We write about a lot of retro gadgets and art on Bit Rebels. I think the reason why, besides the fact that it’s fun to look back in time and remember what it was like, is because technology is advancing so fast that what is here today could easily be considered retro tomorrow.
If you were stuck in a time warp (or prison) for even just five years, the world of technology and the way we all live our lives as a result of it would probably be completely different when you came back. That must be a freaky mind trip for some people. This cyberpunk dress code, circa 1990, was published on Boing Boing this week, and I just had to share it with you.
I didn’t start to become an Internet addict until about 1998, so this is a little before my time. Even still, I can appreciate that so much of this gear can now be replaced with… one iPhone. Doesn’t that blow your mind? It does mine. Back in 1990, nobody knew what social media was, the word piracy had something to do with pirates at sea, and people didn’t get impatient when their “Internet went down.” We looked forward to hearing that modem sound, and if it didn’t work, we just tried it again later. We didn’t depend on the Internet for everything like we do today.
Back then, if I wanted to go to a party, I had to ride with my friends or call someone on the phone for directions. There were no mainstream GPS systems or mapping websites. People used to file their important documents in a metal file cabinet instead of a digital one. The crazy thing is, people really did used to dress like this. I remember seeing them at my high school. They were in the group of kids who used to sneak out the back door of the auditorium to smoke during lunch. This chart was created by Bruce Sterling. On flickr he writes, “Since 20 years have passed, contemporary people will fail to realize that this was a comical self-parody.” If you want to walk down this road a little further, check out what Pinterest would have looked like in the ’90s.
Click Chart To Enlarge