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What I Learned – Things Teens Did In The Late ’90s That They’ll Probably Never Get To Do Again

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Think about it, when was the exact last time you paged a friend?


Record something off the TV using a VHS tape:

Ilya_starikov / Getty Images


Take mall photos with your friends and then trade the (wallet-size) pictures with other friends:

Mr. Yates SAYS there’s a story behind this very 90s pic. I prefer to think him and his friend were walking through the mall in their SICK Quicksilver clothes and thought: IMPROMPTU JC PENNEY PORTRAIT STUDIO PHOTO SHOOT TIME!

02:30 PM – 16 Apr 2018


Write down everyone’s phone number, address, and email address in a day planner (as well as carry around the wallet-size photos of your friends in it):


Page your friends and get a page:

James Keyser / The LIFE Images Collection via G


And wear your pager around like this (so everybody knew you had one):

Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag


Go in person to a Ticketmaster or box office to buy concert tickets and get a printed physical ticket back:

Michael Crabtree – Pa Images / Getty Images


Look up a phone number in the yellow or white pages:

Stevelenzphoto / Getty Images


Join a random chat room and pretend to be someone else just to fit in:


Call your BFF and know you had an at least 90% chance that their parents or sibling(s) would pick up the phone:


Use a payphone:

Terrykelly / Getty Images


Think of the people in The Real World as older and cool:


Order CDs from Columbia House (that you never paid for):


Order a bunch of magazines from Publishers Clearing House (that you never paid for):


Receive a teen magazine you loved in the mail:

Steve Granitz / WireImage


Install an AOL CD so you could have free internet time:

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images


Watch a viral video on a VHS tape:


Look at porn in a magazine or watch it on a VHS tape:


Or try to watch porn on the scrambled pay-per-view or adult channel:


Receive a gift certificate* to a store you wanted for your birthday:

Twitter: @jasonritter

*For those who might be too young to know, gift certificates were the precursor to gift cards — but, unlike gift cards, there was no way to trace them if you lost them and they couldn’t keep a balance. So if you didn’t spend the entire thing, the store would usually just give you the remaining balance back in cash.


Listen to an album on a portable CD player:


Buy an entire album for just one song:


Buy a pricey imported CD single from artists you really liked just for the B-sides or remixes:

South China Morning Post / South China Morning Post via Get


Read magazines in the magazine section of Tower Records or Virgin Megastore:

The Washington Post / The Washington Post via Getty Im


Pick up a local alt-weekly to see what concerts were happening or look up movie times:

Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag


Carry around your various discount and reward cards with you at all times:


Order clothes from a catalog:


Take photos with a disposable camera:

Science & Society Picture Librar / Getty Images


Have a skincare routine that involved these astringents:


And, finally, use dial-up:

Nostalgia Trip

Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF



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