What Teens Did a Decade Ago That They Don’t Do Anymore
Here are 15 things teenagers were loving a decade ago in 2009 that are all but forgotten by their modern counterparts.
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Teen taste is mercurial. Today’s VSCO Girl was yesterday’s Harajuku Girl. Vine videos once occupied their every waking moment instead of TikTok. Sometimes trends get recycled by the high school set—see ’90s mini bags and midi skirts making a comeback in 2019—and sometimes what they just had to have then is something today’s youth wouldn’t be caught dead in. Read on for the things today’s teens wouldn’t be caught dead doing, then take a deeper dive into the past by finding out what school was like 100 years ago.
Join Team Jacob or Team Edward
Twilight mania was in full swing. The Stephenie Meyer novels (released 2005-2008) about sparkling vampires, fierce werewolves, and the girl who loves both of them in the Pacific Northwest dominated bestseller lists for years after their release. The movies based on them, including New Moon, which hit theaters in 2009, were blockbusters that turned Robert “Edward” Pattinson and Taylor “Jacob” Lautner into warring heartthrobs. The debates (Which actor is hotter? Who should Bella end up with? Would you pick a bloodsucker or a Lycan?) sprang from the screen to real life and divided friends. Pretty sure today’s teens just think they’re old. That is if they even think of them at all. Brush up on this pop culture trivia people always get wrong before your next game night.
Have a Hotmail account
Hotmail, which started in 1996 and was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for $400 million, was the leading provider of free web-based email services until well past Gmail’s launch in 2004, according to Geek.com. But the software giant released the final version in October 2011, was replaced by Outlook in 2012, and by the summer of 2013, Microsoft had migrated all 350 million hotties to the newer system according to Fast Company. Now teens are more likely to use Gmail just like more than 1 billion other folks around the world.
Introduced in the ’80s, people moved away from cassettes and vinyl (which interestingly is making a comeback) and started buying music on compact discs. But in 2018, Rolling Stone reported that CD sales had fallen 80 percent over the past decade from roughly 450 million to 89 million and now automakers like Tesla, Toyota, and Ford don’t even bother to equip new models with CD players. Kids had already started to digitize their collections and download new music to their MP3 players by 2009. Now even downloads are on the outs as streaming becomes king. They plummeted 58 percent since peaking in 2012, making their profits even smaller than physical sales.
Download music to an iPod Shuffle
This one isn’t limited to teens either. The iPod was the must-have gadget of the aughts. In 2005, Apple released the smaller, cheaper, wearable models called the Nano and the Shuffle. But after the iPhone was invented (2007) and as smartphones became more advanced, people started storing music on those instead. Why carry two pieces of tech when one can do all the jobs? (This same theory was also the downfall of stand-alone cameras.) And as we already established above, people now prefer streaming to downloading. Apple responded by discontinuing both models in 2017.
Teach you how to Dougie
Teens are too busy doing the Floss, the Dab, the Shiggy, the Milly Rock, and the Shoot to remember the dance move spawned by the Cali Swag District song “Teach Me How To Dougie.” The corresponding video brought the dance and the rappers a few years of fame, according to the Los Angeles Times. Justin Bieber taught Regis, Kelly Ripa, and Ellen Degeneres how to do it. Ryan Seacrest and Jennifer Lopez busted the move on American Idol. There were parodies like “Teach Me How To Panda.” The rappers played teen clubs, car shows, and everything in between, but eventually, their star faded.
Copying Beyonce’s Single Ladies moves from MTV
Everyone was trying to ace Beyonce’s sexy but complicated “Single Ladies” choreography found in the black and white music video and spoofed on SNL by Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg. (See if any of her smooth moves make the list of sexiest dance moves as reported in a Scientific Reports study.) Oh and speaking of music videos, 2019 teens don’t have much use for them either and even when they do want to watch one, it sure as heck isn’t on MTV, the network that pioneered music television.
Sing along with Glee
On May 19, 2009, the world was introduced to a group of loveable misfits with a song in their hearts from Lima, Ohio, the earnest choir club coach, and the wickedly funny Sue Sylvester on the FOX musical Glee. The high school musical, creator Ryan Murphy, and its cast became household names, it made Journey cool again, and it earned high praise for dealing with coming out, homophobia, teen pregnancy, disabilities, grief, abuse, and other important issues with aplomb and good intentions. There was merch, concert tours, soundtracks, and a few Golden Globes. It aired until March 2015 but had already lost most of its steam after cast changes and the drug overdose of lead Cory Monteith in 2013.
Line their wrists with Silly Bandz
Speaking of Ohio, Toledo’s Robert Croak and his company, Brainchild Products, created a national fashion craze with the 2006 introduction of Silly Bandz, cheap rubbery bracelets that came in endless shapes and colors including cowboy boots, dinosaurs, musical instruments, and dollar signs that were inspired by a similar product Croak saw at a convention in China. According to an interview with Inc., they were selling more than a million packs a week at the peak in 2008 and storeowners would drive to their headquarters from other states to buy them because they could not get through on the phone to reorder. Several schools banned them for being distracting and causing fights. Although they, along with a few copycats, are still made, sales started to slow in 2010. Nowadays, wrists are reserved for fitness trackers and scrunchies.
Sorry, Mark Zuckerberg, but today’s teens have no use for your social network. For one, their parents are on it and think its cool. Gross. And two, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok are much more their speed. But back in 2009, MySpace was so over and they rushed to establish an online presence on Facebook. They were wild about the like button.