Thousands of Twitter users took a trip down memory lane this week, trading stories about their favorite things from decades past that are no longer around today.
While men and women of all ages chimed in, it was children of the ’80s and ’90s who really represented, reminiscing about old technology, trends, and ‘struggles’ that kids today will never know.
They shared pictures and memories of beepers, cassette tapes, and Scholastic Book Fairs, looking back fondly at favorite pastimes of the pre-internet and early-internet days.
Trip down memory lane… Thousands of people are reminiscing about things from their childhoods after a 31-year-old man named Matt kicked things off on Twitter
He himself brought up a few memories, like having to wind up lose tape in a cassette with a pencil
Please DJ, shh! He also recalled recording music from the radio, which many others remembered fondly
Reading fun: Lots of Twitter users fondly remembered Scholastic Book Fairs at their schools
Don’t skip! Most of the memories were about obsolete technology
Matt Whitlock, a 31-year-old man from Brockton, Massachusetts, kicked off the nostalgic thread late Sunday night.
‘Without revealing your actual age, what’s something you remember that if you told a younger person they wouldn’t understand?’ he wrote in a tweet that has so far earned 26,000 replies.
Some were from people born in the ’60s and ’70s, who called up memories from their childhoods.
Author Jodi Picoult, 51, remembered the video game Pong. Some recalled playing 45 rpm records, using typewriters, listening to 8-tracks, and needing to phone the operator to make a long-distance call.
However, by far most of the responses poured in from millennials, those born in the ’80s or early ’90s.
Matt, who at 31 was likely born in 1986, had quite a few of his own memories from his childhood. He recalled having to use a pencil to wind up lose tape and a cassette, as well as trying to record a song from the radio on that cassette.
Just a bill… Some, though, remembered pop culture from their childhoods, like learning from School House Rock
Old fave: Favorite toys and fads made their way into the thread, including Pogs
Yes, really: In the late ’90s, for a brief period, kids listened to these seconds-long clips of popular songs
Phone hack: Writer Shaun King remembered sneaking out a quick message instead of saying his name when calling collect so the person on the other line wouldn’t have to pay
Going back: People remembered the age before speed dial, cell phones, and even call waiting
Vital stats: When AOL first came out, it was popular to talk to strangers in chat rooms — and use the shorthand A/S/L to ask for a person’s age, sex, and locaton
22378008: Before texting, people found clever ways to send messages to pagers
‘Who else is old enough to remember sitting by the radio all day/night, patiently waiting for your favorite song to come on so you could hit “play” and “record” at the same time to get it on the tape?’ he asked in a tweet that was like 15,000 times.
Plenty of people added to that, remembering the annoyance of a radio DJ who spoke through the song’s intro or interrupted the song before it was over, messing up a recording.
Matt also shared images of Hit Clips, tiny recordings of popular songs (that lasted just a few seconds) that were a fad in the ’90s, as well as his Pog collection.
‘Kids today don’t know the pain and suffering that occurred while trying to listen to a CD player without anti-skip on the bus ride to school,’ he also wrote.
People fondly remembered going to the Scholastic Book Fair at school, jamming out to School House Rock, and talking to strangers in AOL chat rooms.
Updated: Though the Dewey Decimal System is still in use in libraries, the car catalog — where people would look up books — is long gone
We know what you’re watching! A lot of Twitter users sympathized with this man, who shared a gif of what a Pay-Per-View channel might look like when you weren’t paying for the content
Frustrating: Before cell phones went straight to voicemail — and before call waiting — phoning someone who was already talking to someone else would result in a busy signal
Earlier: This man remembered IBM punched cards, which stopped being used in the ’70s
No money, mo problems: This man recalled a time before ATMs, when you had to cash a check at the bank to get money
The value of technology! Remote controls used to be attached to televisions (and before that, you had to actually get up to change the channel)
No kidding! It’s hard to believe that there was a time that people could smoke freely around sick patients
They complained about Scantron tests, getting a busy signal while calling someone (whereas now a cell phone would send a caller to voicemail), and using a remote control that was connected to the television (or not having a remote at all).
One young man shared a gif of a blurry, wiggly TV screen, with swirling colors and the picture not quite coming through — leading many commenters to joke about how they, too, would stare at images like that to try to catch some nudity, tuning into a pornography channel they didn’t get.
Writer Shaun King remembered placing collect calls on payphones when he was younger, which would give the person on the receiving end of the call the option to pay for it.
The automated service would give the caller a chance to speak his or her name — and often, people would try to convey a message to the recipient really quickly, so the person on the other end would not have to accept the charges.