Blockbuster video, the '90s, pagers

Blockbuster video sign and pagers.

In “Back to the Future,” teenager Marty McFly goes back in time 30 years, from 1985 to 1955. But what if the film were made today and he went back from 2021 to 1991? I think the culture shock of a modern teenager going from a post-to-pre internet world would be much greater than the one that Marty experienced in the original film.

Would a kid from today be able to dial a payphone? Read a clock with actual hands? Look up directions on a Thomas Guide map?

A lot has changed since the dawn of the new millennium so a group of Redditors marked the changes in a post entitled: “What is something that was used heavily in the year 2000, but it's almost never used today?”

Here are 17 of the best posts.


1.

"Geocities, neopets, livejournal, kazaa," — PapaWeir

GeoCities is definitely one of those things that was everywhere and then suddenly disappeared. At its peak, GeoCities hosted millions of websites, but its popularity declined after it was purchased by Yahoo and web hosting became cheaper.

2.

"If you had a big screen TV it was probably a ridiculously thick rear projection TV," — ParoxysmAttack

Before plasma TVs came around, if you had a big screen it was also a seriously deep-screen TV.

3.

"Re-writable CDs. I used to burn so many mix cds after downloading from napster, bearshare, limewire, frostwire," — Shittinwithmykitten

Napster created a music revolution overnight, but where were we going to save all of that new, stolen music? Rewriteable CDs were all the rage before the iPod came along and put 'em in the palm of your hand.

4.

"Payphones. (Yes I know payphones still exist. Also, I am now very aware payphones are free in Australia, thank you for informing me.)" — Adreeisadyno

Kids these days have never had to walk five blocks to make a phone call.

5.

"Dial-Up.

weeeeeeeee WOOOOOO_OOOOOO_
E E E E E E E EEEEEeeeeee
eee
eee URRRRRRRRRBEDULUDOLEDULUDOLEEPEEPEEP
R R R R R R R R R R R R RUMMMMMMMMMMMM,"
— Martini_Man_

Those of us who lived in the dial-up era will never, ever forget the whizzing, belching sound that we had to sit through to experience the World Wide Web.

7.

"Indoor smoking. My young-ish kids marvel at the fact that people used to sit in restaurants and smoke," — TurdFergDSF

People used to smoke on airplanes, in hospitals, at restaurants ... pretty much everywhere.

8.

"Blockbuster card," — larrythetarry

It wasn't Friday night in the '90s without a two-liter of Pepsi, a large pizza and a stack of VHS tapes from Blockbuster video.

9.

"VCRs," — Murtamatt

Want to feel old? In 2016, Funai, which manufacturers the VCRs in China for Sanyo, announced it would produce its final VHS player, making it the last one ever produced.

10.


"AOL," — PacMan8112

"Welcome!" "You've got mail!" AOL was the leading internet provider in the late '90s but soon lost its relevance after merging with Time Warner, Inc. in 2000.

11.

"Calculators; teachers kept saying 'you won’t have one with you all the time,' look who’s stupid now?! Both of us…" — elika007

A calculator was a luxury item in the '80s. In the '90s, a Texas Instruments graphing calculator could cost you $90. Now, it's all on your phone along with a million other apps.

12.

"A/S/L" — Smart_North_3374

Anyone who's a proud member of Gen X knows the "age/sex/location" question. It's the first thing you asked in an AOL chatroom when people used to try to hook up online. Of course, nobody answered it honestly, but that was half the fun.

13.

​"JNCO jeans," — ccherry124

In the 2000s everyone wore skinny jeans. But in the 1990s, people wore the baggiest jeans possible. The award for baggiest jeans goes to JNCO, the manufacturers of raver pants that fit two legs and a few kilos worth of MDMA.

14.

"Pagers," — skaote

The pager was one of the most popular status symbols of the '90s. Nothing said "cool" like having a pager that was constantly blowing up. (Does anyone under the age of 40 know what it means for a pager to "blow up"?)

15.

"'Wanna Cyber?'" God . We were awful," — icanbeafrick

Back in the AOL days, the closest you could come to getting it on while online was through cyber sex. There were no pictures or video so you just exchanged dirty messages until the other person logged off. The typical cyber session began with, "What are you wearing?"

16.

"Limp Bizkit," — Timmah_1984

Unfortunately, they're back.

17.

"Travel agencies. Now I can do everything on my phone," — whatdoineedaname4

If you can belive it, before there was Priceline, there was a person sitting at a desk with a rotary phone who booked your seven-day trip to Europe.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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