1. Boy Bands. Ask a 9 year old who Nsync is. Chances are they will have no idea. 98 Degrees? BSB? LFO? Hanson? Nope. If you ask a kid their favorite boy band, they will probably say “The Jonas Brothers” or something. But The Jonas Brothers are no Nsync or BSB. They might be famous now… but I’m sure they won’t be giving birth to another Justin Timberlake anytime soon. And I’m sure they won’t sell out stadiums on a reunion tour in 10-15 years. Boy bands were a pre-teen’s best accesory from 1998 – 2003. Our childhood would have sucked without those bands full of young, attractive boys who danced (very) well while singing about stuff that didn’t matter. The MMMBop’s of our generation have turned into I-Kissed-a-Girl-and-I-Liked-It’s. Life just doesn’t right for a kid without real boy bands.
2. Girl Bands. There really is no girl power anymore, is there? For young female artists, we have Selena Gomez (Who is Justin Bieber’s bitch – literally. She just ended her show about Wizards to spend more time with him), Demi Lovato (Who recently got out of rehab), and Miley Cyrus (Who is a self-acclaimed weed addict). What great role models. But back to talent – where is it? These days, young celebs cannot chose to be an actors OR a musician. They have to be both. This poses a problem, because I’m sure there are some girls that excel at only one of these talents – but they can’t be won over by Disney because they don’t have the whole package. The all-time greatest girl band – the Spice Girls – were “bloody” horrible actors, but they embraced their bad movies and in return, we loved them. Someone needs to tell young girls that they don’t need it all to be successful. Young celebs are totally sending the wrong message out these days. Girl Power! *cue peace sign*
3. Skip It. Instead of playing with N64 or PlayStation, Skip It provided youths with a fun game that made you work for a win. And they came in pink. I mean, treadmills don’t even come in pink. Talk about a workout disguised as stylish fun. Kids have their interactive Wii Fits now (and I will admit – Just Dance is one hell of a workout), but you can’t bust it out on the playground. However, you could with Skip It. You could play it at recess, in your driveway, in your backyard, at the bus stop, in a friend’s backyard, etc. But you can’t play Wii outside, can you? Do kids even play outside anymore? Do kids even play at all? Wtf.
4. TRL. I remember racing home from school every day to watch TRL. The excitement was pretty much equivalent to a weekend (or weekday) night of drinking in college. As far as I know, there is no TRL anymore. In fact, there are no music videos worth watching anymore. Okay, so maybe there are music videos worth watching, but I wouldn’t know because MTV now shows drunk idiots and pregnant teenagers. Not music videos. Of course, you can still catch the vids online, on MTV2, or during VH1’s throwback shows – but no one celebrates, talks about, or learns dance moves from music videos anymore… so why would you even bother? The music video is just not as cool anymore.
5. (Annoying) Stuffed Animals That Talk/Go To The Bathroom. Since 2012’s children are a bunch of technology snobs, a stuffed animal wouldn’t be cool to them (not even a talking one… unless it spoke to them through an iPad app). Did you see all the holiday shopping fights on the news this year? Those were over Air Jordans and HDTVs. “Back in our day” (yes, we’re that old) those fights were over Tickle Me Elmos, Furby’s, and that horrible doll that went to the bathroom. I guess iPads, iPods, iPhones, and iAnthing is better than those horrible, overpriced “toys.” And I guess todays’ kids would rather have the Apple products too. But as a 23 year old, I should not be wanting the same things as a 10 year old. Kids are really missing out on being kids. I mean play with a toy that isn’t virtual! We had our Tamagotchi’s. That was our high end technological toy. But guess what? That phase ended quickly, and we were soon back on to lame, annoying stuffed animals.
