10 Low-Tech Joys And Frustrations Only Gen-Xers Understand

‘Please be kind, rewind.’

“You’ll burn out the heads!”


This is what one’s dad would say when you rewound or fast-forwarded a VHS tape with the picture on. You still have no idea what it means—but you didn’t dare do it with him in the room.

“It has skip protection!”

When you finally got your first CD Walkman, you had to spring for a model with skip protection. How else were you supposed to work out and listen to TLC at the same time?

“Please be kind, rewind.”


Only the worst rogue would return movies to Blockbuster without rewinding. What’s wrong with people?

“I taped it!”

Serious dilemma: Full House is on and Uncle Jesse’s hair is on point, but you’ve been invited over to Stacy’s for a night of Castlevania II, Fruit Rollups, and Sprite.  If you have a blank tape free (or your sister’s band recital recording)—you’d “tape it” and catch up with the Tanners later.

“Get off the landline, mom!”


The struggle to get a decent dial-up connection was real in the ‘90s. No matter how many times you explained it to your mom, she’d still try to use the phone, thus tossing you offline mid-AIM chat.

“Gotta drop my film off.”

Back when your cell phone couldn’t even send text messages, you had to take pictures with a disposable camera or real camera—and drop off your film at the drug store. If you were lucky, they had one-hour photo and you could simply browse for black lipstick while your Lilith Fair pics were coming to life.

“He put it on my mixtape.”


The ultimate expression of love (or breakup angst)—receiving or making a mixtape for your crush—complete with awkward transitions if you weren’t fortune enough to own a double-tape deck.

“Better check The Weather Channel.”


If you were planning a big day out…listening to your new Sinead O’Connor CD in the park perhaps, you best check The Weather Channel and plan accordingly.

“Check the answering machine.”

Of course, do multiple takes with your college roommates to record the coolest, sexiest “not here right now” message. Obvs with cool background music. The dry erase board just above it was where messages were left.

“I need a private phone line!”


Oh, the righteous indignity of being forced to share a phone line with your entire household!  What if your dad answered when Chad finally called?  Plus, how sweet would it be to have a transparent phone in your room just like Clarissa?

Gen-Xers: What else do you remember from our low-tech days? SHARE in the comments.