Can you recall the experiences that brought joy and excitement to your childhood days? Riding bikes with friends in the park, re-watching our favorite Saturday morning cartoons when school was out—growing up was a great time in which we all shared some common experiences. It's truly astonishing how significant the changes have been in such a short period of time! Various childhood activities and pastimes exclusive to millennials have disappeared from the world. So, what unique experiences from our formative years as millennials are now impossible to come across? Here are a few relatable online user-shared experiences:
1. Delivering Pizzas
One user shared, “They will never know just how hard it was to deliver pizzas until you know the town up and down, front to back. No GPS, no phones. Just a rundown Honda Accord and a dream.”
Another added, “In Utah, everything is all on a grid system, so someone's address is essentially coordinates to their house. Streets might have names like ‘Cherry St.' but it will also have an assigned coordinate of 2150 S. Someone could tell me their address was 3165 W 2150 S, and you'd be able to find it without needing directions. It made delivering pizza pretty easy without GPS.”
One user disagreed, “Liar, I've been there, and it only confuses people.”
Another user shared,”I was possibly the last person in America to experience this. 2012 and I didn’t have a smartphone or gps, but the restaurant just assumed I did. Would pick up some orders, speed home with my laptop in the passenger seat, quickly look up the addresses with the weak wifi outside my house to get a vague sense where they were, and then wing it from there. All in a new town. Often stopped to ask random people where such and such streets were. You’re right I learned the town quickly.”
“Any delivery job really, I delivered magazines all over town and the first month was a nightmare because I had to keep referring to a paper map. Once I learned my way around it was awesome and I got to find cool places and shortcuts I never knew existed, so that was a bonus,” another user responded.
One commented, “And a Thomas Guide.”
2. Internet Without Ads
One Redditor posted, “A free, open internet where everyone wasn't trying to squeeze you for money, targeted ads, clickbait, spyware, or begging for your email address for spam.”
Another added, “Remembering the excitement of a click. You saw a hyperlink and wanted to click it and see where it went.”
“Ouch… right in the nostalgia,” replied by one.
3. Dial-up and Landlines
One user posted, “Not able to use the phone and the internet at the same time.”
One added,” Also, 100kbps is already considered fast as we only have dial-up connections.”
A user also commented, “14.4 Kbps on the early Internet, which doesn't even translate to their experience. Like, imagine the web is nearly entirely text, and it's still slow. Streaming doesn't exist. You need patience to view a potato-quality image. Downloading a 30-second potato-quality video clip is actually kind of a project. Files you liked that you wanted to share with your friends you could throw on a 1.4 meg floppy, if it fit, or a Zip drive if you were rich. Then you would sneak it to them.”
4. After School Hangouts
One user shared, “Coordinating times to hang out with friends through talks in person or by calling each other's house and talking to their mom.”
Another added, “I said to my stepson (11yo) that it's okay to hang out with friends after school or have friends over or visit friends. The idea to ask a friend to play after school somehow terrifies him and feels abnormal to him. Most of his after-school activities with friends are all online.”
5. TV Shows: One Episode a Week
One Redditor posted, “The 'emptiness' between episodes on linear TV. Do you have a favorite series? Awesome. You watch it every Thursday at 8 p.m.; super excited. And yes – you must be ready at that time, because there's no pausing, rewinding, or streaming. Thursday at 8 PM is what you get. After 50 minutes, the episode's finished. And then…. silence. You have to wait one week for anything more. Your head is full of theories and plot guessing and—'oh my god, how could they end on THAT cliffhanger?!' But there are no internet fandoms, forums, or meta speculation to delve into. No binging of previous seasons, no pre-watch snippets on YouTube.
If you're really lucky, you have a real-life friend group who are fans too. So you can at least obsess together. Maybe the series is big enough to be mentioned in magazines and newspapers—and you devour those articles. But beyond that – it's just a week-long wait with no input except for your own musings and badly drawn fan-art.”
Another user added, “I remember around 2013 or so I watched my nephew one evening as my brother had work and my sister-in-law had a thing at her church. I put on Batman: The Animated Series for him because he was three and was getting into superheroes, and he loved the show. A few weeks later, we're all at my parent's place, and he asks me to put it on the TV. Had to tell him I didn't bring the DVDs with me so we couldn't.
‘But you have it.'
‘Yeah, but not with me, and I'm not driving home to get them, Bud.'
‘But…you have them.' And he points to the TV and gets the route for my parent's Fire TV. He's already so used to streaming and just being able to watch what he wants when he wants that he couldn't understand why I didn't just conjure up the show.”
One commenter responded, “Little Man judging you for being too cheap for HBO Max.”
6. Vcr Recording
One user posted, “I usually would set my VCR to record the newest episode for each series weekly….just had to make sure no one removed or replaced the tape…”
Another replied, “I recorded every episode of Naruto when it came out. That was my show, lol.”
A third commenter said, “Man, I discovered Naruto a couple of years ago and binged it. With all the fillers I can't imagine having to wait each week just to have no plot advancement!”
Another user agreed, “I gave up on Shippuden lol. Nothing happened in the first arc, and I was like ‘Enough is enough.' Shippuden was insanely good if you overlook the filler and bad pacing. The original series had most of its filler at the end. If you don’t include the post-story filler, it doesn’t have that much.”
7. Memorizing Phone Numbers
One Redditor shared, “Remembering all of your family and friend’s numbers by heart.”
Another added, “This is something that has absolutely 100% gone extinct. I couldn’t guess the first three digits of anyone I knew. I don’t even know my Mom's area code.”
A third also replied, “You must have a good memory. I had to rely on the little black book.”
8. Playing Gameboy
One user posted, “I’m my opinion you weren’t a true millennial unless you brought your Gameboy on a road trip, just to spend 80% of the time adjusting it to find the right amount of sunlight without massive glare, or waiting to drive by street lights at night so you can see the game.”
One commenter replied, “Not if you had one of these! Enormous quality of life boost, and you just felt so cool using it.”
Another commented, “Yeah, I was super jelly of these. Mom wouldn’t ever buy me that. I remember there was a magnifying glass version also, but maybe that came a little later.”
9. No Internet
“A complete absence of the internet,” one user posted.
Another added, “Depends on who you were, honestly, at least by the time I was growing up (graduated 2010). When I was in fifth grade (2002), there were still a few kids who didn't have internet or a computer at home, and we were a middle-class school for the most part. I legitimately remember meeting grown adults who thought computers and the internet were some sort of fad. Even then, I knew home computers had been around since the 80's (my dad got a surplus IBM XT after getting hooked on a C64), and they were not a fad.”
One commenter added, “I also think many kids aren't even fully aware of how much nowadays relies on the internet. They wouldn't realize how many things that they take for granted will stop working [without it].”
One user commented, “Hope.”
Another added, “Even some of the younger millennials don't seem to remember that. I (30) was trying to explain to my partner (27) how hopeful people in the US felt in the 90s, before 9/11 happened. He doesn't remember that time period. We were in a time of peace and economic prosperity that people seemed to think would last forever. I think it was so heartbreaking for a lot of us millennials who remember that and spent decades hoping the world would go back to the way it was.”
“Middle-tier millennial at 34 here, and you’re absolutely right. Sure there was still conflict and bad stuff going down, but it felt like we were really tying up loose ends and rocketing toward an enlightened future that was going to be awesome. 1999-2000 just felt like peak, sunny optimism in the USA. Then the dot com bubble burst, then the 2000 election fiasco, then 9/11, and then the forever war in the Middle East. In the span of 3 years it was all gone,” replied one user.
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