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30 Things Only Those Who Are True ’90s Kids Would Understand

30 Things Only Those Who Are True ’90s Kids Would Understand

Ah, the ’90s. No other decade was quite as grungy, outspoken, or innovative. The decade saw incredible rises in new technologies, as well as unexpected social changes. Regardless of the worldwide implications of those 10 years, everyone knows ’90s kids were the real winners of this decade. The unique intersection of new technologies and new perspectives gave ’90s kids a truly distinctive growing up experience. So grab your POGs, CD ROMS, and Pokémon cards, these 30 experiences are things every ’90s kid can appreciate.

1. They Loved JTT

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    There are two kinds of ’90s kids, those who had a crush on JTT, and liars.

    2. They Hated NES Cartridges

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      Game consoles today are light years ahead of where they were for ’90s kids. Despite the limited graphics, wired controllers, nonexistent soundtracks, and simplified levels, we were still stoked to play video games even if the arcade was closed. Every ’90s kid shares the eternal bond of fighting with your NES system to get your game to play. Various combinations of dusting, breathing, and jiggling the power source will always be the hallmark of the ’90s kid experience.

      3. They Had To Be Patient

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        In less than 10 years we’ve gone from clunky cable to audiences controlling exactly when and where they watch a show. Incredible freedom to watch media on mobile devices means kids today will never know the pain of waiting seven entire days for the next episode. Binge watching a show was only possible through mass numbers of VHS tapes, but those always seemed to get ruined anyways. This is possibly the most disturbing hardship of the ’90s kid.

        4. They Had Limited Game Worlds

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          Along with game systems that were first-generation and full of glitches, ’90s kids were forced to play games with limited worlds. Whether the games took place in one room or had a simplified 8-bit scrolling track, the backgrounds, settings, and explorable space amounted to less than one room in Skyrim. 

          5. They Had Limited Game Songs

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            While ’90s kids were playing that game with only one objective over and over, we were happy to perpetually rock out to the 45-second MIDI loop that made the soundtrack. Not only was game space so limited that songs couldn’t even use real instruments, you were virtually guaranteed to sing the song for months afterwards. Oh, and by the way, there’s no memory on your game console, so you can’t save. Every ’90s kid can remember leaving their game system on for a week in order to pass a game, praying their parents wouldn’t notice.

            6. They Had the Real Power Rangers

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              ’90s kids also have the unique distinction of watching the Power Rangers when they used karate and quick thinking, not just weapons.

              7. They Were the Only Ones Who Loved the Internet

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                The Internet in the ’90s was not only limited in the number of websites available, it was also limited because many people from older generations thought the Internet was a trend. Despite the fact that our middle and high school papers had plenty of sources waiting at our fingertips, most ’90s kids can remember being forbidden from using the Internet for research at school. Sure, other generations can complain about having to do their homework by flipping through stacks and stacks of textbooks, but no other generation knows the pain of flipping through stacks of textbooks right next to a computer connected to the Internet. However, who knows how much research we could’ve done on a dial-up connection anyway?

                8. They Had Too Many 2D Cartoons

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                  Not only did ’90s kids have to suffer through subpar gaming, we also had much simpler cartoons. Not only were cartoons always two dimensional, the ones that were three dimensional were rendered on computers less powerful than your iPhone. Though this caused untold heartache, seeing Toy Story on the big screen for the first time was pretty cool.

                  9. They All Wished To Be Topanga

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                    After getting through the entire school week with none of the shows we liked to watch, ’90s kids would get together on Friday nights to tune in to our favorite shows. Every ’90s kid will remember the mainstay Boy Meets World, because all of us spent the weekend crying that we didn’t have Topanga’s hair.

