As someone born in the '80s, I'm still mentally at a place where things from the '90s don't seem that long ago to me.
Except, the '90s were, like, 30 years ago (give or take), and that's, I'm sorry to say, a REALLY long time ago!
So, when Reddit user u/Apart-Scale posed the question, "What was normal in the 1990s but rare or nonexistent now?" to the Ask Reddit community, it caught my ~old person~ attention!
Here are some of the best and top-voted responses:
1. "Being completely unreachable by anyone for an entire day or more with no one thinking that it was unusual or rude."
"I do miss this so much. I feel tethered by my phone and miss being able to absorb into something without distraction."
2. "Taking your disposable camera to get developed, and having no idea if any of your pictures were even usable until you got the pictures back."
"I DONT miss this, but I do miss the surprise oh yeah! I forgot I took a pic of that!!”
"The delayed surprise was nice. Also taking a photo was one shot, no checks and reshoots — you got back to having fun."
"Malls are still going strong in Canada, I assume because it's one of the few places you can go to when it's -25C without freezing your balls off."
"Similarly, parents leaving $20 under a magnet on the fridge for pizza with the number of the restaurant they were eating at, your friend's parents-down-the-block's number, and maybe your grandmother's landline as a last resort."
"But your annoying sister always talked RIGHT when the movie you wanted to hear listed the times. Then you had to start all over again!!!"
6. "Playing multiplayer video games with all of the players IN the room together. We had some pretty heated N64 parties."
"You haven’t truly lived until you have fucked over your best friend in Mario Kart 64 by taking the Rainbow Road shortcut."
7. "'Hey, what was the guy from that one thing?' / 'I don't know.' / 'Me neither.' / 'Oh well.'"
"My dad had a huge movie reference book next to his armchair to look up actors and cross-reference them. He died in 1998. I think he would have very much liked Google."
8. "When picking someone up from the airport, you could wait for them at their gate."
"Related... Meeting a friend for lunch at the airport when they happened to have a layover in your city!"
"Or just in general. Like you kind of forget, like you had to have your plans nailed down before you left the house. People would ask, 'Where you are going, what time are you/we meeting, and when will you be back?'"
"In general…just waiting for things, alone with only your thoughts. Gameboy ran out of battery? Didn’t bring a book? Time to people watch."
12. "Home telephones and answering machines. Also with these, memorizing phone numbers."
"Yeah, I’m screwed now if I need to call someone, and my phone is dead with no way to charge it."
13. "Floppy discs. My parents had a file cabinet full of those things."
"I used to save cool Dragon Ball Z pictures off the internet on them for later viewing enjoyment LOL."
"I used to write 10-page letters to a girl I knew in Norway, and she did the same for me back in the States. I’d get like one a month, and it was so exciting to read them. People had to put so much thought into those letters before the internet."
17. "Landline home phones. And having to talk to your friend's parents for a couple of minutes while you waited for your friend to come to the phone."
"Yes, the parents were always the gatekeeper. I remember calling girls and hoping their dad didn’t answer."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.