Sometimes, I find myself driving to work and just day dreaming about living in the 90’s. I remember those special days when things were simpler and life was fun. I think about staying home sick from school and watching MacGyver and The Price is Right. I think about my afternoons being full of watching The Golden Girls and Designing Women. I think about playing at the Discovery Zone, watching Monday Night Nitro, and throwing a Nerf football around. I think about those simple moments, where I laid in bed with a portable CD player and just listened to music. No multitasking, no cell phone in hand, just me relaxing with some tunes.
Obviously there is no way for me to go back in time and enjoy the carefree days of my youth. That’s a bit extreme, but I do think there are ways to bring the 90’s into modern times that may encourage some happiness.
I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years, and one of the main things about bringing the 90’s into modern day is accepting limitations. A lot of people immediately think about buying vintage electronics, dressing in retro clothes, and using old slang, but none of that truly channels the 90’s the way restriction does. What do I mean by restriction? I mean, putting down your cell phone. Turning off your cell phone while at work or school. Using physical media and not diving into streaming entertainment, but if you don’t have access to physical media , then limiting your choices with streaming. For example: I’ve destroyed all my massive playlists and now only use playlists that are 10-12 songs. This mimics the length of a regular album and helps me link songs together the way that I used to. I’ve also found a lot of joy in building specific playlists that are short and for a purpose the I used to do with mix-tapes.
We are bombarded with choices and when so much is at your fingertips a bit of decision fatigue can kick in. I often tell people how much I miss the days of just having a few movies on DVD. I’d come home and just pick from what I owned or watch the special features. I felt like I got real value out of my purchases and I learned so much about my favorite films in the process.
Disconnecting is another important way of bringing back the 90’s. Not always online 24/7 and not feeling the need to share every single detail is very 90’s. Back then, you just did what you wanted to do to entertain yourself, not others. There was no social media and if you wanted to share your goofy hobbies and interests, then you had to learn how to make a basic website like this to connect with the random three people who might find your website through your AOL Profile.
Another tip I like to utilize is finding videos on Archive.org or YouTube that are complete with commercials. There is just something about watching a 90’s sitcom in VHS quality with familiar commercials that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I’m also a big fan of supporting 90’s things that have been brought back. Maybe it’s Planter’s Cheeseballs or maybe it’s watching Joe Bob Briggs on Shudder. I also love playing remakes/remasters/sequels of games I loved in the 90’s like Mario, Mortal Kombat, Sonic, and Streets of Rage.