                    10. They Had Too Many Road Trips

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                      I know what you’re thinking, yes, everyone is forced into a road trip at one time or another. But picture everything you hate about a road trip, with absolutely no screens whatsoever. Not only did we not have sophisticated mobile game options like the PSP or 3DS, there was no way to play VHS movies in vehicles for a long time. Plus, don’t forget that MP3 players were still a long ways off, so your very best hope was a pile of tapes and your parents’ Walkman. Combine this with less frequent air travel, and every ’90s kid likely has a few road trip horror stories to tell.

                      11. They Had TV-less Airplanes

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                        Much like being bored to death in the back your parents’ minivan, if you were lucky enough to fly somewhere instead, airplanes didn’t have television screens either. Unlike today, you couldn’t even suffer through reruns of shows you don’t watch anyway, you just had to watch the slightly sweaty stranger next to you slowly fall sleep.

                        12. “Bro, that hyper color looks rad.”

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                          There’s no way to explain why hyper color was cool. If you don’t get it, you just weren’t a ’90s kid.

                          13. They Weren’t Warned About Mufasa’s Death

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                            There were great moments for kids’ movies in the ’90s, and then there were traumatizing ones. Imagine if the first time you watched Simba’s father die, the image was as big as an IMAX screen. 

                            14. They Had To Be Kind And Rewind

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                              Every ’90s kid can commiserate together over the hours we’ll never get back from VCRs. Not only did you have to rewind the movie every time you viewed it, the last person at the video rental store usually didn’t. Infinite sleepovers, family nights, and parties were interrupted by needing to rewind. There is no way to measure the number of moods killed at the hands of this ’90s relic, not to mention the dollars we’ll never get back from overpriced video rental stores. To this day, I, like all ’90s kids, am tempted to bow down in front of a Redbox machine every time I see one.

                              15. They Had Tamagotchi

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                                Just like the plastic and paper toys we collected, ’90s kids were first to see the rise of mobile gaming. Looking at a Tamagotchi now seems boring, but at the time, we were more than happy to have games follow us wherever we went.

                                16. They Played With Gak

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                                  Though the decade was a sea of nonsensical trends, the ’90s also gave rise to one of the greatest toys of all time, Gak. This toy did nothing, had very few uses, and ultimately ended up permanently glued into your mom’s carpet, yet every ’90s kid had to have their own tub. Neon colored and virtually useless, every ’90s kid has a soft spot in their heart for this toy.

                                  17. They Saw Limitless Trends

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                                    Sure the ’80s saw a lot of consumers buy pet rocks, but nobody did trends quite like the ’90s kids. Aside from Gak and Tamagotchi, Pokemon, Digimon, Crazy Bones, POGs, and countless others made the ’90s a heyday of collectible toys. This is one thing ’90s kids remember that parents are probably glad to see go by the wayside.

                                    18. They Had Only Two Players

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                                      Early video consoles not only played simplified, less captivating games, most only had the capacity for two players. If you had a group of friends over or were having a party, you were forced to switch off between players, never truly getting a group experience.

                                      19. They Had Dramatic TV Goodbyes

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                                        In the pre-9/11 world, passengers were not the only people allowed into an airport terminal. Countless TV shows and movies revolved around a last-minute meeting at the airport terminal gate. Such a thing could never happen today, wiping out the credibility of countless TV and movie moments.

                                        20. They Loved Supergroups

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                                          Sure every decade has their share of musical groups, however the ’90s was a golden age of supergroups. Like collectible toys, ’90s kids had limitless choices when it came to boy and girl groups. Many people are happy that the music industry today has thrown away this particular trend, but nothing felt quite as exciting to a ’90s kid as a new N’Sync or Spice Girl CD.

                                          21. They Were Forced To Use The A: Drive

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                                            Only kids from the early ’90s can say they had to use more than four discs to install a game on the computer. Floppy disks were fragile, low capacity, and took up way too much space.

                                            22. They Had Sitcoms

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                                              Another thing ’90s kids have in common is being the last generation to be swept up in a multitude of TV sitcoms. The increasing options for where we get our media, including cable networks, online streaming, and greater access to foreign TV, makes for a much more diverse landscape of TV genres now. The last 15 years have seen a sharp decrease in three camera, laugh track ridden, location limited sitcoms. It seems the years of Seinfeld, Friends, Will and Grace, Roseanne, and similar shows, has finally come to an end.

