I’m a ’90s kid. Born in 1990 to be exact, so every one of my childhood memories up until my teen years (because let’s face it, 2000-03 were basically ’90s leftovers) are wrapped up in everything ’90s. And I probably don’t even have the entire ’90s experience like those friends of mine who attended high school during that decade.
Call me biased, but I think the ’90s were the best decade to be growing up. Sure, the hairstyles were gross and the fashion questionable, but it was a simpler time.
1. The movies
“Home Alone,” “Forrest Gump,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Lion King,” “Toy Story,” “Titanic” and “The Matrix.”
The list really could go on. Suffice it to say that even Disney hit it out of the park during the ’90s. List your favorite movies and I can guarantee at least one of them was made during the ’90s.
2. The books
“Harry Potter,” “Goosebumps,” “Game of Thrones” and “Jurassic Park.”
This was a great era for book worms, from childhood classics like the “Goosebumps” series to books that later became some of our favorite movies and hit TV shows. I read voraciously as a kid (my mom once grounded me from reading because I was neglecting my chores as I tore through five Nancy Drew novels a day) but I still didn’t realize until I was much older just how many great books came out of that decade.
3. The music
Sure, Britney was a scandal, over-singing was par for the course and boy bands didn’t exactly produce quality more than quantity. But even the worst of the ’90s has some charm. And of course, if you go off the beaten path and think back to ’90s alternative (or head over to Spotify to refresh your memory), you’ll find some of the best music your ears have ever heard. I love ’90s music and the Backstreet Boys hold a special place in my heart and on my playlist right next to Hootie and the Blowfish.
4. The fads
Slap bracelets, Beanie Babies, Lisa Frank everything, pogs, Tamagatchi and stick-on earrings.
Basically everything awesome. Today, our fads take the form of Internet memes, Justin Bieber hair and viral videos, but in the ’90s, it was all about how many slap bracelets you owned, how long you kept your Tamagatchi alive or whether your Beanie Babies’ tags remain uncrinkled. Really, the ’90s was THE decade for fads and trends. They were social currency, how you related to your peers and above all else, they were fun.
5. The toys
Bop-it, moon shoes, Furby and Game Boy.
Before computers, tablets and smartphones, toys like these were technological marvels. I mean, seriously, Furbies spoke their own language and would “learn” English the more you played with them. How cool is that? And Bop-its provided endless entertainment with your friends during recess and after school. I’m not one to decry modern technology as some sort of demon, but our toys in the ‘90s were super cool for their time and part of me is sad my kids will miss out on the wonder and awe of a weird hamster-owl creature that was programmed to react to human interaction.
6. The end of the world
Y2K: Worldwide computer failures that would send the world into an apocalyptic tailspin.
The problem that centered around the mass fear of the year 2000 was pretty simple. During an era when computer technology was becoming usable, portable and personal, many system programmers set aside only two digits to denote the year (98 instead of 1998) so when 00 rolled around, the programming math got screwy, which had the potential to completely malfunction a computer. Although experts at the time said programs could be fixed in time for the turn of the century, that didn’t stop the hysteria and fear-mongering. I actually knew a family who stocked up on canned goods and bottled water “just in case.” Of course, Jan. 1, 2000, came and went without the world crashing down around us and left many feeling a bit silly. But Y2K is burned into our memories (or blocked out forever).
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