’90s kids remember: How do ’90s kid childhoods look different from today’s?

Research shows that children are playing outside about half the amount of hours per week as their parents did. There’s been a shift in how children spend their free time to be increasingly on screens. Branson Hardcastle | Multimedia Journalist

By Michelle Perez | Reporter

Since the ’90s, life has changed dramatically, especially for kids. It’s obvious on social media how people of our current generation are different than others. For example, ’90s kids grew up watching “The Land Before Time” and “Lizzie McGuire” and will most likely know the lyrics to “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears.

Although the TV shows we reminisce over reveal our generation, another revealing difference between ’90s kids and kids growing up now is the amount of time spent online.

Due to having such sophisticated technology in their generation, children today are spending less time outside and more time on social media such as Instagram.

National Trust research shows that current children are playing outside for an average of just over four hours a week while their parents played an average of 8.2 hours outside when they were children.

This means children are missing out on making mud pies, drawing with chalk, riding bikes and having face-to-face outdoor interactions with friends or neighbors.

Parents these days are struggling with getting children go out and play while parents in the ’90s struggled to get their children to come inside for dinner.

“Children these days only want to be glued to their phone,” said Maria Moreno, Dallas babysitter and parent. “If it’s not YouTube, it’s video games.”

Atlanta sophomore Mason McBee reminisced about his time as a kid.

“I would go outside and play basketball for hours until my mom would drag me back inside for dinner,” McBee said. “She would get mad at me because I would stay out so late, and she was worried I would disturb our neighbors. It kinda sucks that kids these days don’t really want to go out and play sports anymore.”

Whether it was running through the sprinklers or sitting down to read Junie B. Jones, children in the ’90s spent much of their time off screens.

According to Tech Crunch, the average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10.3 years.

’90s kids will remember how the Backstreet Boys changed music and how the Spice Girls influenced relationships. Children these days will know all of the Ariana Grande’s songs and love life drama.

Schools have also changed since the ’90s. When the teacher would roll out the large TV and VCR, students knew it was going to be a movie day at school.

“I used to get so excited whenever they rolled in the huge TV,” said Joliet sophomore Hayden Wagner. “I knew it was ‘Bill Nye The Science Guy’ time.”

Children now are renting out iPads for the year and much of their school work and lectures are online.

Atlantic Technology Group explains that “as technology dominates the classroom, iPad rentals for schools are becoming more popular and beneficial.”

Instead of taking notes on paper and making arts and crafts in class, children are now given tablets and doing online activities.

“Technology and teaching was practically nonexistent in the ’90s,” said Irma Borrego, a third grade teacher from McAllen. “Today, many of the new teachers are able to do many different things using technology while making it fun for the students. In this way, they can cut their work in half allowing computer programs to grade assignments for them.”