Being a teenager in the 2000s was such a unique experience. For young minds that were still in the process of being molded, they’d experienced pre-online life in the '90s and were introduced to the surge of computer and internet usage as they grew up. It wasn’t just the early stages of social media, but the trends, the pop culture and the all around experience of growing up, attending high school, and generally existing as a young person in the 2000s.
The Blockbuster night experience.Photo: K. Ryan JonesBefore instant streaming there was the joyous time in which one would visit Blockbuster Video. Blockbuster survived the 2000s, dying in 2011, but it’s no surprise when you really think about it. They didn’t adjust prices as things like Netflix and Redbox (which surprisingly began in 2002) emerged, so as fun as it was to head to the nearest Blockbuster, walk aisles of entertainment options and buy overpriced candy, it began to not make sense financially, or convenience-wise. Still, hanging with friends and hitting up a video store is a memory former 2000s teens can cherish.32843Do you remember this?
Everything took a little bit longer.Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation LicenseFrom tapes having to be rewound after watching to more significant delays, like the internet. You didn’t just open your laptop and browse the web, you had the early dial-up internet experience, which included a bunch of unpleasant sounds for like 15-30 seconds while it connected. Then, once online you got to enjoy waiting for pages to load and videos to buffer.28137Do you remember this?
Having limited minutes and text messages.Photo: Craige MooreWe talked to people on nights and weekends because that’s when it was free. Most didn’t text as liberally as we do now for the better part of the 2000s because there were limits. You can’t be sending short ‘K’ and ‘LOL’ responses when you’re only got so many in your plan. While calls were cut short as well, the biggest difference is the data, because while you might perpetually be on social media nowadays, if you even accidentally tapped the ‘Mobile Web’ button back then, you were freaking out trying to close it immediately to avoid any charges.25635Do you remember this?
Burning custom CDs with handpicked songs depending on the friend or crush you were giving it to.Photo: SnakeBite HeartThere was nothing like making mixtapes with all of the illegally obtained tunes you’d scored. It was cool to make a mix that you could play on the way to and from school, which was the 2000s equivalent of being handed the AUX cord. Or, you could give a mixtape to your crush as a means of communication, hoping they’d listen, and I mean really listen to the lyrics of the love-professing songs.25537Do you remember this?