11 Problems From The 90s That Don’t Exist Today

Life in the 1990s is different today. Technology in 2023 has evolved to offer many quality-of-life improvements that we take for granted. Back in the 90s, though, we didn't have these quite yet. A recent online discussion talks about 11 examples of 90s problems that don't exist today.

1. Hoping The DJ Says The Name Of That Cool Song On The Radio

Radio DJ
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It shouldn't come as a surprise that most of these 90s problems involve music.

Back in our day, if we wanted to know the name of the new song playing on the radio, we had to catch the disc jockey saying its name. Otherwise, we'd have to wait until when we heard it again.

2.  Not Being Able To Rent A Movie Because Blockbuster Was Sold Out

Blockbuster Video
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Another big problem was coming home from Blockbuster with the wrong movie.

Now we have any movie we want available on demand. Provided we're subscribed to the right streaming service, that is.

3. Dealing With The Phone Cord

Talking on old phone
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Believe it or not, there was once a time when we didn't have phones in our pockets 24/7. Furthermore, these phones had a cord that kept them in place. If you walked around while having a conversation, you had to make sure you didn't walk too far, or twist yourself with the phone cord.

4. Rewinding Movies on Tape

VHS Tape
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Back when VHS tapes were the only way to watch a movie in your own home, you had to go to a video store to pick out and rent movies.

And before you returned, most stores had a policy that you must rewind the entire tape before bringing it back. Otherwise, you might have to pay a fee. But, of course, those days are long gone with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, where you don't have to worry about that.

5. Using Physical Maps To Get Around

Image Credit: ESB Professional/Shutterstock.

Remember the days when your car was stuffed full of maps to help you get around your city? Today all you need is a smartphone or a GPS and you can be directed to your destination with ease.

That is until you lose cell service.

6. CDs Skipping

Personal CD player. Old portable cd player with open blue cover; cd inside,
Image Credit: Thanasit Tippawan/Shutterstock.

CDs are pretty much obsolete now that all our music can be streamed through Spotify or Apple Music or at least downloaded to a device.

The worst part about relying on CDs for your music was when they were damaged or scratched just a little and would skip.

7. Telephone Cords

Tangled in cords
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We take our wireless cell phones for granted these days.

“Getting clotheslined by a moving 12′ telephone cord was a huge problem,” shared one person.

“Having to untwist a telephone cord. Or having to buy a replacement when the untwisting failed,” wrote another.

8. Making Mix Tapes

Listening to music
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While making mix tapes for your high-school girlfriend was a unique experience that we can't get today, it was also incredibly stressful.

Now, all we have to do to share music with our loved ones is curate a playlist on Spotify. No taping is necessary.

9. Looking up Numbers in The Phone Book

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Nowadays we ask for someone's number and type it right into our phone, or just look the person up and contact them via social media. Back in the 90s, you had to look up information in a physical paperback phone book.

One huge problem with this was “Not finding the right number in the phone book because the person you're looking for has the same name as 300 other people or the number is in their Dad's name which you don't know,” said one 90s kid.

10. Missing an Episode of Your Favorite Show

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Photo Credit: Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock.

You could not pull up a TV show you wanted and watch an episode at any time in the 90s like you can today. So instead, we had to watch the episode when it premiered. Then, if we missed it, we had to wait for ages for that episode to air again.

So glad we have progressed to streaming services where shows are at our fingertips.

11. Developing Photos

Developing Film
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The days of snapping high-quality photos on your phone and viewing them instantly are relatively new technology. Back in the 90s, taking casual photos meant you needed a disposable camera.

“Taking your disposable camera to get developed, and having no idea if any of your pictures were even usable until you got the pictures back” was a massive hassle, said one person.

What would you add to this list of problems we had in the 90s that don’t exist today?

A thread inspired this article.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Maya (she/they) is a queer entertainment and culture journalist. They cover interviews, reviews, roundups, news, and more. She loves horror, history, and creativity. They hope their writing both entertains readers and inspires them to think critically. Her favorite pastimes include needle felting, gaming, and drawing.