Tell me you grew up in the '90s without telling me you grew up in the '90s.

Thanks to our brand partner, SWOOP

I turn 40 this year. Yep, 40. I am starkly reminded of this every time I start a sentence with "Well, when I was your age…" or "Back when I was at school…"

To be honest, I don’t feel a day over 38 but just like one of thousands of websites said I would, I have started to reflect.

I think about days gone by and where I’m now at, and as a product of the ‘90s, looking back isn’t just cathartic but it’s also a stark reminder of just how awesome it was to grow up back when things were simpler.

Gone are the days of putting on a cassette or a CD, and listening to a whole album from start to finish without interruption from ads or being told that I can’t listen because my Spotify account is being used on another device.

Then there was the time that my 12-year-old daughter Summer carried on like a second-hand lawnmower because we had a blackout for literally 33 seconds and the WiFi dropped out. Her brain was already calculating how long the power would take to reset and the box would take to reboot her lifelines. 

She knows nothing about patience. 

Image: Supplied. 


I came from the era of patience – dial-up internet. Unplugging the back of the phone, laying out the 500m long cable, clipping it into the back of the phone and then into our brick of a laptop, and then you waited. You listened for the fax-like sounds so you knew that it was starting to come alive and then bang! You were on baby. Until you weren’t.

Yep, unreliable would be an understatement. 

It was nothing like Swoop with their lightning speed, reliable network and great value, all whilst having a team of locals on-ground to lend you a hand when you need it (no one helped us untangle our cables!). 

With over 25 years of telco experience, the team at Swoop have a whole range of nbn plans to suit anyone and everyone from families who just browse the internet, students who use ChatGPT to write their assignments (yeah, we see you!), all the way up to heavy gamers (Mortal Kombat anyone?). 


There’s no overseas calls, speed variations up to UltraFast and switching over from another provider is as easy as Cherry Pie (necessary Warrant reference). 

As Swoop has shown, technology has come a long way since the ‘90s but although telling my daughter about our ‘olden days’ internet set-up receives loud laughs, OMGs and a side of eyeroll, it doesn’t even compare to the time that I laughed my absolute face off when she tried to tell me that I know nothing about social media. 

"Girrrrrrl, I WAS social media," I clapped back. 

Enter MSN Messenger – the hotspot for talking to your friends and complete strangers without any idea what this could mean for your safety. 

Tech today has proven that my daughter also knows nothing about real responsibility, unlike me, who was once the sole carer of a Tamagotchi pet named JTT (yes, I was a tad obsessed). 

I once confiscated her iPod for 1 week after she left it behind at not one, not two, but THREE different shops in one day. She carried on much like the previously mentioned lawnmower, dying inside at not being able to message the friends that she would literally see in about 2 hours at a birthday party. 

I couldn’t help but remind her of what happened when I had technology taken off me as a kid – "Things died Summer! Things died!".


But fashion, fashion never dies. It just changes. My daughter wears dark green, super tight (super short) bike pants, and me, I wore all of the fluro, knee-length, semi-loose versions. And tie-dye, the kids can make all the colours they want with their little kits, they will never compare to my original Hypercolor tee!

Image: Supplied. 


And bum bags, these weren’t a fashion statement worn across the chest, they were practical, no-name, hands-free life savers that allowed you to shop, holiday and bike whilst keeping your business sorted.

I didn’t try to emulate big international stars and TikTokers, I entered my pre-teen years channelling Melissa George as Angel on Home & Away – tight tank top, flowing gypsy skirt complete with real jingly bells, and two tiny plaits framing my face. And scrunchies – Summer tries to tell me they’re lame, but I see the little hauls she goes on when she has a lazy $20.

Today’s instant access to almost everything has made kids unappreciative for the process. Every Friday night, I would visit the local video shop with my Dad (in my PJs nonetheless) and browse the aisles filled with videos to select the all-important family movie for the week. 

Now, my daughter flies through every subscription service under the sun, just to watch something for 5 minutes and then decide she wants to watch something else.

Kids today will never know the intensity and hormonal awakening of the real Heartbreak High or the innocent fun of yelling "NOT THE MAMA!" every time their Dad tries to help them with something. 

Their addictive social media accounts will never replace the 6am race to watch the end of Rage, the high-level production music videos supremely trumping their bedroom routines every day of the week.


Surprisingly, TV wasn’t even the main go-to for entertainment in my house, with board games being the preference. My favourite game of all time was Girl Talk, the one where you would pair two singles together, pop them in a little speaker box and press the button to listen if they are the perfect match or not (Brad and Tanya were made for each other!). 

Believe it or not, I still have the game. Finding a cassette player to be able to play it however, is another story.

Image: Supplied. 


I remember the TV Hits posters on my walls, the photos of my friends on my corkboard, taken with a disposable camera that only allowed 24 photos. There were no selfies or click after click of the same thing, filling an endless cloud of storage. Photo moments we captured thoughtfully, and on purpose. 

I used to sit in my bedroom for hours at night trying to catch my favourite songs on the radio so I could record them onto the waiting cassette tape. 

I recently pulled out a box of old CDs, my most precious memories, and my 3-year-old announced "Mummy, so many frisbees!" not even hesitating to un-case Tracy Chapman and send her flying across the garage – the disrespect! The soulful lyrics of Fast Car eat Doja Cat for breakfast!

As I sit here sipping Diet Coke out of my dolphin-headed SeaWorld cup circa 1994, I ponder the next 40 years of my life. 

The world is sure to continue evolving, releasing more headache-inducing electronic-pop while kids further lose real connection, but one thing’s for sure, I will always have something over my parent’s heads that my kids will never have – they killed my only pet #ripJTT.

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Feature Image: Supplied.

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