#TBT – Top 5 Throwbacks You’ll Actually Miss If You’re a “Millennial”

Disclaimer: this has NOTHING to do with food. Enter at your own risk.

I was discussing the term “millennial” the other day with my friend Iris. She voiced her annoyance with how much she despises being put in that category, simply because we were born in 1984.

Yes bitch, I’m 34.

According to my research (aka the internet), the actual age range of a millennial is anyone born in between 1981-1997, anyone after that is part of a new generation. And…God help you.

I have to say there is part of me that agrees with the disgust of being put in the millennial bucket. Even though I’ve somewhat regressed in my years (mentally) thanks to my job, I had a mostly tech-free childhood, a semi tech-free adolescence, and now here I am, glued to my phone and my laptop like it was giving me orgasms and money every time I used it.

Well…I guess it CAN technically do that…depending on what apps we’re talking about…

BUT I DIGRESS AS PER USUAL.

I just really wanted to talk about what life was like before all this, because I WAS THERE. Through the primitive forms of texting like AIM (RIP Buddy List) and the primitive forms of email (HAND-WRITTEN notes). I even remember going to libraries and reading actual books. In fact, I still read actual books. Only time I read on my iPad is if I’m on a very long flight. And music?? Oh my god…kids, please allow me to explain how we “downloaded music” back in the day…

Top 5 Throwbacks You'll Actually Miss

  1. Computer Day. I have friends who send their children to school with iPads now. We had ONE room in the entire school that had maybe 20 computers. Now we technically have computers in our pockets. It’s fucking BANANA LAND how fast technology evolves. Anyway – back to the computers – those bulky things were COVETED back then. I’m no historian but I figure that room was worth roughly 12 million dollars. And what did we do with them? We used Microsoft Word and played with Clip Art. We made flyers with different color fonts that would still print in black and white (makes sense). Oh AND, we were TAUGHT how to type. It wasn’t just ingrained in us from the womb. Remember MAVIS BEACON?! Yea that’s what we learned on. And last but not least, once in a while you’d get to play Oregon Trail for THE WHOLE CLASS and MAYBE you wouldn’t die from dysentery. No I’m kidding, you’d ALWAYS die from dysentery. Fuck that game. 
  2. AIM (1997-99). If you had a boyfriend or a crush, you LIVED for AIM. Remember that squeaking opening-door sound when he or she would sign on? And even though there were no differentiating squeaks…you somehow knew your crush’s squeak? Your heart would flutter. You’d STARE at their screen name and wait for that very affectionate “hey”. You’d chat for minutes, sometimes HOURS, and then they’d sign off. The door would slam and you’d go to sleep with a smile on your face. Then there were creepy chat rooms. UNRELATED BUT WHY WAS THE QUEENS CHAT ROOM SO HARD TO GET INTO SERIOUSLY. AIM (early 2000’s). This AIM was of a very different mindset; Emo stuff was huge, but so were rhymes and music lyrics. *~iT wAs aLsO wHeN wE sTaRtEd TyPiNg LiKe tHiS~*. Essentially, this was when away messages started to get creative and colorful. “Sorry I’m not home right now I’m walking in the Spiderwebs” – OMG combining an away message AND a song lyric? This bitch knows whats up. Or my personal favorite: see below. I mean…JESUS CHRIST.
  3. AOL Screen Names. There were two types of screen names in this world: the ones with “angel” “69” “Xx” and the ones with “Mike12345”. I’m going to let you guess which category I fell in. In my defense, I actually went from basic bitch to “yep that’s Dara” very quickly though. My first one was “QtBaby411” *punches self in face*, and then my other one was “OdamndatsuxX”. Yea…read it out loud. It was a parody of the girls who put all the Oo’s and Xx’s in their screen names and THAT’S what I came up with: Oh Damn Dat Sucks. I’ll see myself out. But seriously is “QtAngelQnZbAbY69Sex” that much better? 
  4. Napster.  Do you know how we used to “download” songs before the internet happened? We used to get a BLANK TAPE and WAIT BY A BOOMBOX for the RADIO to play it and then we would hit RECORD and wait until the song was finished to hit STOP. Did your mind just explode?? Anyway, Napster was the absolute BEST thing to ever happen to music lovers. It was a free P2P file sharing (basically illegal) system, so basically you’d “share” music with other people and download it from them. It would take up to 20 mins to download ONE song, and sometimes it would just stop in the middle because someone’s internet would crash and burn, so you’d only get half the song. I’m telling you, the struggle was real. BUT, I stand by the fact that Napster had absolutely ANY song you could ever want, including weird remixes like this one: When Blue Eyes Meets Bed Stuy. I can NEVER find this damn song anywhere except YouTube. 
  5. Blockbuster. Remember the days of 25 channels? Kids these days don’t know what it’s like to grow up without every TV show and movie at your fingertips. Netflix is a game changer but I was actually a Netflix subscriber back in the day when you had to MAIL BACK your DVD’s. But before that happened, we would go to Blockbuster and rent a movie, A VHS MOVIE, get some movie candy (Sno-Caps or GTFO), and it would be like, a big event. You’d make it a Goddamn Blockbuster night!! But what if they didn’t have your movie?! THE HORROR. And after you were done with said Blockbuster movie, you’d have to rewind it and drop it off otherwise you’d get charged for keeping it late. AND SO HELP YOU IF YOU DIDN’T REWIND. I’m actually not sure what happens when you don’t rewind…I was never brave enough to find out.

Now I play movies on my laptop in the background while I’m living every day life. Sometimes I don’t even watch them. I’ll put on Top Chef while I’m drunk-cooking and pretend they’re judging me on my knife skills. Totally a smart thing to do when you’re drunk by the way (don’t try that at home, kids). 

Anyway that’s all I have time for today. You’re welcome for the memories of a simpler time. Follow my Nextels and Glowsticks playlist on Spotify, especially if you’re a Queens/NYC kid. You will prob get tears in your eyes with some of those jams.

One Comment

  1. I was recently discussing old AIM names with friends. I also remember having a main one but then one or two secret ones because…that’s what we did. HA! My main one from age 15 until AIM’s death was roxysweatshirt, because I had this Roxy/Quiksilver blue hoodie that I literally wore every day my entire junior year of high school. Some other names I had were daria_fan_one, the_devils_cabana_girl (a “Simpsons” reference”), nyc_addict, and roxy_kitten. Oh LORD. All those underscores. Haaaa.

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