She went everywhere with me for a while and I even took silly pictures of her like she really was my child.
24. When you couldn’t decide what color of jelly shoes to wear
I believe they might still make these but pretty much every girl on the planet growing up owned at least one pair, if not a multitude in every color they made them in.
25. When you couldn’t wait to take your boombox somewhere
Breakdancing and boomboxes could not live without each other. It was a time of emerging hip hop and the ability to take your music with you. These things are still around and somewhat making a comeback, but a constant staple of growing up was having your boombox accompany you to various places during your childhood.
26. When you first did The Bartman
Kids born in the 2000s might first think – what’s the big deal – The Simpsons are still around. Yes they are but kids everywhere had a Bart Simpson T-shirt and they were doing “The Bartman”.
27. When you had to use a road atlas to get somewhere
Before google maps and GPS and everything we use now to get somewhere, you kept your local road atlas in the car with it’s frayed edges and that’s how you knew where to go.
28. When you couldn’t wait to watch Fraggle Rock
Jim Henson has always been a genius, but there was something about the intro and those characters you couldn’t get enough of. Aside from cool puppets they also had the best names.
29. When you wanted to be riding Falkor
Yes the graphics on this movie are not the greatest but many nights were spent watching this mystical movie following Atreyu, Bastian, and Falkor. I tried to get my kids to watch this movie but they just aren’t having it.
30. When you tried to see if you could get the largest collection of garbage pail kids
It’s possible the creator of these absolutely loathed Cabbage Patch Kids and that is perfectly understandable. We all circulated these disgusting cards for a bit until the fad ran it’s course.