13 90s Trends That Disappeared Without Anyone Noticing

The 90s might seem like medieval times to people born after the year 2000. Don’t believe it? Ask teenagers about a pager, a fax machine or disposable cameras today and you would only find surprised eyes looking back at you.

If you were lucky to have witnessed life in the 90s, then you must have thought that the future had arrived back then. Pagers were a trendy thing, you could get internet through the phone line and the TV had multiple channels for entertainment.

However, the times have changed and now it seems like the 90s were a simpler time.

Blockbuster Fridays

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Entertainment had a completely different definition in the 90s. There was no Netflix or any streaming service to watch the latest movies by pushing a button. On the contrary, people savored the excitement of waiting for Fridays to visit movie rental stores, such as Blockbuster or Movie Gallery. Some families considered it a tradition to make weekly trips to video rental stores and find the best movies to watch over the weekend.

AOL Instant Messenger

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AOL was a huge hit after its arrival in 1997. As a matter of fact, it reigned as the top messaging service in North America for almost a decade. However, big players in tech, such as Google and Facebook, came up with better services. AOL had to shut down its different features, beginning in 2007, before it completely disappeared in 2017.

The Y2K Hype

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People who welcomed the year 2000 with the hopes of entering a new millennium had to face an absurd phenomenon. The Y2K panic created headlines all over the world as many thought that the year 2000 would herald the beginning of the end of the world. Some people also hoarded up supplies and food to make it through an impending apocalypse. In reality, the world is still running just fine after more than two decades of the Y2K hype.

Kids Playing Outdoors

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While this thing may not have completely disappeared, it is difficult to find many kids playing outside their homes. In the 90s, kids loved to play outside their homes, throwing a ball or riding their bikes through the street. It is strange how smartphones and video games have led us to a time where kids love to be cooped up in their homes rather than play outdoors.

Pay Phones

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Pay phones were somehow closer to mobile phones in terms of access to communication. You could call anyone by dropping coins into pay phones and they would let you know when you have to add another coin to continue the conversation. Phone boxes have been converted into free lending libraries or even museums.

Ringtones in Phones

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Ringtones were a trendy thing in the 90s and it was quite an exciting feeling to record one from the radio. When anyone calls you now on your smartphone, you are more likely to have it buzzing silently or blaring off a custom ringtone.

Encarta Magic

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Before Google, people did not trust the internet for information. The Encarta Encyclopedia was the Wikipedia of the 90s, which you could find in the form of a DVD. It included text as well as pictures and videos alongside some exciting trivia games. Ultimately, online encyclopedias overshadowed Encarta and it finally disappeared in 2009.

Tune of the Dial-Up Modem

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Dial-up modems were the only way to access the internet in the 90s. Anyone who has used them would swear how the screeching tune of the modem made them feel like a tech wizard at work. In a time when broadband, LAN cables and wireless technologies make internet access easier than ever, dial-up modems are a mere figment of internet history.

Paper Maps

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Road trips were more of an adventure in the 90s with paper maps being the only sources to find directions. People had to line up the paper maps perfectly with their current location to calculate the directions perfectly. With Google Maps in smartphones, you don’t need paper maps to find directions in new places.

Floppy Disks and Zip Drives

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Storage was a nightmare in the 90s when you had to transfer important files. The common choices such as floppy disks and zip disks offered limited storage space alongside restrictions on usability. For example, you would need a special drive for zip disks. The zip disks could store only 100MB of data while a floppy disk could store only 1.44MB.

Walkman and Discmans

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Listening to your favorite songs on Spotify is cool. However, in the 90s, you were a cool kid or teenager with a Walkman in your pocket and headphones plugged in your ears. With the arrival of CDs, more people shifted towards the Discmans that let you play compact discs.

Uncertainty of Photography

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Digital technologies have made photography a lot easier and simpler. Even a smartphone can help you click high-quality pictures anywhere without any limit on the number of pictures you can get. Disposable cameras were the complete opposite as you had to make sure that you got the photographs correctly in the first place. On the other hand, you never knew whether you had clicked good pictures until you developed them. In addition, there was always a limit to the number of pictures you can click with the film used in disposable cameras.

Are There Any Other Things You Miss from the 90s?

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The list of things from the 90s that have completely disappeared now creates more curiosity about other things that ruled pop culture in the 90s. As we step forward into the future, our past has a lot of lessons that can guide us. Looking back at our past gives us a chance to ignite nostalgia in our minds and remember how life was like before we were hooked to our smartphones and social media. Find more about the other things that were trending in the 90s to discover their impact on the life we live today.

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