Not Knowing What Was On TV While You Were Watching TV
Imagine turning on your television in the middle of whatever movie TBS was showing on a Sunday afternoon. Now imagine not knowing what that movie was called because you couldn't find something called a "TV Guide." It was a nightmare and while I wouldn't wish it on my closest friends, I hate the fact that kids will never experience that mystery. Not knowing that you're watching "Bebe's Kids" until twenty minutes in, is called "Building Character."
Knowing the Satisfaction of Watching a Portable TV
Listen, I'm not denying the fact that having access to every TV show and movie in our pocket is nothing short of amazing. It's probably man's greatest achievement, right behind Google Alerts for your own name. But today's generation will never know the pure adrenaline rush that was getting your hands on a portable TV, pulling out that non-functional antenna and barely getting reception on your 3-inch screen. When I got one for my Bar Mitzvah (portable TVs were only given at landmark events such as becoming a man), it was fucking game over.
Speaking of portable devices, this monstrosity existed. And yes, technically it was portable and yes, technically you still see them on the Venice Boardwalk being held by men very interested in whether or not you like hip hop. But the Discman is the oft-overlooked stepping stone in man's progression from Walkman to iPod. That, and the Mini-Disc player. I'd talk more about the latter, but this list is not titled "Suckers Who Bought the Mini Disc Player."
Hanging Out With Friends Without Any Distractions
Feeling The Thrill of Recording Your Favorite Song
Since not every song in human history was available any time we ever wanted it, we needed to wait by the radio with our fingers place on record & play ready to catch the new Jodeci song (or whatever you were into - I personally went through three separate Jodeci phases). While finally catching the song was exhilarating, it lost its thrill when you went back to listen to it and had to listen to Radio DJ talk on top of the first verse. A small price to pay for the highlight of your next mix tape.
Getting Up Early on Saturday Morning For Cartoons
IT WAS OUR TIME GODDAMNIT.
Triaging Your Music For Vacations
Oh, hey kids that get to take every piece of music with them everywhere they go. That's great that you get to go on vacation and bring all of the last 200 years with you. Enjoy it. And thank God every day that you didn't have to sit down with your music collection and choose which songs will make the cut. I'd have an easier time deciding which children to save in a fire than picking which Naughty By Nature songs were worthy of being put on the "SIDE A: Best of Naughty By Nature/SIDE B: BEST of Oasis" tape I was making.
Remembering Phone Numbers
Take a second and recall the phone number of your best friend growing up. Now take a second and remember the phone number of ANYONE YOU CURRENTLY KNOW. Awesome. Hope you enjoyed realizing that no one is important to you anymore. Have fun sexting strangers!
Hoping Your Nearest Movie Theater Got The Movie You Wanted to See
What the fuck is a multiplex? That's what I would say if you said "multiplex" to the 13 year old version of me? Granted, you chose to catch me during my "say fuck a lot" phase, but the point is I would be very confused at that word. If a movie came out that didn't get put on of my local theater's four screens, it didn't get seen.
Checking Box Scores in the Morning
It may seem unlikely now, but ESPN used to only have one channel. And I'm pretty confident that 23 hours a day were spent broadcasting "ESPN Outdoors" and what my TV Guide listed as "Paid Programming." The now taken-for-granted Sportscenter did not have the prominence it does today, as it's watered down and filled with anchors all doing their 90s-era Keith Olbermann impressions. It used to be a treat to catch Sportscenter, and when you did, they didn't actually show all the scores -- just some clips of your Bulls, Cowboys, Yankees, and whatever hockey team existed, all while a young, svelte Craig Kilborn cracked zingers. And as such, you waited for the newspaper, also a thing that existed, to arrive in which you would check the previous night's scores. BUT if you were on the east coast, you'd be lucky to find a west coast game in there, since paper news had to be printed before the editor's bedtime the night before.
Not Having Access to Everything Ever
So goddamned jealous of these goddamned kids.