10 Things You’ve Forgotten About the 1990s

10 Things You’ve Forgotten About the 1990s

Over 25 years have passed since the 1990s came and went, but, with a haze of well-timed nostalgia, what was it about that decade that made it so special? Join me, as we go back to a time of cloned sheep, Rollerblades and the fear of the millennium bug. So what were the 1990s for you? For me, there were…

1. Some of the best films, ever!

The phrase, “I’m having an old friend for dinner…” would never be the same after 1991 when Hannibal Lecter gave it a much darker meaning at the end of The Silence of the Lambs. Of course this was the decade of , still regarded by many as one of Disney’s greatest moments and Tom Hanks gormless Forrest Gump – “Run, Forrest! Run!” And if you didn’t well up when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson sunk beneath the sea to join the fated Titanic in 1997 you were either not there, or made of stone. And, let’s not forget Pulp Fiction (just what was in the briefcase?) or 1999’s Fight Club, but I am not allowed to talk about that…

John Travolta in Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta from Pulp Fiction

    2. Also, some of the best TV, ever!

    It was not just the big screen that was wowing us in the ’90s. How about spooky Fox Mulder in The X Files, which hit our screens in 1993? We wanted to believe and knew that the truth was out there. Or how about Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer? A young Will Smith became a trendsetter as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and animated fans were able to welcome Peter Griffin, Brian the dog and evil baby Stewie (of course with an English accent) in Family Guy. South Park was just generally rude – ‘Oh my God, they killed Kenny!’

    X Files

      X-Files Promotion

      Of course, there was only one show that got everyone talking when The Rembrandts ‘I’ll Be There for You’ heralded Friends. The story of  Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Ross and Monica had us glued to our sofas for almost 10 years.

      However, sometimes the adverts were better than the shows. Back in the 1990s there were some crazy commercials; bright colours, mad graphics and far too many jump cuts, like this classic example.


      Swipe Mate

        Shutterstock: 90s Nostalgia Adverts

        Just for a bit of semi-nostagic fun, have a look at modern products given a 90s commercial make-over – it’s just like you’re back there on the sofa!

        3. It was when we first ‘went online’

        Retro Computer

          Retro Computer

          In an age when you sound massively old if you say ‘you remember the time before the Internet’ it was 1991 when many of us got our first view of the World Wide Web with America Online (AOL).

          A dial-up service (ask your parents about the pain of waiting for an image to load line by line!) was the Internet provider for over 10 million people during the ’90s.

          4. We played the most amazing games

          Today mobile gaming is something we take for granted, but back then mobile gaming was limited to a pack of cards (Top Trumps if you were very lucky!). The Nintendo Game Boy changed that with its interchangeable game cartridges with classics like Tetris and Super Mario Land. Although it was released in 1989, it truly led a revolution in gaming through the ’90s.

          Nintendo Game Boy

            Nintendo Game Boy

            More traditional games of the era included ‘Elefun’ a battery powered elephant that blew ‘butterflies’ in the air for you to catch in nets. More likely, it blew paper butterflies all over your room, most of which would never be seen again. Hours of fun for all the family!


            An eclectic trend of the ’90s were Pogs, which consisted of milk caps that you could lose at the hand of a skilled player wielding a metal ‘slammer’. You had to build a stack of caps which players would take turns to throw their slammer on the stack, if you were playing ‘for keeps’ you would retain any that landed face up. This usually promoted tantrums from players who were losing their cherished caps and calls from schools stating that this was a form of gambling and should be outlawed at all costs.

            5. It was all about the music

            If you find yourself singing ‘One time’ out loud whenever you hear ‘Killing Me Softly’ by The Fugees on the radio, you are truly a child of the ’90s. Or how about ‘Flat Eric’ rocking it out to ‘Flat Beat’ by Mr Oizo trying to sell you jeans.



              Of course, one of the pivotal hits of the ’90s was Madonna with ‘Vogue.’ Yeah, we all ‘Vogued’ in the school yard. If you were one of the cool kids you may have been more into the Seattle grunge scene with Nirvana and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.

              6. But, what we ‘really, really want(ed)’…

              The Spice Girls

                Spice Girls

                Forget boy bands, the 90’s was the time of ‘Girl Power’ in the form of The Spice Girls who hit the scene with their Billboard hit ‘Wannabe’, I am sure we all still want to ‘zig a zig ahh…’ whatever that really meant.

                It was a time of manufactured empowerment, but we didn’t mind as the discussions of the plus points of Sporty, Ginger, Baby or Scary and Posh Spice kept us amused around water coolers. Of course, the less said about Spice Girls The Movie the better, you either loved it or agreed with the critics. At least it won a Golden Raspberry for ‘Worst Actress’ – praise indeed!

                7. It was all about the gadgets

                If the ’80s were about mobile music with the ubiquitous Sony Walkman, then the 90’s were all about bringing it up to date. No more cassettes. With the Discman, you could use your shiny new CDs. Of course, the downside of them skipping constantly (despite the promised shock protection) meant we had to take care when we jogged.