6. Full House. I grew up watching awesome shows such as everything on Nickelodeon… and Full House. 11 years later, my now 12-year-old brother is growing up watching Family Guy, Jersey Shore, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Glee, and Hannah Montanta. There is a big problem here: Kids are missing out on being kids. Maybe growing up watching Jersey Shore and Curb only applies to my younger brother, since he grew up around elders (his siblings)… But I’m pretty sure other kids who aren’t allowed to watch such vulgar shows are either sneaking around watching episodes online… or are stuck watching the Disney Channel (where all kids can sing, dance, and act), forming unrealistic ideas in their head about life. Are there any shows that teach kids real, valuable lessons about life anymore? And I don’t mean the repeats of Full House on ABC Family every day…
7. Good Nickelodeon Shows. All That, Rugrats, Doug, Hey Arnold, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Clarissa Explains It All, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Aaah! Real Monsters, The Angry Beavers, CatDog… Please – stop me now. I could go on all night. No one makes television like that anymore. No one. I’m talking television that makes you want to sit on the couch in your PJs with your parents watching television on a weekend night. We spent our Saturday nights watching SNICK and our Friday nights watching whatever that night of TV was called on ABC watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Kids now spend their weekend nights skyping with friends, facebooking acquaintances, and texting the guy/girl they like from their iPhone. If a show is on that they want to watch (which it most likely isn’t), they can watch it online the next day or something. There’s no need for a SNICK-like program anymore (except for us twenty somethings late at night – way past my bedtime – during the week).
8. Beanie Babies. If you were not a child or a parent of a child during the “Beanie Baby Craze,” you will never understand the obsession and fascination people had with these little bean-filled stuffed animals. People not involved in the craze probably thought beanie babies were “just little bean-filled stuffed animals…” Well, they weren’t. They had names. They had poems. They were cute. And best of all – they were worth money. And a lot of it if you had the right TY branded animal (Princess Diana the bear, anyone?). It should be normal for a kid to get excited over a stupid, squishy stuffed animal. But now, it is not. Now, things that excite kids include iPhones, their mom’s laptop, and Skype. There is one thing we can be grateful for, though: The demise of Teenie Beanie Babies. What a horrible idea. It totally promoted obesity. How many 20-somethings out there filled up on McDonalds for a straight week just so they could get multiple mini versions of Beanie Babies?! It wasn’t even, like, the real thing. Gross. At least (most) kids are healthy nowadays.
9. Line Dances. Think back to a middle school dance. Everyone is standing around… Girls on the left. Boys on the right. And then it happens. A magical song starts to fill the cafeteria. Everyone gathers into lines and starts doing the same dance. No, this is not a cult-like rebellion or zombie takeover like the one in the Thriller video. It is a LINE DANCE. Now, what happens when you put on the Macarena in front of an 8 year old? I’ll tell you what happens. NOTHING. Nothing. What about the Cotton Eye Joe? Electric Slide? Cha Cha Slide? Even that stupid dance everyone did during that Vengaboy’s song (We Like To Party – Hello Six Flags… RIP dancing man)? No. They listen to Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber (the Justin and Brit of this generation… kind of… not really). A 2012 “line dance” consists of middle school students grinding with one, two, three, or more people in a straight line next to each other to a song by one of the following: Katy Perry, LMFAO, Pitbull, The Biebs, and David Guetta (AKA everything we listen to). The only time you’re going to see a line dance these days is at a bar on 90s night, a wedding, a bar/bat mitzvah, an old person’s birthday party, or a party at my apartment. Come on over.
10. AOL. Cue the dial-up tone – AKA the excitement of getting to use the internet. There is no excitement anymore. Only anger. If the internet isn’t working (even when we aren’t using it) we go into a psycho rage (this goes for children and adults). No one appreciates logging on to the internet because we are always logged on – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Kids don’t know that one day people did not have wireless internet. In fact, they did not have internet. They did not have AIM. They did not have Facebook. And they did not have video chatting. Now don’t get me wrong. I think video chatting is cool. BUT I think it would be a little messed up if I video chatted with more than, like, 5 of the people I chatted with on AIM during middle school and even high school. It was awkward enough receiving an IM from your crush. It took you like 10 minutes to think of something to say back, after consulting with friends of course (thank god AIM didn’t show when people were typing back in the day). Imagine getting a video chat request from your crush??? Or even worse – the school bully? WTF. This is where I get confused as to how Skype is as much of a staple in a middle school-er’s life as AIM was in ours. Instead of using AIM, kids choose to force face-to-face communication upon each other through Skype. I guess this gives them the satisfaction of having friends without actually hanging out with them in person – so they have more time for extracurricular activities in hopes of getting into a better college (once again – kids don’t have time to be kids anymore). Thanks Internet for so quickly advancing and ruining childhood. Oh, and thanks for making my childhood so awesome… and making my entry to adulthood even better. I’m torn.