I am off to see the Spice Girls next week!!! My 9 year old self was literally jumping for joy when the tour was announced and logging on to get tickets was more stressful than getting Glastonbury tickets. Anyone that has tried to anxiously get tickets for something they love will know the feeling; sweaty palms, butterflies going crazy in your stomach, the feeling of near tears every time you have to F5 to refresh the page…. the struggle is real.
After failing to get tickets on the first round of releases, I could have cried. I was still searching for non existent standing tickets at Wembley when all of a sudden a new date was released and I managed to grab 4 standing tickets for Friday 14th and then I wanted to cry for a totally different reason. With this nostalgia for simpler times (gosh I sound like a old woman… I promise I am only 31… well 32 in 4 weeks) and the ‘Spice’ album playing loudly on repeat for the last month, it made me think about my childhood and growing up in the 90s and 00s and the dramatic changes that have happened to technology over the last 20 or so years.
Plus the Spice Girls are in the new Walkers Crisps advert! Have you seen it? I would have had to fast forward through these ads if I hadn’t got tickets, or it would have been a constant reminder that I had missed possibly the last time to ever see them live! The advert shows the girls arriving at ‘the biggest spice girls fan’ house to invite him to tour with them. Now I can categorically say that he isn’t the biggest fan, I AM, and also it’s proven as he wouldn’t share his crisps with them! Check out the new advert here!
What has changed since the 90s?
Renting a movie. Long gone are the days where you have to go into a Blockbuster store, look at all the movie jackets, take it to the till and hand over your hard earned cash. Now I lie in bed, turn on Netflix and scroll through until something catches my eye. There is no limit on how many people can rent the same movie as there are an infinite number of ‘copies’ available on the digital store. There is no feeling like wanting to rent a movie only to realise the two copies have already been hired other people!
Mobile Phones. I got my first mobile in the year 2000. It was the amazing Nokia 3310, when battery life could last anything up to a week. If you played the mobile game ‘snake’ then it may last only 3 days! I still remember the agony of calling a boy you liked on the landline and having to explain to his mum who you were and why you wanted to speak to him! I love the change in technology (but not the battery life!) that the new mobiles give us. No longer do you have to delete texts to get new ones through, there is no 10 text message limit. You can send and receive quality photographs, in some cases better than digital cameras, and your news comes straight to the palm of your hand. I can keep in touch with friends from all over the world at the touch of a button, not have to buy AirMail blue envelopes and make sure I don’t write right to the edge so that when I stick it down to send it, some of the words get cut off! Although the fact that more people in the world have mobile phones than they do toilets is quite a sad and scary thought.
Listening to music. I remember sitting in my first boyfriends car, flipping through a ginormous CD holder, trying to find that one mix CD that had the one Ja Rule song on it that I wanted to listen to. The CD’s would be decorated with permanent ink telling me the bands and artists burnt onto the CD. Or listening in the back of the car to my Discman, and praying Dad didn’t go over any potholes so the CD wouldn’t skip! Now I just open Spotify and scroll to my chosen playlist. The invention of Spotify certainly made room in my glove box for other crap!
Finding information. Back at the start of my secondary school life, there was no Google. This wasn’t really a thing until maybe 2000. Regardless, we didn’t have smartphones, and I remember our computer room in High School didn’t have enough computers for each student, in IT lessons we shared two to a desktop. The most amazing learning tool we had at school was Encarta. This was an ‘encyclopedia’ created by Microsoft in DISC FORMAT and you would place a disc into the computer and search your chosen subject. It was by no means comprehensive (the standard edition only had 50,000 articles) but it was the best we had. Nowadays everything you ever wanted to know is easily found on Google, which is why 63,000 searches are apparently done EVERY SECOND on its platform.
Technology has changed and shaped our lives so much in the last 20 years. I love the modern world so much but there are some things from the 90s and 00s that will conjure up thoughts of a more simple time, where the only things I had to worry about was eating my veggies and doing my homework!
Tamagochi – This little pocket sized, plastic egg shaped ‘pet’ was an electronic game where you had to keep a pet alive by feeding it, walking it, playing with it, at specific times so that it didn’t die. I remember everyone at school was addicted to it! The heartache when a lesson meant that couldn’t feed your pet and it died a horrible death in your school backpack. Apparently Tamagochi are making a comeback this year… I don’t think I can take the heartache of one dying on me again!
Polly Pocket toys. I remember owning a Polly Pocket, a pocket sized toy from the early 90s. Mine was pink and came in a shell doll house and Polly as only about 1cm tall. You could slot Polly into different rooms in her home by placing her feet in the circular hole in the floor of her house. I had hours of fun with this. Last weekend I was a t a flea market in Wales and a lady was selling them. The original ones are highly collectable!
Spice Girls dolls. Gone are the days where you would have dolls just like your favourite girl band, but in the 90s my favourite toy was a Geri Halliwell Spice Girls doll. She wore her Union Jack dress and held a microphone and was my biggest inspiration as a 10 year old. I absolutely loved this doll and played with it so frequently that it eventually fell to bits. I wish I still had her!
Saturday night television. Does anyone remember Man Oh Man, the TV show? A radical (for the late 90s) dating show hosted by Chris Tarrant, women got to choose their date by pushing men into a pool of water until there was one left. Oh my god I loved it! It only aired for 2 series but was the highlight of my Saturday! This, along with The Generation Game (I always wanted to go on this and remember everything from the conveyor belt and win!) and Gladiators (I wanted to be Jet, the fierce brunette with a killer body) made Saturday night TV gold.
Kids Television. Some of my favourtie TVs shows are still from the 90s! Sister, Sister (the one with the twins reunited after being separated at birth by adoptive parents) Sabrina the teenage witch, Round the Twist (three kids living in a lighthouse) Goosebumps (the TV show based on the books by R.L Stine and scared the shit out of me!) Clarissa explains it all (tackling coming-of-age issues mainly for young girls, it taught me a lot!) and The Babysitters Club (based on the incredible books Ann Martin about a group of high school kids that set up a babysitters club to make money. This started me love of babysitting in my village) made being a kid informative and fun.
So that is my round up of how things have changed and what I loved about this era. Thank you for reading. What was your favourite thing from the 90s or 00s?