Can you remember your childhood? The days of playing outside until the street lights came on and going to Blockbuster to rent a movie for the weekend? If you can, you are definitely part of Generation X.
If you’re scratching your head and wondering what Blockbuster is. You are part of Generation Z. The generational gap between these two groups grows more comprehensive with each passing day. This is especially evident when it comes to the things that Gen X was crazy about during their childhood, which would make Gen Z cringe if they ever found out.
There was a time when the bigger your hair, the cooler you were. Gen X was obsessed with achieving voluminous locks through backcombing and excessive use of hairspray. The result? A cloud of hair that defied gravity and could withstand any weather condition.
Long before smartphones existed, pagers were all the rage. These tiny electronic devices were used to send short messages from one person to another.
Gen Xers proudly displayed their pagers on their belts and felt important whenever it beeped with a new message. However, for Gen Z, being limited to only receiving messages may seem unappealing in today’s world of constant communication.
“I remember feeling so cool when I got my first pager. But now, I can’t imagine not having a phone with all its features.” – Mark T., Gen Xer
Back then, portable music players were bulky and could only play one cassette at a time. But the cool kids in Gen X had a boombox. This mobile stereo system could play multiple cassettes and even a radio. It was the ultimate party accessory.
While they may have made a comeback recently, scrunchies were an essential fashion accessory for Gen X during their childhood. These extensive fabric hair ties came in various colors and patterns and were a must-have for any trendy outfit.
Gen X was all about oversized clothing during their childhood. From baggy jeans to unbuttoned flannel shirts, the fashion trend of the time was all about being comfortable in roomy clothes.
Gen X has a deep appreciation for mixtapes. These were handmade collections of songs recorded onto cassette tapes and given to friends or romantic interests. It was a way to show someone you cared and share your favorite music.
The ’80s and ’90s were all about bright, neon colors. Gen X couldn’t get enough fluorescent shades that practically glowed in the dark, from clothing to accessories to home decor.
Before iPods and streaming music, there were Walkmans. These portable cassette players allowed people to listen to their favorite tapes on the go. With bulky headphones and a clip to attach to their waist, this device was a must-have for Gen Xers.
But with the convenience of streaming music on smartphones, Gen Z may need help understanding the struggle of rewinding or flipping tapes just to listen to one song.
“I used to spend hours making mixtapes for my Walkman. It’s crazy how technology has changed so much since then.” – Sarah L., Gen Xer
Gen X may have been all about big hair, but they also had a soft spot for tiny stuffed animals. Beanie Babies were the ultimate collectible items during their childhood, with certain rare ones selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
With limited edition releases and promising future value, collecting Beanie Babies became a craze in the 90s. However, as years passed, the hype died down, and Gen Z may not understand why anyone would spend money on a stuffed animal.
“I remember buying Beanie Babies thinking they would be worth something in the future. Turns out, they’re just cute toys.” – Alex S., Gen Xer.
In the 90s, rollerblading was the ultimate cool kid activity. Gen Xers spent countless hours skating around their neighborhoods or at roller rinks with friends. But with the rise of extreme sports and technology, this trend has lost its appeal to Gen Z.
“I used to think I was so cool in my neon rollerblades. Now, I can barely balance on them.” – Megan K., Gen Xer
Before high-speed internet became the norm, there was dial-up. This slow and frustrating internet connection required users to connect their phone line to their computer and listen to the infamous screeching sound while waiting for a webpage to load. Gen Z will never understand the struggle.
Long before virtual reality games and online pet simulators, there were Tamagotchis. These handheld digital pets required constant attention and care or would “die.” They were a major craze among Gen X kids, who would carry them everywhere.
The bigger the jeans, the better for Gen X. That’s where JNCO jeans came in – with their wide-legged and baggy design that was perfect for skateboarding or looking cool. However, Gen Z would probably cringe at the sight of these oversized pants.
Before the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, renting movies from a physical store was the norm. And for Gen Xers, that meant frequent trips to their local Blockbuster Video store.
From browsing through rows of VHS tapes to anxiously awaiting new releases, this was a beloved pastime for many. However, Gen Z may find leaving their house to rent a movie quite archaic.
“Going to Blockbuster was like a family tradition for us. It’s sad that kids today won’t have that experience.” – Amanda O., Gen Xer
Last but not least, Gen X was crazy about VHS tapes. These bulky video cassettes were the only way to watch movies at home before DVDs became popular. Kids would spend hours rewinding and fast-forwarding tapes to find their favorite scenes.
As you can see, many things that Gen X was obsessed with during their childhood would make Gen Z cringe today. But hey, we had a pretty relaxed and unique upbringing. And who knows, maybe 20 years from now, Gen Z will be reminiscing about everything they were crazy about during their youth, making the next generation cringe.
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