                                              23. Their Screens Weighed More Than You Do

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                                                In today’s world of shrinking screen thickness, ’90s kids can likely remember having to haul computer or television screens that were a workout in themselves.

                                                24. They Had No Internet Speed

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                                                  Not only was the Internet disregarded by many as inconsequential, it was also slow as molasses. ’90s kids are likely to still hear internet dial-up tones in their nightmares.

                                                  25. They Had Jurassic Park First

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                                                    All the things ’90s kids struggled with we gained back in Jurassic Park. Easily among the most innovative films of all time, it was exciting and mind blowing to see such sophisticated special effects for the first time.

                                                    26. They Loved Mary-Kate and Ashley

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                                                      In a decade rife with tween and teen stars, nobody was quite as ingenious as Mary-Kate and Ashley. The bulk of their vast media empire was built when they were young teens, through a series of direct to video movies. Any ’90s kid, or at least any ’90s kid with a sister, will recall a childhood full of piles and piles of Mary-Kate and Ashley mysteries, stories, and movies.

                                                      27. They Treasured Logo Sweaters

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                                                        Much to the chagrin of our parents, ’90s kids were crazy about name brands. No ’90s closet was complete without at least a few sweaters showing nothing but a brand name in giant letters. Between GAP, Nike, Adidas, and many other brands, every ’90s kid was a glorified billboard at one point or another.

                                                        28. They Didn’t Need Reality TV

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                                                          Reality TV is one of the cheapest genres to shoot, since there’s no “name brand” talent, and filming can take place in everyday locations. With the advent of Survivor (which first hit TVs in Europe in the late ’90s), TV channels were more than happy to begin producing reality TV programs by the boatload. In today’s climate of more reality programming than not, every ’90s kid is caught wishing for the good old days.

                                                          29. They Saw The First Cell Phones

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                                                            When cell phones were invented, they were easily the size of a brick. Ignorant to the ultimately incredible and life-changing things cell phones would bring to the table, every ’90s kid can remember mocking their parents for using clunky, giant, heavy cell phones.

                                                            30. They Had To Use CDs

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                                                              Despite the limited space on CDs, most of us were more than happy to cart around a booklet of hundreds of disks and a Discman just so we could listen to music. Surprisingly, the worst part about using a Discman wasn’t the 30 CDs you needed along with it, it was the a laser that read the disk. If you were jogging, in a car, or even walking home, the laser would skip with the slightest bump to the device. Yet another reason all of us were beyond excited when MP3 players hit the scene in the early 2000s.

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                                                              Alicia Prince

                                                              A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                                              Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                                                              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                                              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                                              Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                                                              I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                                                              I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                                                              Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                                                              How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                                                              Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                                                              Create a Positive Experience

                                                              Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                                                              When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                                                              What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                                                              Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                                                              As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                                                              Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                                                              Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                                                              Help Leadership Skills

                                                              It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                                                              Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                                                              As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                                                              Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                                                              If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                                                              Build Better Teams

                                                              Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                                                              In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                                                              If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                                                              When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                                                              Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                                                              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                                              There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                                                              Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                                                              1. Listen

                                                              Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                                                              Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                                                              People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                                                              Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                                                              Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                                                              2. Know Your Audience

                                                              Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                                                              Here is a good way to think about it:

                                                              Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                                                              You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                                                              3. Minimize

                                                              I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                                                              He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                                                              Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                                                              State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                                                              The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                                                              4. Over Communicate

                                                              So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                                                              What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                                                              Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                                                              Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                                                              Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                                                              There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                                                              5. Body Language

                                                              The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                                                              When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                                                              In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                                                              When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                                                              Conclusion

                                                              Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                                                              Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                                                              There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                                                              Now go communicate your way to success.

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                                                              Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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