“I Remember When…”: People Are Sharing Big And Small Things That Were “Normal” In The '90s And '00s But Aren’t Anymore

It's very normal these days to complain about inflation and the cost of everything going up. This also allows people to reminisce about "simpler times" when things that were once considered normal are now unheard of or looked at as luxuries.

wallet with credit cards and cash
Alfexe / Getty Images

The BuzzFeed and HuffPost communities chimed in on this topic with answers to a question originally asked by redditor u/zombiem00se: "What was normal 20–30 years ago, but is [not] now?" Here is what they had to say.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

1."Watching television for an hour and not seeing 24 minutes worth of medicine commercials."

Fred Jernigan

2."Small appliances — like toasters, blenders, slow cookers, coffee pots, and mixers — all had longer cords back then. Now you have to pay extra to get a longer cord for those things."

a toaster on a counter
Emreturanphoto / Getty Images

3."Back when Sundays were actually observed. I remember as a child that stores were closed and commerce just didn't happen. For many of us, it was and still remains a day that reminds us of our faith. For others, it was a day to commune with family over a meal of pasta and meatballs and either sauce or gravy (depending on your version of Italian, lol). It was lovely, and we still honor this time-honored tradition."


4."Maps. Good old fold-up maps. Sure, a smartphone gives turn-by-turn directions — but where are you really? Try zooming out to get a sense of where you are and small details like towns disappear. Or how the turn-by-turn directions are sending you into Death Valley."

a person pointing to a map on a phone
Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty Images

5."I’ve been around for decades, too, and had much better healthcare when I was young and broke than I do as a middle-class adult now."

Tammy Cantu

6."I remember as a kid staying outside literally all day; we were pretty much free to do as we wished. We didn't have cellphones and were just expected to check in at least once so they knew where we were. Parents didn't have the same dangers to worry about, and kids knew how to really play without all this technology and social media. I am only 34 years old, and I remember cellphones weren't even a big thing until I was 17 or 18 and we had pay-as-you-go."

a person typing on their smartphone
Glowimages / Getty Images/Glowimages RF

7."Being able to see people off or welcoming them home at the airport gate."

airport gate
Ping Shu / Getty Images

8."I remember when you could buy a decent running vehicle for a cheap price from the owner through an ad in the paper. I can't get a decent running vehicle for under a certain amount now without it breaking down in a month."


9."A bachelor's degree actually meaning something. Nowadays, it's about as useful as a high school diploma."

The Dude

10."Having neighbors you hung out with that lived in the same place for YEARS. People move so often that nobody has time to connect like in the old days."

a suburban home

11."When I was a kid, my family (six of us) would go on roadtrips every summer to the Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, and other places. I looked into doing that recently with my family of three, and nope, it is prohibitively expensive now. And you have to plan everything at least six months to a year out. I remember sometimes just driving and finding a hotel when it got late, no previous reservations or anything like that — even for the lodges on site in the national parks, too."


12."In the '90s, my Doc Martens lasted for years with daily wear. Now I need to buy a new pair every year, and they cost more than they used to."

feet wearing doc martens
Cholia Johnson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13."Simpler technology. I was a teenager during the late '90s and early 2000s. There were some major changes in technology during that time, but even then, it was still so much simpler than today. I can't go out and buy a new phone without having to figure out how to connect it to the internet and what apps I need to download in order to access my music and emails."


14."Cars. Back then, there were no touch screens. They are in every new car now, and they break so quickly. I don't need a computer screen in my car."

a person touching a car navigation
Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images

15."Pork belly. It used to be a bad cut of meat that was disposed of or given to the poor for dirt-cheap prices. Then people realized that it's delicious, which then caused prices to skyrocket."


Is there anything you would add to this list? If so, share it with me in the comments below!