Millennial Childhood

Note: Please take this with a grain of salt. This is supposed to be a fun article so smile and don’t take it too seriously!

“When I was a kid, we had it so much easier. We didn’t have gadgets and we would play outside. The ’90s were such a great time.”

Isn’t that something we always hear nowadays? And the funny thing is, the people who usually make those claims were born in the 90’s themselves.

Dear Millennials, I don’t think you can be considered a ‘90s kid if you were born in the 90’s. Think about this… What did you remember when you were 1 or 3 or even 5? Not much, I believe. Maybe your love for your Barbie collection? The time you asked your parents for a Tamagochi? Or the time you peed your overalls in kindergarten?

Even if you were born in 1990, the first year of this so-called nostalgic era, I’m sure the most you had a good grasp of occurred during half of the era. You didn’t get to experience and understand Saved by the Bell and the earlier seasons of Boy Meets World in real time. (Reruns don’t count. I repeat, Reruns don’t count.)

So in my opinion…

Born in the ’90s = ’90s Baby
Born in the ’80’s = ’90s Kid




Here’s something fun. Below I’ve listed some common stuff you’d hear from 90s-born millennials that turns out, were around during our* childhood.

*for those who had a mid-’90s to early 2000s childhood (aka ’90s babies)


1. “Kids today. Ugh.. They all have cellphones.”

Ahhh… cellphones. I don’t know about you, but I got my first cellphone when I was around 6 or 7 (aka first grade) in the late ’90s – early 2000s. It was a Nokia and looked something like this:

Nokia 5110 (Released 1998)

And even if you didn’t have a cellphone then (late ’90s – very early 2000s), you should know that a LOT of young kids already had their own cellphones at that time. It was totally normal for middle-class families. Sure, it’s not today’s smartphone, but it’s still a cellphone, right?

We also had games you could download then. Aside from the built-in Snake, Snake II, Bantumi, and Space Impact, they had this thing where you could text a certain number to download games. Of course, money would have to be deducted from your balance. It kind of works like the app store does, except the games you could choose from could be found in ads in newspapers/magazines.

Snake -1997

Just for old time’s sake… Download Snake ’97 to your smartphone now and relive them good ol’ childhood days. (available for Android and Apple)


2. “Kids today have *insert new pop star*. In the ’90s, we had Britney Spears.”

“Oops I did it Again” (2000) – Britney Spears

First of all, Britney Spears didn’t rise to popularity as a solo pop star ’til the ’90s were almost over. Her first album …Baby One More Time was released in 1999. If you’re one of these people who made this claim, you were most likely born in the 90’s. You little millennial you.


3. “Polly Pockets were tiny and cute back then. Nowadays, they’re huge!”

Polly Pocket
Photo courtesy of

Fun Fact: They’ve had “big” Polly Pockets since 1998, when Mattel first purchased Bluebird toys. (Gasp. 90’s.) I know, because I had one. However, these big Polly Pockets were only a sub-line, called Fashion Polly and they were sold while Mattel continued producing the tiny Polly Pockets at the same time. Here’s what my Fashion Polly doll looked like:

School Cool Lockers: Lila (1999)Photo courtesy of www.fakiespaceman/polly
School Cool Lockers: Lila (1999)
Photo courtesy of www.fakiespaceman/polly

Mattel stopped producing the tiny Polly Pocket line in the early 2000s. 4.4 million playsets were recalled in 2006 because they caused a magnet hazard among little kids.


4. “Kids today are surrounded with gadgets! They don’t play outside anymore.”

Not true. During my childhood years, we had GameBoy, Playstation/Xbox/other consoles from the late ’90s – early 2000s, the TV, and computers to keep kids occupied.

Gameboy Color (Released: 1998)
PlayStation – 1997 Model (with a DualShock Controller)
Windows ’98

Not everyone born/grew up in the 90’s spent their childhood playing outside. And not every kid born in the 2000’s spends most of their time playing with gadgets (I know kids who don’t). Sure, technology has improved over the years, but in the end, it all comes down to how parents choose the things to expose their kids with. We had technology then and we have it now, so really it’s all a matter of how we often we let kids use it.


5. “I’m amazed how many young kids use the internet in today’s time!”

The internet has been quite a popular thing since the ’90s so from my knowledge, many young kids at that time were familiar with it. Me and my friends were. Back in the late ’90s – very early 2000s, my brother and I would visit and the Disney website a lot. Us and a lot of kids we know, have also been familiar with Google since kindergarten/early Elementary school years. Google has been around since 1998, you guys. (Surprise. It’s not a new thing.)

Google – 1998


6. “Kids nowadays are immersed with social media.”

