2000s Struggles That We’re Thankful Are Far Behind Us

Funny | 7/22/21

It’s easy to look back at your past with the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, but there are some problems and things we had to deal with back in the day that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemies now.

These are 2000s struggles we never want to deal with again.

The Dark Days Before GPS

mapquest printed directions
Photo Credit: Twitter / @MEGra18
Photo Credit: Twitter / @MEGra18

Remember when you had to go on MapQuest and print out the directions to read to your mom while she was driving you to your friend’s house for a birthday party?

Needing A Second Light To Play Games In The Dark

ad depicts boy using second light screen on gameboy
Photo Credit: Obsolete Gamer
Photo Credit: Obsolete Gamer

The kids these days will never understand what it was like to try and play your Game Boy Color on a road trip, squinting to see the Super Mario at sunset if you didn’t own the extra screen light.

This Is How We Found Out Movie Times

newspaper shows theatre movie times
Photo Credit: Twitter / @TheOldManClub
Photo Credit: Twitter / @TheOldManClub

If you wanted to go to the cinema to watch a movie, you had to carefully scan through rows of movie times at different local theaters in order to find the movie you wanted to see that day.

The Friday Night Routine

General view of the exterior of the Blockbuster store
Photo Credit: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

There was nothing like rushing to Blockbuster the day that a specific movie was released on VHS or DVD so that you could get a copy before they sold out.

Download Speeds Were Borderline Criminal

saving download says it will take 39 years to complete
Photo Credit: Twitter / @EGH78
Photo Credit: Twitter / @EGH78

The worst part is, after spending hours trying to download something, your mom would accidentally close the tab or make a call, canceling out the internet and forcing you to start the process all over again.

The Original Contacts List

notebook with handwritten phone numbers for different people
Photo Credit: Twitter
Photo Credit: Twitter

I take my contacts app in my phone for granted sometimes, so it’s humbling to remember that I used to have to handwrite out a list of all my friends’ phone numbers.

The Agony Of Putting One In And Having To Rewind The Whole Thing

VHS videocassette being put into VCR
Photo Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI / AFP via Getty Images

Every family had at least five fights that centered around someone not rewinding the VHS tape before taking it out of the player, so the next person to watch it had to wait 10 minutes for the tape to get back to the start.

I Have So Many Useless Photos

kodak disposable camera with caption : kids today will never know what it was like to take a ton of pictures and have to wait a week to kind out they were useless
Photo Credit: Instagram / @90smadness
Photo Credit: Instagram / @90smadness

Showing up for a class field trip with one of these was such a hard flex. You’d use a whole roll of film, beg your parents to get it developed, then face a slap of disappointment when all the photos were horrible.

This Was An Olympic Sport

I feel sorry for Netflix era kids. They will never know the high stakes adrenaline of running to the bathroom/fridge/bedroom in a single ad break, with the beckoning call of a sibling screaming
Photo Credit: Twitter / @JbKnockout
Photo Credit: Twitter / @JbKnockout

I would like to formally petition to remove steeplechase as a track and field event and instead replace it with “go upstairs to get your Game Boy before the cartoons come back on.”

Listening To Music Was A Struggle

person struggling to try and fit disc man into jacket pocket
Photo Credit: Reddit / dre10g
Photo Credit: Reddit / dre10g

You wanted to listen to music while on a run or while out and about? You had to lug around this large contraption that couldn’t neatly fit into any pocket.

Before Spotify Playlists, We Burned CDs

burned CD titled
Photo Credit: Reddit / JeffreyStrange
Photo Credit: Reddit / JeffreyStrange

If you wanted to listen to a mixture of tunes by a bunch of your favorite musicians, you had to burn your own CD. We’d listen to the same 12 songs for a whole month straight.

When You Tried To Move A Window

box moved around screen leaves
Photo Credit: Twitter / @AlanHangover
Photo Credit: Twitter / @AlanHangover

The first time I tried to drag a window on my computer and my screen glitched like this, I genuinely thought I had broken the whole computer and tried to frame my little brother for it.

The Phone Cord Was A Tangle Liability

girl taking on wall phone is cord wrapped all around her head
Photo Credit: Twitter / @wavemywand
Photo Credit: Twitter / @wavemywand

First of all, children will never understand the agony of having the one telephone in the house with the curly cords that you would get tangled in if you paced while talking.

Your Favorite Memories Could Easily Be Taped Over

VCR with handwritten label: Hey Thomas, if you tape over this you die. You will burn in hell
Photo Credit: Instagram / @tgraf86
Photo Credit: Instagram / @tgraf86

I distinctly remember that all the footage of my 8th birthday party was recorded, but my older sister taped over it when she wanted to record an episode of Pokémon.

Remember Having To Choose?

old computer computer captioned: get off the internet i need to use the phone`
Photo Credit: Twitter / @Alo7English
Photo Credit: Twitter / @Alo7English

In this era of smartphones, where you can simultaneously be on a phone call and be on the internet using the same device, it blows my mind that we once had to choose only one.

