10 Things Gen Z Will Never Know About

September 02, 2022

Life On Campus

When you hear terms like Saturday morning cartoons, burning CDs, and GameBoys you probably reminisce on “the good old days”. 

When Gen Z hears these terms, confusion takes over. 

Along with many other novelties, here are 10 things Gen Z will never know about:

1. Movie Rentals 

RIP Blockbuster

Gone are the days of walking into a movie store, picking out a VHS or DVD (we’ll get to those later) from the rows of shelves, and bringing it back to the store before the due date. 

Now all you have to do is search for a movie on one of many streaming services to watch your favorite flick. 

2. Taking Backwards Phone/Camera Selfies 

There were no front cameras back in the day, so taking the perfect selfie required much more skill. Whether it was a flip phone or digital camera, you had to turn it backward to snap the selfie. 

Now, nearly every device comes equipped with a front camera, allowing Gen Z’s to capture selfies with ease and much better angles! 

3. CDs (and CD Players)

1 disk. 13(ish) songs. On repeat. 

And if you were lucky, you had a CD player (Walkman) that you could bring along with you so you could listen on the go. 

Gen Z will never know the joy of buying a new CD and throwing it into your player. Instead, they grew up with iPods and phones that let them carry thousands of songs in their pocket.  

4. Phonebooks

Want to order a pizza? Grab the phonebook! 

Believe it or not, if you needed to make a phone call, you had to crack open a book with lists and lists of numbers to find the one person or place you were looking for. Googling a phone number simply didn’t exist. 

5. VHSs and VCRs

Watching movies used to require a VHS and a VCR, you couldn’t just log into Netflix on your Smart TV. 

And forget about the “skip intro”, “play from the beginning”, or “15-second fast-forward”. VHS tapes had to be rewound by hand and if you wanted to jump forward a scene, you had to make your best guess at when the current one ended and a new one began. 

Gen Z will never know the patience required to rewind a video before you could watch it again. 

6. Maps 

There’s nothing like the tension you felt from the back seat while your mom and dad sifted through a map as wide as the dashboard and tried to figure out which turn they missed. 

Thanks to Google Maps, Apple Maps, and GPSs Gen Z will never have to use a physical map to get from Point A to Point B. 

7. Saturday Morning Cartoons

Okay, maybe Gen Z can still partake in this Saturday morning tradition, but only if they see it through for themselves.

Back in the day, cartoons were a Saturday morning staple and they graced the screens of nearly every TV while families ate breakfast together. 

Now if you want to watch a cat and mouse chase after each other while you eat your Cheerios on a Saturday morning, you’ll have to turn on the cartoon on your own.

8. Burning CDs

Burning CDs took time and skill (and the risk of downloading a virus on your family’s computer) but if you wanted to have all of your favorite songs in one spot, this was the way to go. 

Now, Gen Z has been gifted with Spotify and Apple Music. 

9. “Hanging Up” the Phone and “Rolling Up” the Window

Clicking a button has replaced simple actions and left Gen Z asking, why do we say “hang up the phone” and “roll up the window”? 

Some Gen Zs have no idea you actually had to hang up the phone and roll up the window.

10. Payphones

Imagine having to put a quarter into a phone on a street corner to make a call. Crazy right?


Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog...