1. You could get in a physical fight and lose without worrying about the whooping being put on World Star or Vine the next day. Sure, people retelling the story of you getting beat up sucks, but people watching and sharing the actual footage of said ass kicking for an eternity online is significantly worse.
2. Every school dance played Get Low by Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, which often led to incredibly scandalous teenage behavior, which was ideal at the time. The dance floor suddenly went from PG to TV-MA to the window, to the walls, and you know the rest so I’ll stop (oh!) then wiggle with it.
3. Your selfie-taking skills are at a certified expert level because you & your friends did plenty of self-photography with Kodak disposable cameras. There was no luxury of an immediate photo that could be deleted and retaken or filtered. When all you can do is point, snap & hope for the best, you’re forced to perfect your craft.
4. Anchor Blue & Limited Too were exceptional stores teen boys and girls heavily relied on for school clothes, and now that they’re non-existent, any jhorts or glittery tank tops you still own are official pieces of history.
5. Nowadays you don’t fall victim to spam or viruses because you’ve found a safe balance between cautious and paranoid courtesy of your days downloading files on Kazaa or Limewire or Bearshare or whatever you used to illegally acquire entertainment. Nothing generates trust issues like mislabeled MP3s. God forbid it was a movie. It was so cruel when you waited 19 hours for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to download, but it turned out to be Christmas With The Kranks. Now you’re a skeptic online, and that benefits you greatly.
6. Your ability to conduct straight-to-the-point business or make plans via texting & speaking on the phone are sensational because you haven’t always had the luxury of unlimited talk & text. You used to have to make every single text message and minute count, becoming remarkably efficient at cell phones in the process.
7. The coolest phones at one point were the Motorola RAZR and T-Mobile Sidekick, so you can fully appreciate the current, higher quality Galaxy & iPhone era. Not to mention the oft forgotten Blackberry was around, which had a -2 megapixel camera, and tiny buttons that make you extra grateful for today’s cellular device offerings.
8. You’ve had the opportunity to experience the evolution of social media thus far, and whether 16 or 26, you’re part of the age range it’s all being geared towards.
9. You got to know without a shadow of a doubt who your real, true friends were because MySpace’s top 8 left nothing to the imagination. If you were in one of those coveted spots, surely that friendship was the real deal, and that’s always a bonus when you’re in the socially merciless, cutthroat, dog-eat-dog period known as high school.
10.You have a leg up on the competition when it comes to writing witty tweets & Facebook statuses because your AOL Instant Messenger away messages prepared you for constructing brief, clever notes.
11. You still possess many mementos from teenage-you’s experiences. Hand written notes from your ex love interests, burned CDs that are full of songs capable of taking you on a nostalgic ride, etc. There’s nothing like the physical copy of memories, especially when everything is digital and once a computer crashes or a profile is deleted, they could be lost forever.
12. Jessica Alba was not yet married so the concept of her being your prom date/future wife was .5% more feasible.
13. To this day you know the basics of HTML thanks to MySpace customizations and perhaps even being the owner of an Angelfire webpage, or something of that nature.
14. The extensive DVD collection you began back then can now be taken to a trade/sell store in exchange for a few extra bucks. It’s time to hop aboard the Blu-ray train, but your dusty stacks of movies don’t have to go to waste.
15. By now you have a professional email that’s likely a variation of your name & initials, but you also still have a Hotmail address 15-year-old you made that can be used as a dummy account when signing up for stuff you don’t want to receive junk emails from.
16. Thanks to Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s, you’ve got a perfect karaoke song forever embedded in your brain and ready for use whenever in need. Actually, there are a number of songs – Yeah by Usher or Mariah Carey’s We Belong Together for example, that you’ve heard enough times to last you for the rest of your life. Whether it came from the radio, TRL, or was self-inflicted, these songs were overplayed and even if you like them, you’d be good not hearing them ever again, ever. If I told you that you’d heard Temperature by Sean Paul for the last time in your life, you’d be like, “Word? Well, I can still recite the entire thing, even the gibberish parts.”