I often think how lucky I was to grow up in the late 90s/ early 00s as I honestly think it was one of the best times to grow up. I feel sorry for my future children sometimes, as I don’t think I could handle being a teenager in today’s times. Which may sound weird, but honestly, I find the world we live in now overwhelming and I’m in my mid twenties. God knows how I’d find it as a teenager.
People around my age were the last to know what it was like growing up without technology at our fingertips, we remember what it was like to have dial-up internet, and how your phone was literally just a phone. We remember days without Twitter and Facebook, and Netflix would have a been a word that sounded like gibberish.
We remember the aggro of putting in a VHS tape and it not being rewound to the beginning, we remember in order to listen to your fave songs, you had to buy the CD or listen to it on the radio. You got your celebrity gossip and beauty tips from magazines, and to be honest, I’m so glad, that this was the kind of world that I grew up in.
Social Media :
Social media is such a big part of all of our lives these days, how many hours do you spend on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram daily? I dread to think the time I rack up on all of these. Social media is a big part of my job, and maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I sometimes find it all a bit overwhelming.
Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are the highlight reel of everyone’s life, they’re your best bits and sometimes it’s easy to forget that. You can be sitting at home, feeling rubbish and seeing everyone else looking amazing, achieving great things and having a bigger group of friends than Blazin’ Squad.
I know that social media shows the highlights, I don’t document my bad days, like when I’ve lost out on a job or when I’ve got a massive spot. I think that as a teenager, I’d have struggled with the pressure to always be achieving great things/looking flawless. But although I probably would have struggled a lot with everyone’s seemingly perfect lives online, I think I’d of struggled more with the fact that social media never turns off.
For me, when growing up, the internet was a part of my life for just one hour a day.
I spent the hour between 8-9pm each night on the internet, usually either chatting on MSN, sharing the love on Bebo or uploading a cringe ‘from above’ selfie on MySpace.
MySpace taught us how to design our pages, and HTML which I’ve now forgotten which is annoying, and was very self-confidence boosting when you were trading PC4PC (picture comment for picture comment) with other girls. I mean who doesn’t like being told
‘UR S0000 PR3TTy <3’
Also Bebo taught us the importance of being choosy with our love. You only got to ‘share the love’ once a day, so you had to choose your recipient very carefully.
I learnt a lot about friendships thanks to MySpace’s top 8 friends and who shared the love with me on Bebo!
The Dream Matte Mousse Stage We All Went Through :
When I was a teenager, beauty tips came either from your Mum, or a magazine. I remember one time, I read in More! magazine that you should spray your face with hair spray to set it. I am shaking my head too, don’t worry.
One day, my Mum caught me doing this and was like ‘what are you doing?’ I explained how I’d seen it in a magazine and she replied ‘if a magazine said to put your head in an oven would you do it?’ I was like ‘well if helped my make up last longer?’
Beauty reviews in magazines weren’t the best back in the day, and most teenage girls my age went through a phase of dream matte mousse foundation, concealer lips and blue eyeshadow. Probably because that’s what magazines like Sabrina’s Secrets and Bliss were telling us to wear.
These days with all the flawless make up tutorials out there, teenagers are skipping that awkward make up phase. No more dream matte mouse for them, or putting body glitter everywhere. Although, I have many teenage photos I’d like burnt, I am glad that I went through that terrible make up phase.
I feel like I can look back and see how my make up has improved and laugh about it. I’m glad that I used to get excited about wearing blue eyeliner, and being so mad when I lost my pot of dream matte mouse in the girls bathrooms at school. I feel like it was a right of passage, and I bet there’s a lot of pressure to have perfect make up these days, at least in the early 00s – we all had no idea what we were doing.
Quality Kids Programmes:
We only had kids tv for a couple of hours in the afternoon back in the day, in my house, we only had the Disney channel and Nickelodeon at Christmas time, so CBBC and CITV, were what we watched most afternoons after school- and they had some amazing shows. I feel like kids these days, are missing out on some stellar shows that we watched whilst growing up.
For example my faves were :
Sabrina The Teenage Witch
The Queen’s Nose
Then there were the shows when I was a bit older that were on MTV :
My Super Sweet 16
Cribs (though this is probably still on?)
Seriously, kids these days have no idea what they’re missing out on.
Jacqueline Wilson Books :
I’m sure that Jacqueline Wilson is still a big deal these days, but I’m really glad that I didn’t have too much distraction from social media that stopped me from reading her books when I was younger.
I spent a lot of time reading when I was growing up, and my favourite author was Jacqueline Wilson. I feel like her books taught me so much about life; they taught me about appreciating what I have (and that I wasn’t living somewhere like The Dumping Ground) to how they taught me that not everyone has a functional family (something that was useful when my parents split up when I was 12) and the importance of friendships and dealing with boys.
I also feel like those books, ignited my love for writing, and sparked my imagination. Who knows if I’d even be a blogger, if I hadn’t realised how much I loved writing thanks to Jacqueline’s books.
Over all, I’m glad that I grew up in an offline world, and I wouldn’t change any of my childhood/teenage years, and no not even the dodgy orange Dream Matte mouse stage.
Did you grow up in the early 00’s like me? Or are you growing up now in an online world? I’d love to know.
*Bonus points for anyone who used to have a subscription to Sabrina’s Secrets magazine…*