                One of the must-have bits of tech was a Tamagotchi, a pocket sized digital pet that required your near-constant attention feeding, disciplining and cleaning up after your digital friend. Of course if you neglected it, you would find it would die. However, unlike the family hamster, you could bring it back by pressing the A and C buttons. If only real life were that simple!



                  8. Of course, the best dressed people were all wearing…

                  Ripped Jeans

                    Ripped Jeans

                    Don your ripped jeans, a G-Shock watch and a Hypercolor T-shirt and you were ready to go out on the town. Of course your parents may well bemoan the state of your torn and worn denim (You paid good money for those?) or in my case sew them up, ‘good as new’ without you knowing! (Thanks, but no thanks mum!)

                    The Hypercolor T-shirt changed colour as it warmed up. Cue inappropriate hand prints and unfortunate patches under your arms!

                    9. ‘You Gotta Catch Them All’, the first time round

                    Pokémon was created, initially as a game before becoming a TV show a series of movies and trading cards. Most of us took on the role of Pokémon trainers trying to capture every possible character and battling our friends. It would be over 20 years before Pokémon Go was even imagined, but we were already hooked!


                      Pokemon Trading Cards


                      10. If you were important you had a pager

                      Well, it was likely you were a god! Whereas cell phones were available in the ’80s, a $4,000+ price tag put them out of reach of most of us. By contrast, in 1994, there were over 61 million pagers in use.

                      A pager sent short text and numeric messages. You had to ring an operator who would send the message to the pager. So, we became adept at creating codes we could use. A typical coded message between me and my girlfriend of the day may have gone like this:

                      HelloI love youI miss youBest friends foreverHugs and KissesCall me now!

                      Sadly the response I got was:

                      1134 2 09 – Go to hell… (You had to turn your pager upside down to get that one).

                      Pager Code

                        It was a relief when the first affordable cell phones appeared in the late ’90s. Who can forget the almost bulletproof Nokia 6110 or the Star Trek-like Motorola StarTAC.

                        Nokia Cell Phone

                          Nokia Phone

                          While we are reminiscing about cell phones, let’s have a moment to remember Nokia, the everlasting phones with the massively addictive ‘Snake’ game. Happy days!

                          It’s all nostalgia

                          More than 25 years may have passed, but we can still hanker after the nostalgia, feeling old-fashioned about a ‘better age’ that feels like it was only yesterday. Damn, now we are starting to sound like our parents! Please, let me go back.

                          Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via

                          More by this author

                          Time for an alcohol detox Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox 5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All Understanding Millennials – Who is Generation Y? Natural History Museum Museums in a Changing World – The Evolution of museums Holistic Rehab - Despair and Addiction Holistic Rehab – Choices in dealing with addiction

                          Trending in Culture

                          1 18 Dating Ideas with Breathtaking Scenery in the East of England 2 18 Things You Need To Know Before You Get Your First Tattoo 3 7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience 4 What GoT Would Be Like if the Characters Used Social Media 5 30 Free Dating Ideas For Landscape-Lovers In Ireland

                          Read Next


                          Published on November 14, 2018

                          Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                          Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                          With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                          For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                          In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                          Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                          Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                          It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                          For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                          Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                          Symptoms of Fatigue

                          Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                          • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                          • mental blocks
                          • lack of motivation
                          • headache
                          • dizziness
                          • muscle weakness
                          • slowed reflexes and responses
                          • impaired decision-making and judgement
                          • moodiness, such as irritability
                          • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                          • reduced immune system function
                          • blurry vision
                          • short-term memory problems
                          • poor concentration
                          • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                          Causes of Fatigue

                          The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                          • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                          • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                          • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                          • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                          Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                          Medical Causes of Fatigue

                          If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                          Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:


                          Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                          Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                          There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                          Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                          Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.


                          This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]


                          Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                          Sleep Apnea

                          Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                          Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                          Thyroid disease

                          An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                          Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                          • Lack of sleep
                          • Too much sleep 
                          • Alcohol and drugs 
                          • Sleep disturbances 
                          • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                          • Poor diet 

                          Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                          • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                          • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                          • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                          • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                          Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                          Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                          • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                          • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                          • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                          How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                          Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                          1. Tell The Truth

                          Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                          To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                          Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                          The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                          One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                          • How you feel
                          • What time of day it is
                          • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                          • How your mind and body reacts

                          This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                          2. Reduce Your Commitments

                          When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.


                          If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                          When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                          Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                          3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                          If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                          Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                          If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                          Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                          Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                          4. Express More Gratitude

                          Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                          It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                          Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                          5. Focus On Yourself

                          Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                          There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                          But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                          We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                          6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                          Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.


                          Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                          The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                          Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                          7. Take a Power Nap

                          When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                          Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                          This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                          8. Take More Exercise

                          The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                          Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                          The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                          You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                          9. Get More Quality Sleep

                          To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                          Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                          My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                          10. Improve Your Diet

                          Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                          Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                          On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.


                          To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                          Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                          Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                          11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                          Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                          When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                          Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                          My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                          12. Get Hydrated

                          Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                          Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                          If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                          The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                          The Bottom Line

                          These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                          If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                          Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via


                          [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                          [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                          [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                          [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                          [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                          [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

                          Read Next