When I was still in school, a bunch of my friends’ dads used to walk around with stubby pagers strapped to their belts. They were hideous. At the time, I used to wonder why my dad didn’t own one. “Are we,” gasp, “poor?” I questioned occasionally. A quick primer for anyone who’s not a fossil: pagers are ancient 20th-century devices that people used to own in a pre-cell-phone world. I don’t remember what it is they did exactly, but they did something. I think they were like cell phones except that you couldn’t make or receive calls on them. And you couldn’t play Snake either. The closest things we had back then were the toy walkie-talkies for children. Oh, and cordless phones.
It’s become an internet catchphrase now: “Only ’90s kids will get this!” Attach any pointless relic from a bygone era to a post on social media, caption it with a nudging-winking sentimentality, and you’ll get thousands of young adults reminiscing over childhoods they remember fondly. And it needs to stop. Pagers. Nataraj pencils. Ramayan on TV on Sundays. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Gaudy music videos on MTV. Floppy disks. Friendship wristbands, slam books and FLAMES. Sachin Tendulkar in Sharjah. Tazos and trump cards. WWF. That ‘blip-bloop’ sound your computer made when you connected to the internet using a landline. The Walkman. The Discman. Contra. It all needs to sto