A 1990s Childhood: From Bum Bags to Tamagotchis
By Michael A. Johnson
Kindle or Paperback
It's hard to believe that just a couple of decades ago we were living in such a different world. This was an age before smartphones and social media invaded our lives, and when kids weren't slaves to technology.
A 1990s childhood is penned by the owner of the popular British nostalgia website Doyouremember.co.uk, Michael A. Johnson. In its 192 memory packed pages, he takes us back to a time when kids looked after digital pocket pets called Tamagotchis, and watched Sarah Greene and Philip Schofield every Saturday morning on Going Live.
It was joyous to be reminded about a time when the phrase "Google it" didn't exist (repeatedly saying such a phrase would have men in white coats taking you away, for sure!), and a time before we streamed music and films, when you had to actually leave the house to go and buy a CD or rent a video, and when the high street wasn't taken over by coffee shop chains. There are so many memories it's almost overwhelming, and so many I'd completely forgotten about, too.
It's pleasing that the author isn't afraid to explore the darker side of the decade, too, such as the "Mad cow disease" epidemic and the increase in drug usage.
It's clear that Johnson is a writer who has a deep knowledge of the 1990s. In his introduction alone, he covers a huge array of subjects relating to the decade, including politics, pop music, TV shows, shopping, cars, toys and technology. He reminds us that this was a decade of huge economic growth and prosperity, and of being hooked on Sonic the Hedgehog, listening to Brit pop and The Spice Girls, and shopping in Tammy Girl, Athena and Sock Shop. The threat of nuclear war disappeared with the end of the cold war, and the average house price was less than £75,000.
There are nine chapters in total; Introduction, Fashion, Music, TV Shows, Movies, Toys and Games, Technology, Births, Marriages and Deaths, and World Events.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable read that is packed to the rafters with just so many memories, some of which bring a tear to my eye. If you yearn to take a trip back to the very last decade of the 20th century before the pressures from the demands of social media took control of our lives , then unless you can find a time machine, this is the next best way to do it! Recommended 9/10.