- People who were born in 1999 will turn 21 this year.
- The 2000s have been full of technological advancements. Almost all of the tech we used in the ’90s is completely obsolete today.
- From Furbys to floppy disks, kids born in the 2000s just don’t get it.
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Kids who will turn 21 this year were born in 1999 (let that sink in for a second). Technology has changed a lot since then.
That said, anyone born after 1999 will never know what it was like to carry around CD cases, fold up a paper map, or be reliant on a payphone to reach your friends. Here are 22 things that people born after 1999 would have a hard time explaining.
The sound of a real alarm clock will probably give anyone born after 1999 a heart attack.
- Faisal Mahmood/Reuters
Most phones have an alarm clock, stopwatch, and timer built in, making alarm clocks completely unnecessary.
Everyone wanted a Furby, even though the toy was always creepy.
- Bethany Clarke/Getty Images
Furby appeared on the scene in 1998, and became every kid’s most wanted Christmas toy.
It soon became every kid’s nightmare, as the gibberish-speaking, giant eye-blinking toy was terrifying.
While Hasbro recently gave Furby a makeover, it will probably never reach the same fever pitch it did in the ’90s.
Floppy disks weren’t just the “save” icon on your computer.
- Martin Child / Getty Images
Floppy disks were first introduced in 1967, and now, 50 years after they first appeared, Sony is rumored to have finally stopped producing them.
Beanie Babies were a global obsession, and everyone thought they would get rich off of them.
Back in the day, people would obsessively collect these toys, keep the tags on, and believe they would be worth millions one day.
If a kid saw a Beanie Baby today, they’d probably be confused – they look like any other stuffed animal.
With step-by-step directions on Google Maps, paper maps are hardly necessary anymore.
Kids these days will never know the struggle of trying to fold these back together.
The quickest way to get in touch with someone was using a pay phone.
- Spencer Platt/Getty Images
While pay phones today are few and far between, they’re apparently still generating millions of dollars. Someone should tell NYC – the mayor announced a plan to convert all the pay phones into WiFi hot spots.
When you wanted to talk on the phone, you had to stand next to the wall or near a plug.
In 2017, 45% of kids between 10-12 had their own smartphone in the US. Before the world became so technologically linked, pretty much the only way to get in touch with anyone was by – get this! – calling them on their “home phone.”
Rolodexes were the preferred mode of keeping all of your addresses in one place.
- Altrendo Images/Shutterstock
Can you imagine having to scroll through this thing to find a friend’s number?
A trip to Blockbuster to rent videos was a treat.
- Michal Chmurski/Shutterstock
VHS tapes were still the most cost-effective and popular way to watch movies – it wouldn’t be until 2002 that DVD players would out-sell video recorders. But in 1997, there were only around 100 movies available on DVD. Everything else was on VHS.
While some people miss tapes, no one will miss the anger of discovering someone taped over the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” finale, or finding out the tape hadn’t been recording the entire time.
Crystal Pepsi was SO much better than regular Pepsi, even though it tasted the same.
- Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Crystal Pepsi appeared on shelves in 1992, and then mysteriously disappeared after a couple of years. It’s just clear-colored Pepsi, but people were weirdly obsessed with it.
Lisa Frank designs were everything — and everywhere.
- Instagram/Lisa Frank
Fashion has never again been so colorful and whimsical. Lisa Frank made literally everything that a middle school girl could possibly want: clothes, school supplies, posters, bedding. Truly, your entire life could have been decked out in Lisa Frank.
Dial-up was the only way to get on the internet.
Most young people these days have no idea what this sound means. But for those that do, it probably sends chills down their spine. It’s a reminder that in a time before WiFi, people had to use their phone line to use the internet. And it also meant that if you were on the phone, no one else could use the internet.
“Beep me” is a phrase you don’t hear anymore.
- Bail Songwut/Shutterstock
Largely only seen on medical TV shows now, pagers were status symbols in the ’80s and ’90s. Now, with the rise of cell phones, everyone is reachable all the time – they don’t need to be paged first.
Thanks to the internet, phone books aren’t really a thing anymore.
- Michal Mrozek/Shutterstock
Remember having to bust out one of these to find someone’s number?
People carried around all their favorite CDs in a giant CD case.
If you wanted to be the DJ at your friend’s birthday party, instead of making a playlist, you’d have three choices: 1) to bring all of your CDs over, 2) to burn a CD, or 3) to make a mixtape. None were as easy as just hopping on Spotify and compiling your favorites.
Even just listening to music on your discman involved carrying these cases around, unless you wanted to listen to the same 15 songs on repeat.
Fax machines were the original email.
Almost instantaneous in their sending and receiving, fax machines were like the original email, but handwritten. Today, a fax machine seems archaic.
Accidentally killing your Tamagotchi was every kid’s (and Tamagotchi-sitting parent’s) worst nightmare.
- REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
The Tamagotchi was originally released in 1996. Basically, they were portable pets – owners would feed, clean, and play games with them. There was also a social aspect: if two Tamagotchi were near each other, they were able to detect one another (not unlike Snapchat’s Snapcodes feature) and visit each other’s screens.
While Tamagotchi are still being made, they never recreated the magic they had in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Nintendo 64 was the ultimate game console.
The Nintendo 64’s main contribution to the world of gaming was the innovative controller and its analog stick. When it first premiered in 1996, the N64 was on every kid’s wish list – along with classic games like Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and GoldenEye 007.
Though its graphics and gameplay have been far surpassed, there’s a reason that game developers continue to reimagine original N64 games to this day.
Vinyl records have made a comeback with the hipster crowd, but most kids would have no idea what to do with them.
While record players are enjoying a bit of a renaissance with the hipster crowd, they’re pretty much forgotten by everyone else. People enjoy being able to carry around their entire music library in their phone too much to go back to lugging vinyl around.
You had to REWIND tapes to hear songs again — and guess when to stop.
- Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters
Before iPods, Zunes, or smartphones, there was the Walkman, which first walked into our lives in 1979. The only way to listen to your music on the go was to pop a cassette into this little contraption (and later a CD into a discman), and hope that your little sister didn’t record over your mixtape.
The Wonder Ball combined everyone’s favorite things: chocolate and candy.
Ah, the Wonder Ball. Before being discontinued in 2004, these candies were everyone’s favorite treats. Originally they came with a toy inside, like a Happy Meal, but Nestle was soon alerted to the fact that this was a choking hazard. So they rebranded and filled them with candy instead.
AIM was everyone’s favorite after-school activity.
- Flickr / Travis Wise
AIM defined the hours after school for an entire generation.
After 20 years of instant messages, AIM shut down for good in 2017.