Yes, that’s true. But then again, it’s also true that social media has been around for quite some time now. Remember Friendster and Myspace? They’ve been around since 2002/2003 and weren’t most of us still young kids at that time? I don’t know about you, but in my school, those (especially Friendster in my case) were pretty big among kids. For goodness’ sake, I knew six year olds who had accounts at that time. (Early 2000’s) (Early 2000’s)

So that’s it for now. I hope this post made you nostalgic.
If you’d like to see more of these or if you have any suggestions, do let me know.


Kaela is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer who draws inspiration from her quirks, childhood nostalgia, and pop/sub-culture.

9 thoughts on “Millennial Childhood

  1. I was born in ’95 so I experienced 5 years of the ’90s, so to be fair I’m not really a ’90s kid 😀 But still I cherish tho moments that I played snake on my dad’s phone and back in the day polly pocket actually was “pocket” size, unlike now. I had a few of those as well, but I was more into Barbie! ^.^

    Really liked the post! 😀

    xo Grace

    1. Hi Grace! 🙂 No worries. I consider myself a 2000s kid too, that’s why I used the term “90s baby”- for us who only experienced little of the 90s (I was born in the early 90s and was barely 1st grade when that era ended).

      I played with Snake a lot too! And I was very much into Barbie as much as I was into Polly Pocket. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Yep, I agree with you. I was born in the 80s, but I don’t remember anything about them. But I WAS a kid in the 90s and remember so much from them, because I wasn’t a baby anymore. xD

    1. Oh the wonderful world of early phones. I can’t remember exactly what model I had, but I thought it was really awesome. I was sad I couldn’t have a custom ringtone, but tried to rock it with some classic ‘beeps’ haha.

    2. I remember a phase where I tried to deny I was a Britney Spears fan. Which was dumb. I should like what I like, and she was big news.

    3. I LOVED MY POLLY POCKET SO MUCH. She was tiny and cute and I had a castle. I miss them. 🙁

    4. Haha. I loved my PlayStation so much. I also played Doom on the computer and Earthworm Jim. xD

    5. I didn’t use the internet until the 00s. But it’s cool that you were able to use it so early. 😀

    6. A lot of relay chat things were very popular in that time too, right? I mean before the rise of the social network. People still interacted with each other, but it was a different format. You might have had to have specific software, or complete steps a through d to get there, but you could.

    I love this post. 😀

    1. 1. Oh my goodness, yes! My brother had this Nokia where he could compose his own ringtone with a bunch of beeps.

      2. Hahahaha XD I had a best friend when I was little who was a big Britney Spears fan. It was only through her that I learned some of Britney’s songs. (and confession: I didn’t get to watch a Britney Spears video ’til I was in college)

      3. Polly Pockets were the bomb! It’s a shame they no longer sell those tiny ones.

      4. Oh, wow. My brothers used to play Doom in our old PC too! Back then, the games I’d play on my dad’s computer were those Disney CD-Roms that came in chunky boxes.

      5. Well not too early 🙂 It was around 1998/1999? I just remember my dad visiting Google because that’s where he’d get his PC’s wallpaper from. And from there and for some reason, us kids learned how to visit the Star Wars website.

      6. Oh, I have heard of those. But I think they were before I even involved myself with social networks so I’m not familiar how those work. XD My earliest memories of social networking were 2003-ish?

      Thanks for reading! 🙂 I hope to make another “millennial childhood” post since talking about childhood memories is one of my favorite things to talk about. I love that feeling of looking back to those easier days. (Nostalgic person right here)

  3. I was born in ’89 and I agree with every point on here. Millennials don’t understand anything. I grew up with these things. I remember all of these things. Wow, this is such a nostalgia trip for me.

  4. Late time to be commenting on this blog post.
    However I just found this blog and post and wish to comment.
    It bugs me when people say I’m a 90’s kid. Yet they were born in 1990.
    I was born in 1991 and consider myself a 90’s baby.
    1. I got my first phone at 12. Don’t remember which model. But I remember playing hours of snake on the phone.
    2. Britney spears. I remember pretending I knew the words to Oops I did it Again in front of my sister and her friend. Still have had that song stuck in my head for all these years.
    We use to jump on a ledge and rock out to that song.
    3. I never had a polly pocket. I never got one.
    4. Ahh the gameboy color.
    My grandma got my two cousins, my sister and I each a gameboy color for Christmas one year.
    My sister still has hers. I don’t even know where mine went.
    I would play Super Mario brothers for hours.
    5. In first grade we started using computers and the internet at school.
    6. I never used Friendster. But I made an account on myspace.
    I barely used myspace but made the account because it was the thing to do.

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