The Days Before Google Were Hard

open phonebook
Photo Credit: Twitter / @karenharter
Photo Credit: Twitter / @karenharter

Back in the day, if you wanted to get in contact with a specific business, you had to haul out this awful, heavy book and carefully search through it for the one place you wanted to call.

Before iPods, We Had This

Photo Credit: Twitter / @MsAughtsix
Photo Credit: Twitter / @MsAughtsix

Everyone had their book of CDs that was a literal nightmare to flip through. You’d search for way too long when you just wanted to listen to that one song from that one album.

It Was Such An Emotional Roller Coaster

Kids these days just get a push alert to find out that school's cancelled. They'll never know the pure terror/joy of waking up early and having to wait to see their district come across the scroll on the morning news
Photo Credit: Twitter / @BenAxelrod
Photo Credit: Twitter / @BenAxelrod

You’d wake up and, still in your pajamas, huddle in front of the television with blind hope in your eyes, carefully reading the ribbon of text at the bottom of the newscast in hopes that you wouldn’t have to actually get ready for school.

The Start Menu Was A Nightmare To Navigate

start menu takes three extra menus to get to game of solitaire
Photo Credit: Twitter / @legendslyf
Photo Credit: Twitter / @legendslyf

Just to get to one simple program, you had to go through multiple different menus, and if you made the mistake of moving your mouse just slightly in the wrong direction, you had to start again.

These Were The Best Windows

hank crank to open window
Photo Credit: Reddit / MORALVigilance
Photo Credit: Reddit / MORALVigilance

I don’t care what anyone says, hand-cranked windows were entirely superior to the current automated ones. There was something so satisfying about turning this bad boy as fast as possible.

Privacy On The Phone Was Pretty Much Non-Existent

phone cord stretched behind closed door
Photo Credit: Twitter / @Doug_Stryker
Photo Credit: Twitter / @Doug_Stryker

If you wanted to have a private phone call, you had to stretch the phone cord to its limits to try and retreat into your room just so it would be a bit harder for everyone to eavesdrop.

This Was My First Heartbreak

CD covered in scratches
Photo Credit: Twitter / @Jodie757
Photo Credit: Twitter / @Jodie757

There were few things more deeply heartbreaking than having your favorite CD get scratched beyond repair so that, every time you tried to listen to it, it would skip horrendously.

It Was A Simpler Time

cake, neapolitan ice cream, hot dog, and juice with foil cap captioned:
Photo Credit: Instagram / @90smadness
Photo Credit: Instagram / @90smadness

For some reason, every single birthday party when I was a kid had at least three out of four of these items. We really had low expectations. The birthday parties kids have today are so much more complex.

This Was The Game To Play

space cadet pinball game
Photo Credit: Reddit / SEMiTRiCKY
Photo Credit: Reddit / SEMiTRiCKY

I distinctly remember the Saturdays I spent hunched over the keyboard in my family’s computer room trying to beat my high score on this game. It was the only game on our computer other than Solitaire and Minesweeper.

Minutes Were A Hot Commodity

ad shows free phone minutes on nights and weekends
Photo Credit: Twitter / @FSkornia
Photo Credit: Twitter / @FSkornia

It’s funny to me that teens these days will do anything to avoid discussing things over a phone call. We used to live for the free-minute hours, where you could have extra long conversations.

Before Smart Boards, We Had Overheads

person writing on acetate sheet on overhead projector
Photo Credit: Reddit / ScrunchJeans
Photo Credit: Reddit / ScrunchJeans

There were few things worse than trying to take notes when you could barely decipher anything written because your teacher with messy handwriting furiously scribbled on the overhead sheet with a nearly dry marker.

Finding Posters Took Work

poster display you had to flip through at store
Photo Credit: Reddit / beardynolando
Photo Credit: Reddit / beardynolando

You would go up to this display and search for 10 minutes to find a poster of your favorite band, only to realize they were out of stock in the shelves below.

I Can Hear This Picture

coming soon to own on DVD and Video screen from VHS tapes
Photo Credit: Reddit / Tarhabibi
Photo Credit: Reddit / Tarhabibi

Every single Disney VHS movie I owned had this segment as part of the previews, and it always tried to destroy my eardrums. The only sound more deafening was the THX one.

Why Was This A Thing?

drawing of weird S with caption
Photo Credit: Twitter / @_Gelo01
Photo Credit: Twitter / @_Gelo01

I genuinely would like to talk to a historian to ask how this “S” drawing became so popular and prevalent amongst young people all over the continent. Where did it come from?

We Were Easily Entertained

dome-shaped rubber poppers
Photo Credit: Reddit / SovietPenguins
Photo Credit: Reddit / SovietPenguins

Kids these days might need video games and iPads to stave off feelings of boredom, but back in the day, we just needed one of these rubber “poppers” to be content for hours.