Generation X Nostalgia vs. Gen Z HATE: 10 Childhood Pleasures That Wouldn’t Appeal Today

By Aaron Stone

The differences between Gen X and Gen Z are not always obvious but we take a look at 10 things Gen X loved about their childhood that Gen Z would hate.

Weekend Cartoons

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There were times when we had to check the TV guide to see when the children’s TV shows would be on as on-demand was not available. Before the rise of cable TV, Gen X would sit eagle-eyed in front of the TV on a Saturday morning getting their fix of cartoons that Gen Z could stream 24/7. Imagine having to wait a whole week to watch your favorite cartoon.

Recording Songs From the Radio

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The joy of recording your favorite songs from the radio onto a cassette cannot be forgotten. When radio stations played chart-topping songs, Gen X would be poised to hit records so that they captured their favorite songs without any adverts of chit-chat from the radio host. These days Gen Z can use streaming services to listen to their favorite artists at the click of a button and many will not even know what a cassette is. 

Not Having a Cell Phone

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We doubt many people would be able to live without a cell phone these days but for Gen Z it is unthinkable. For Gen X and earlier generations, the joy of not being able to be contacted 24/7 is a joy to behold. Back before cell phones were commonplace we would use a landline that was quite expensive so we did not talk as often as we do now. 

Chunky Computers

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Gen Z would look at old competitors and think they were from centuries ago and would likely have no clue how to use them. With computers getting smaller and more affordable, Genz never had to worry about having a mouse, keyboard, and a set of floppy discs. However, back in the day, Gen X rejoiced in the fact that they could afford a huge chunky computer. 

Dial-up Internet

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The first days of the internet were mindblowing as millennials and Gen X delighted in this futuristic technology. The thought of Gen Z having to wait 10 minutes for their devices to connect to the internet every time they want to use it is laughable, but they were the days. 

Renting Movies

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Before the days of scrolling through Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Disney +, and all of the other hundred streaming platforms, Gen X had to take themselves off to Blockbuster to rent a movie for their VHS player. Try explaining all of this to Gen Z and their head would be blown. There was, however, still an argument on what film everyone wanted to watch and as renting was expensive you had to make sure you didn’t rent a rotten tomato. 

Navigating With a Map

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Whether it was sitting in the passenger seat with a map bigger than your whole body to give your parents directions or you pulled out your map when you got lost in a new city, Gen X had a lot of frustrating fun trying to work out where to go without the use of GPS on our smartphones. A lot of wires were made which just added to the fun and we think that Gen Z would make similar mistakes even with their smartphones. 

MTV Music

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MTV Music was the number one station to watch for Gen X but Gen Z would look at MTV and expect reality TV. Gen Z can get their music elsewhere so why would it need to be on TV? For Gen X, some of the most prominent memories of growing up were centered around movie videos and songs on MTV and seminal moments. There are still some music videos that Gen Z streams online or find on YouTube but not they are not like they were back in the day. 

Buying Records

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When Gen X heard a song they liked they headed for the record store to buy it on vinyl or cassette, then eventually CD. In modern times, Gen Z would Shazam it to see what the song was and then head over to Spotify or Itunes to download it in a matter of seconds. Gen Z could not be doing with queuing in a music store on a Saturday in the hope there was a copy of their favorite song left. 

Going to the Arcade

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Going to the games arcade was the highlight of a Gen X’s weekend, or month as it was too expensive to play games every week. Imagine Gen Z not being able to pick up their Nintendo and play at the click of a button. The anticipation of heading to the card can not be matched but we think that Gen Z would disagree. 

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