90s Teenagers Explain Which Piece Of Technology Took The Longest To Adapt To

New tech isn't always the easiest thing to get used to.

Sometimes it's really cool, and it seems like it would be useful, but taking the extra step to actually learn how to use it is just too much.

Reddit user DradByDawn93 asked:

"Those who were teenagers in the 90's, what piece of technology took you a long time to adapt to during the turn of the century?"


Bluetooth, strangely. I was a "you can take my headphone jack when you pry it from my cold dead hands" type of person but now I use Bluetooth exclusively, even when I still had a headphone jack in my phone.



Not tech, but assuming someone knocking on your door is a stranger starting in the 2000's versus a friend visiting your house in the 90's. Life used to be simple.


Knock on my door? What kind of heathen are you? Text me from the driveway like a civilized person, pls.


Delivery Apps

Born in 79. I don't know if it counts as technology really, but apps like Doordash and Ubereats. Part of it is because I think the idea of McDs being delivered to me is the epitome of laziness, but also because I just dont want cold french fries.

Also, in the 90s, going to McDs or any other restaurant was a treat for us. Having it delivered cold to your door just doesn't have the same appeal.



iPods. I got a Zune instead.


Creative Zen! It was a brick but it played videos and had 120gb of storage! It was going strong 10 years later until I ran over it with a rolling chair.




Constant, normalized surveillance. I'm still not accustomed to it, and I never will be. My kid is 11 and it blows her mind to hear that there didn't use to be video cameras all over schools, stores, and stop lights.

Or that we could go shopping in the airport mall, or walk right to the gate to meet someone coming in on a flight. We didn't have to worry about data dragnets or deep fakes, full body scanners or the long term implication of biometrics and how that data could be weaponized in the future.

I think that's the biggest thing teens and early twenties now will never be able to grasp- just how different everything was pre-9/11. Not just the technology, but also the sociological blowback.

We used to trust each other so much more, weren't as suspicious of strangers motivations, etc. It makes me really sad to think about how normalized it's all become and how there is no going back.

- Reddit

No More Chats

Man. Nowadays it's the lack of chat rooms. When I was a teen in the late 90s chat rooms were cool!

I used to go on one (alamak) and there was an RP chat room that was always full of people, a teens chat room one for 20s and 30s.it use to always be full with hundreds of people, now if you go there it's only like 50 or so people online all in the same lobby.

And yahoo use to have a chat room sorted by major cities and you could meet people and find people to hook up with on there,or just find new strangers to talk to and maybe make friends in the area. There are basically no chat rooms anymore and the ones that are still around are super small compared to their hay days


So Many Things

Streaming media vs owning a copy. Software as a service in general.

Touchscreens. I kept a phone with a hard keyboard for a long time.

Stored cc#s on websites, I remember when you could get a one-time number for special transactions.

I'm still against cash apps like venmo, everyone that says I need it takes cash.


Socially Networking

Being (overly) social.

I've now seen every single social networking iteration since the Internet started and I've tried to engage with most of them in meaningful ways.

I still don't like taking pictures of myself or most of what I do.

I would still rather lurk and absorb info from the Internet as opposed to posting and sharing.

While I appreciate the technology used and markets created by things like Twitch streams or MMOs and Battle Royales, I'd still rather solo an epic RPG by myself for some story.

Leave the other people out. Leave the inane lobby chat out. Turn off the mic.

Leaving all that aside, social networking is screwing UP the political, social, and economic parts of life.

Of all the new "stuff" that's come with "Living in the Future," social networking baffles, amazes, and frustrates me the most.


Social Media

Social media has been my only hurdle. The fact that people are so willing to put their faces and real identifying information out to the public on the internet just frightens me. The blind trust that consumers put into these corporations is astounding.



I waited to get a smartphone until almost everyone else my age had one. I always used to say that I don't need to have the Internet with me all the time. Once I made the switch though, there was no looking back.


Voice Recognition

Voice recognition actually being good and usable is the thing I'm still getting used to.


This is a good one. I still assume its complete garbage as many early implementations were.




For me its stuff like linkedin and building a professional social media and networking presence. Im not really into regular social media so its something I never did or built.


I find it incredibly draining to create content to cultivate a social media presence.

I don't mind doing it casually, and see immense value in staying connected with people that I'd otherwise not have the ease of access to, but when it comes to being intentional about posts to grow followers, I find it hard to be motivated.



Same, the whole ”building your own personal brand” for the sake of your career in Linkedin for example is something I really dislike.

The thing about social media is that it is so fake and superficial as it is, and I feel like this is just adding to the issue.



The constant availability of a seemingly endless stream of entertainment, in any form. I still can't adapt. I should be sleeping right now.



No Anonymity

The concept of not hiding your identity online. "Always lie when asked ASL [age, sex, location]" was drilled into me. So the idea that someone can just mosey on over to Facebook and find your personal information is wild to me.


I've gotten so comfortable with typing my social security number into a form on a site I've never been to before. There was a time when I would get grounded for telling people on a message board what state I lived in.




Video calling / Skype/ Facetime.. whatever it's called these days.

Just.. well I still haven't "adapted". My younger siblings insist every call must be a video call.
Nah dawg, I'm good.

Edit: And I'm generally on the front lines, keeping up with the tech, recommending them products, troubleshooting their problems etc.


24/7 Availability

I didn't want a cellphone because "I didn't want to be reachable, all the time."

Well, that's no longer allowed.


This is why all of my work vacations involve wilderness camping.

Even when they don't.




I remember the old ones my dad would have for work, and how they really sucked compared to the desktop we had. Once they started having them in schools, I still thought they sucked. I guess I knew that they would naturally get better, but the idea that a laptop would ever be powerful enough for things like gaming, serious computing ability, or small enough to be carried conveniently? Yeah right. Not any time soon.

Looking back, I know how dumb it was, considering people have had the same feelings for everything from electricity to the telephone. But at the time, my aversion to em and being dismissive about them really put me at a disadvantage for a few years.



Took me a long time to get onboard with texting.


I remember telling one of my buddies “why would I text you when I can just call you? It’s much faster”

And I now I never pick up a call unless it’s family or work.


Bye-Bye Mixtapes

I can't pick a specific item, but I used to use a tape player a lot in the 80s to 90s. I would record radio songs and pretend to be a DJ in between.

When CDs came out I just didnt care for them. I couldn't record to them (yet) and they were expensive. I think we owned a Mozart CD as our only CD for the first 5 years. It wasn't until I had a CD player in my own car that I even bought them.



Online Applications

The concept of filling out a job application online was hard to deal with. I was a teen through the late 90's when you still had to go to the physical location of a place to apply for a job. After graduation, I joined the Army and served for 8 years. When I got out and started job hunting again, being told to "go to our website" to fill out an application completely threw me for a loop.


As times passes technology will change.

It's not always easy to keep up.

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