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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 22 April, 2019

9 ways you passed the time if you were a teenager at the dawn of the millennium

You either sat on a wall or watched Jackass.

IF YOU TURNED 30 at some point over the last 12 months, you will have entered your teens in or around the dawn of the new millennium.


Long before the advent of social media and years before you got your hands on a smartphone, being a teenager at the very end of the late 90s and into the early noughties required a high tolerance for boredom.

And an insatiable desire to get drunk in a cold, wet field.

If you rocked a Nope hoodie, coveted your mate’s denim jacket and saved up for a pair of Adidas Superstars, we know you spent your time doing the following…

1. Sitting on cold, damp walls.

If teenagers think there’s eff-all to do these days, they wouldn’t have lasted an evening back in your day.

Week nights and entire weekends were spent trailing aimlessly around your town before someone decided enough was enough, and it was time to head to ‘your wall’.

A handful of you would gather at the designated wall which was generally located near a newsagents or a chipper, and sat there until night fell.

abe simpson

2. Fixating about ‘free gaffs’.

Let’s not beat about the bush here; you and your mates talked about little else other than free gaffs.

Who was having one? Who could get one? Why you weren’t invited to the last one?

It took over break-time chat and after-school discussion, but very rarely manifested into little more than a pipe dream.

3. Talking incessantly about MTV shows.

Jackass, Cribs and Making the Video: MTV shows absolutely dominated the dawn of the new millennium.

Remember how your mam would stand in the doorway of the sitting room questioning how she’d raised someone who would actually find Steve-O funny?

Oh, and then Punkd landed. And life was officially complete.


4. Buying ringtones for your 3210.

Or worse, attempting to create ringtones yourselves.

But whether you leafed through magazines looking for that ringtone page or put your music class to use by painstakingly making your own, you knew Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ would be yours eventually.

5. Plotting how to get your hands on a copy of American Pie.

It was all anyone talked about, and you wanted in.

A friend’s older sibling usually came good in this instance and once the switch was made, you knew you’d no longer have to pretend you’d seen it.


6. Talking about how ‘unscary’ the Blair Witch Project was.

You’d heard people left theaters in tears and threw up over fellow cinema go’ers, so naturally you were primed and ready for the scare-fest of the century.

It didn’t work out that way, and you maintain you’ve been more frightened during The Trapdoor opening credits.

Source: Retro Cartoons/YouTube

 7. Nailed your colours to the mast on a host of serious issues.

Britney or Christina? Buffy or Angel? Big Brother or Survivor?

Your primary school teachers had long since told you that your teenage years were for forming your own opinions – independent of your parents – and this was definitely your time to shine.

b and c

8. Said ‘Whassup?’ over and over until you hated yourself.

To this day, you still don’t know how that Budweiser commercial caught on like it did, but you were responsible for at least 10,000 utterings of that phrase.

Until someone finally told you it was no longer cool, but it’s fine you knew that, you were just being ironic.

Source: simongir/YouTube

9. Downloading music on Napster.

You actually preferred getting to leaf through the artwork of your CDS, but everyone was banging on about Napster, and again you wanted in.

So, you turned the corner of your home which housed the family’s pre-historic PC into a a makeshift music laboratory.

And then told everyone you knew.

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