Technology Crazes that You Could Have Only Experienced in the 90's

If you grew up during the earliest stages of technology and the beginning of the online world then you will probably remember at least a few of these widely popular websites and technologies of the time.

This article is inspired by the imminent end to the foundation that inspired what we now know as ‘texting’. You may remember using AOL Instant Messanger, or AIM for short, to type back and forth with your school crush or gossip with your friends outside of school. If you’re lucky enough, you might even remember your ridiculous screenname. (Does Sk8trboi69 ring any bells?) As a site dated in 1997, they had an insanely long run and due to technological advances in mobile, will be shutting down permanently. For whatever reason, you still have time to login into AIM before December 15th and get those last few messages out and laugh about your chosen screenname.

Their VP of Communications, Michael Albers, left us with a parting message:

One Last Away Message

By Michael Albers, VP of Communications Product at Oath

If you were a 90’s kid, chances are there was a point in time when AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was a huge part of your life. You likely remember the CD, your first screenname, your carefully curated away messages, and how you organized your buddy lists. Right now you might be reminiscing about how you had to compete for time on the home computer in order to chat with friends outside of school. You might also remember how characters throughout pop culture from “You’ve Got Mail” to “Sex and the City” used AIM to help navigate their relationships. In the late 1990’s, the world had never seen anything like it. And it captivated all of us…(read more)

This isn’t the only 90’s trend worth reminiscing about. Here are # more tech crazes that made the 90’s era and brought forth our amazing technological advances we have today:

1)The 1998 IMac

If your school was cool enough to have these accessible you will probably remember how vastly different the earliest days of Apple were, especially knowing that something much more powerful than this can now fit in the palm of your hand. Thankfully Steve Jobs was hard to please and never stopped innovating.

2) The original Google Search Engine

Although Google is still obviously relevant today and probably the most popular search engine in the world, it is fun to glimpse back in time and see what it looked like in the day. It is amazing to see that what originated as a project to change the way search engines rank results imagined by two Standford Students is now a company investing into AI on the side. Another leap for humanity.

4) Netscape

The origin of web browsers, Netscape was founded in 1994 and is credited with creating JavaScript language, the most widely used language for client-side scripting of web pages. Before being acquired by AOL, its source code was used to create the Mozilla browser which led to the rewriting of the source code entirely and is now what we know today as Firefox.

5) – launched in 1995

MSN, aka The Microsoft Network, launched in 1995 to provide an internet service provider and portal for the masses. It is still alive but not nearly as popular as it once was for providing us with original content and current news including video, stocks and polls. The “and if you are new to the internet” line seen in the image below is classic.


Created in 1994, this site was once the third most visited site in the world. The original Geocities allowed users to select a “city” in which to place their web pages. The “cities” were named after real cities or regions according to their content—for example, computer-related sites were placed in “SiliconValley” and those dealing with entertainment were assigned to “Hollywood”. (Source: Wikipedia) That all sounds quite normal but here is the reality. This was probably the most obnoxious time to use the internet. Just looking back at pages generated on Geocities under the Netscape browser makes us wonder what the h#** we would even be using the internet for.  It is almost comical to think that marketing back then was done by adding an overwhelming amount of clipart, dancing icons, bolded fonts and glitter, TONS of glitter! Our modern day heros Squarespace, Wix and WordPress are just a few website generators that restored to appeal to creating your own attractive website. But just for fun, take a look at some of these screenshots from archived Geocities pages.


What was before Google you may ask? Our older generation may be familiar with the then dominating search engine Altavista! Before search was taken over by Google in 2000, Altavista  rocked the late nineties. Founded in 1995, they were the most popular search tool on the web but couldn’t keep up with Google even after being acquired by Yahoo in 2004. Just recently, the summer of 2013 to be exact, became the end of our once beloved search engine.


The Napster experience opened up a whole new world of peer-to-peer filesharing. Millions of users would download and share free music files, which didn’t go well for the Record Industry. A lawsuit forced Napster to shut down until it was later acquired by Roxio Media and then later Rhapsody and Best Buy. Spin-offs of this idea formed through sites like Limewire (which was basically a way to give AIDS to your computer) and torrent downloads that all you to download audio files for free. Napster is actually still alive in the UK under a subscription model. It is so fun to see the proclaimed dead live on!

9) Dial-Up Internet

And finally, there is Dialup internet service. If this doesn’t ring the bell then recall trying to make a phone call while someone in your home browsed the internet. A horrible ringing noise would play on the phone until the cord was unplugged from the computer and then from there you could make a call. Still not ringing any bells? Just list to the audio below for quaint flashback. Dial Up Internet was a service that allows connectivity to the internet through a standard telephone line.

I hope you enjoyed this throwback. Please share your flashback to the 90’s in the comments below by recalling your favorite 90’s tech or websites. 

Danielle Graves

Danielle Graves

Lead Contributor at MCXV. ENFP, Lifehacker, fitness enthusiast. I crave thought-provoking conversation and disrupting the current education system. Read about how I hack life and my journeys across the globe. Check out my website for workout videos and the hottest activewear styles.
  • Anh Ha

    Loved this article LOL. Not tech but… Cross Colours jeans and Reebok Pumps hehe. That dial up at the end oh God prefect wrap up… Reminded me of my friend and I downloading errr pictures of Pamela Anderson hahaha