I was 13-23 during the 90s and consider myself fortunate to have been a teenager in that era. The decade was relatively prosperous and peaceful and there was a lot of great art being made.
I’m proud of the taste I had in music then, and still have most of those CDs. A lot of really great music was coming out, and I think that’s when things really started to diversify instead of there just being one style of popular music. It seems to me that was the last time cohesive albums were the norm. As much as I appreciate not buying a whole CD for $12 and only liking 2 songs, I still feel like something has been lost when each song has to be marketable on its own.
I miss the anticipation of a new album dropping, going to the record store at midnight to get the latest Pearl Jam or whatever. Maybe it’s just that I’m older, but I’m hardly ever aware of when a new CD is coming out. Sometimes waiting makes something more special.
I miss sitting around with friends and taking the better part of a day to make a mix tape/CD together. As much as my anal mix-making is improved by iTunes (Rob Fleming, you have nothing on me — I once made a mix sorted by song key, for example), something is lost when the process is so easy. Yes, I still make playlists and even burn them to CD for friends occasionally; I am old.
I miss going to see jam bands, especially for $5 or so, especially outside in the summer. There’s nothing like being young around hundreds of other people being young, having a bonding experience hearing something unique to that particular show, not having any major responsibilities and feeling so free. I also miss my full hearing. 🙂
I miss watching TV shows at the same time as everyone else. I remember hearing an audible gasp coming out of several dorm rooms when Ross said Rachel’s name at his wedding to Emily. With everyone watching things on DVR and Hulu you can’t often have those day-after “Did you see ____ last night??” conversations. There are also just SO many shows that everyone is watching different things. Our tastes and desires are becoming so individualized.
I miss people not being connected to technology 24/7 (my iPhone-loving self included). Certainly there are conveniences to cell phones and the like (gone are the days searching for someone when they’re not at a meeting point), but I hate how we are all so scattered and distractable. One of the things I love about traveling these days is that I am actually unreachable when I want to be. It reminds me what it was like to go through your day interacting with who and what was actually in front of you.
I miss gasoline being around a dollar a gallon. Spontaneous excursions, road trips, and just driving around for the fun of it have to be seriously considered. I can remember getting a decent amount of gas with the change found in the car.
There are other things I miss about that time, but they are more universal to being young and not specific to the 90s. What do you miss about the 90s, or whatever decade felt awakening for you?