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Times have changed a lot in the last few decades. The 90s now feel like they were in a different lifetime. While the 90s can bring back a lot of nostalgia for some people, there are other parts of the 90s that we’d rather leave in the past. Here are some of the worst things people remember about the 90s.

1. Dangerous Cities

Dangerous city with crime scene tape
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Safe cities have come a long way since the 90s. There are a lot of cities that are generally pretty safe now but were considered dangerous in the 90s. For example, DC was known as the murder capital of the U.S. through the 90s but has been a very safe city since the 2000s began.

2. Acid Rain

Dirt eroded by acid rain
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In the 90s, you heard about acid rain everywhere. There were tons of PSAs around it – it was a HUGE issue. But since then, it seems to have gotten way better – think about it, when was the last time you heard anything about acid rain? It seems like those PSAs must have worked!

3. Slow Internet

Man frustrated with slow internet
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The internet was still pretty new in the 90s, and it’s improved drastically since then. Kids now will never know what it was like to only be able to use the phone OR the internet. There’s no way to describe the agony of downloading a song and having your internet connection cut out an hour into the 2-3 hour download process because someone decided to pick up the phone – thankfully we don’t have to deal with that anymore!

4. Lack of Treatment for AIDS

Hand holding a red AIDS ribbon
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AIDs was an epidemic by the 90s – people who had gotten sick from AIDS in the 80s began dying by the score in the 90s. By the early 90s, the red ribbon became the international symbol of AIDS. It wasn’t until effective treatments became available around 1996 that AIDs was considered treatable. Prior to that, contracting HIV was still essentially a death sentence.

5. Navigating

Elderly couple looking at an atlas
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In the 90s, we didn’t have cars with GPS or smartphones with access to Google Maps to help us navigate. Instead, most people kept a book of maps in their cars to help them figure out how to get where they needed to go. In the later half of the 90s when the internet started to become more popular, people would use MapQuest to generate directions from one place to another that they could print out and take in the car with them.

6. Geeks Weren’t Cool

Geek with glasses and math on a blackboard
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In the 90s, being geeky carried a heavy negative stigma because society valued traditional interests like sports and music. Geeky interests included things like comic books, video games, and computers, which were not considered mainstream. Additionally, the internet wasn’t as well developed back then, which prevented geeks from connecting with others who enjoyed the same things as them and forming their own communities.

7. Research

Wall of research books
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We didn’t have information at our fingertips in the 90s like we do today thanks to Google. If you didn’t know something and didn’t have an encyclopedia or couldn’t do the research at a local library, you simply just didn’t know it. A lot of knowledge was also shared just through conversation.

8. Diet Culture

Woman reading a diet book and getting ready to workout
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Diet culture ran absolutely rampant in the 90s. Everyone was obsessed with being as thin as possible, many women striving to be under 100 pounds. Not only was the obsession unhealthy, but it left permanent damage on many women who could never achieve the thin look.

9. Casual Discrimination

Group of feminist women with their hands up in an X
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Discrimination in the 90s was prevalent, but it was done in such a casual manner. People back then would use such homophobic or racist terms in such a casual way that it was as if it was nothing. And while we’ve made good progress since then, it’s sad to see that some of that behavior is making a comeback.

10. Popularity of Hard Drugs

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There was an increase in the popularity of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin in the ’90s. Even worse, easy access to these drugs made them widespread in most communities, not just in the entertainment and music scenes. At the time, drug use was glamorized by the media, popularizing them even further for other effects, such as weight loss. Despite attempts to reduce drug use by law enforcement, hard drugs remained popular through the 90s.

11. The Comforts of Being Middle-Class

Modest house with well-manicured lawn
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Many people in the 90s lived comfortable suburban lives with middle-class incomes. Most families owned a modest home, had vehicles, were able to go on a family vacation once a year. Unfortunately, the recession from the late 2000s stripped so much of that away and has largely left us without much of a middle class at all.

12. Blissful Ignorance

Group of kids riding bikes
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Growing up in the 90s, some families didn’t get the newspaper or have cable, so all they had access to was their local news. As a result, they didn’t know about most of the national bullsh*t that happened and remained blissfully unaware. Instead, people spent most of their time outside enjoying hobbies and minding their own business.

13. Tattoos

Someone giving someone a tattoo
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Tattoos began to increase in popularity in the 90s, starting what some call the tattoo craze that never ended. People began to view tattoos as a way of expressing themselves, even calling them body art. There were also improvements in both tattooing equipment and techniques that made tattoos more accessible to the general public, further contributing to their popularity.

14. No Cell Phones

Old school pay phone on paneled wall
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Only business people had cell phones in the 90s – they were not as mainstream as they are today. Instead, if you didn’t have one, you had to carry change in case you needed to make a call, and pretty much every public place had a phone booth. If there was an emergency and you needed to dial 911, you had to go to the nearest public place or house and ask to use their phone. There was a much greater feeling of disconnectedness, but in a way, that was also peaceful.

15. Thin Was In

Thin person holding pants out to show how big they are
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Being thin was glamorized and seen everywhere in the media. The fascination with being thin made many girls and women feel bad about themselves, and it led to eating disorders because they didn’t have a perfect body. Eating disorders became widely talked about, with many models and celebrities also struggling with them as well.

16. Bullying

Little kids bullying another little boy
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Bullying wasn’t taken seriously back then, and the general response was to “just ignore them, and they will stop”. Bullying was unfortunately seen as normal kid behavior and was often just considered teasing, rather than aggressive. Many kids began to fear going to school because of the bullying they endured, especially when they felt the adult figures in their life weren’t hearing them.

15 Things That Disgust People Most About Today’s Society

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Have you been around long enough for something to bother you about modern society? You’ve got company. Someone recently asked, “What disgusts you the most about today’s society?” Here are the top-voted responses. 15 Things That Disgust People the Most About Today’s Society

10 Cold Hard Facts Older People Have Learned Over the Years

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One of the best places on the internet is the SubReddit r/askoldpeople—people who are Gen-X (1980) and older answer today’s youth. Someone asked, “What are some cold hard facts you have learned over the years?” Here are the top-voted cold hard facts of life. 10 Cold Hard Facts Older People Have Learned Over the Years

15 Outrageous Myths That Have Been Told Time and Time Again

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Have you ever heard something through the grapevine that made you stop and ask, “Could this really be true?” Sometimes myths are told to keep you safe, sometimes they’re silly, and oftentimes they’re just downright stupid. A recent online poll asked users to share stupid myths that are still floating around. Here are some of the most popular answers. 15 Outrageous Myths That Have Been Told Time and Time Again

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