Yeah, we did not have the internet, at least not in the initial years, and we did not have Smartphones. That pretty much makes up for the entire 2000s, don't you think? What new did we have? If you think carefully, there was none. So, is it for Smartphones, the internet and some SMART wearable devices that we hold the 2000s in such high esteem?
You are open to argue, always. You may say that you have WFH (Work from Home) now, thanks to the internet. But we will say that you have become more of a couch potato for it. If you say that you are fighting the pandemic better, as you have digital services, we will say that maybe, just maybe, you are more cut off from the world now, more than ever. The pandemic is a rare situation, an emergency that requires stringent methods. But even before the pandemic, we had become more inwardly, which is against our very nature.
You may then say that technological advancements have created job opportunities for billions and enhanced globalisation. We will say that technology has killed our bond with nature, which has immense healing powers. Can watching movies on your Smartphone or playing games all day help reduce your anxiety or give you peace? But a short stroll in the park can! Whether in the 90s or 2020s, nature has been there for us, calling to us, but we started to ignore its call on receiving several ways to divert our attention.
So, were the 90s better than today?
I am afraid we can’t say so entirely. But yeah, we have diverted for sure. If we could have used the tech innovations smartly, we would have been in a better place. But we went crazy as a kid does after seeing an attractive toy on the store shelf. S/he may drop the one in her/his hands and take a plunge for the new one. Mother Nature has always been a hub of several, queer and peaceful attractions. But when we got the technology, we forgot her and got immersed in the virtual world, social media, etc.
There’s no denying that the internet is a boon, only if we use it in a controlled manner. It will neither delay advancements nor cut us off from nature.
We can work, shop and talk to our distant relatives and friends for hours at a stretch from the comforts of our couch.
We can divert our attention from things that give us anxiety, indulge in movies or music without leaving our homes.
We can also check on our loved ones, living miles away, with just a few taps on our Smartphone.
These are indeed some drastic developments that have even made the lockdown pretty tolerable. I wonder what we would have done if there was no internet!
But I do have reasons to believe that the 90s had something extra to enhance our lives. If only we could have retained those things along with the new ones! Are you wondering what they are? Scroll on!
What makes us nostalgic about the 90s?
- CD/DVD libraries: Many things that we once held dear are missing from our lives now. Take the example of the CD/DVD libraries, packed with youngsters trying to find the latest movies and music. We may have the Netflix and YouTube today, but going to the stores to get the DVDs and playing them on bulky DVD players with an adjoining stereo system on weekends is an activity to reminisce. The way we used to cycle to the shops nearby and shuffle through the CDs after school is something that gives us tears today. Our entire world has contracted into a tiny device that we hold in our hands. While we shouldn’t have anything against Smartphones that have given us so many things at once, the fact remains that our world has indeed become smaller.
- Crafting: Many of the 90s kids had the hobby of creating unique items with household materials. They used cassettes and DVD cases to build homes; created fine, decorative items with matchsticks, or used toothbrushes to spray paint. Those days are gone too, as today, we are more into photoshopping pictures and creating animated graphics.
- Not-Smart phones: Making custom ringtones on the earliest mobile handsets was another fun activity that we miss these days. Yeah, we do have apps for the same today, but making those ringtones from limited resources intrigued us more. Another thing that brings us on the verge of tears is the art of writing letters. We used to write handwritten notes to our loved ones with coloured pens and stickers to make them feel more special. Emails, graphics, and WhatsApp messages can no way compete for that.
- Video Games: Playing games with joysticks is another 90s activity that had its charm. We gathered in the living rooms, put on a game DVD and played together, shouting and enjoying ourselves. Mobile games may have the same thrill, but they lack the togetherness, the fun times that we spent with our family and friends. They are more aloof and isolated, taking us to a world where no one else exists. In other words, the 90s games brought us closer to one another, but today’s mobile games increase the distance between individuals, friends and family members.
How to revive the 90s in 2020s
Well, we can always do that, as the simple things that made us happier then still exist, or at least some of them. While we can’t do nothing about CD libraries and video games, we can always start making stuff at home, indulge in small science projects with our kids, set up a tent in the backyard to spend some time in nature, create music and write letters to our loved ones. Simplicity is always achievable if we have the will. So dear peeps, you need to bring the change in your attitude, and you will be able to relive your childhood days or your parents.