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OUTSIDE with the old, with the new is a phrase that best describes how the tech industry works. While old trends often find new meanings in fashion and entertainment, old gadgets often don’t share the same fate. They are indeed ignored once their service is no longer valued.

According to reports, more than 50 million tons of electronic products are thrown away every year in the world. This includes televisions, computer screens, cameras and cell phones. But thanks to a recent TikTok trend, old gadgets are finding new life with the mainstream. Specifically, those of the late 90s and 2000s.

Generation Z (children born 1997-2012) are making the iconic gadgets of the 90s and 2000s their own. Although they haven’t lived through both decades, many Gen Zers have found comfort and pride in using the devices. Here are some of the popular items:

Wired headset

Thanks to influencers like model Bella Hadid or “it girl” Lily-Rose Depp, wired headphones have now become the new must-have accessory. In fact, many Gen Z prefer them over wireless headphones. Shelby Hull, who documents this new phenomenon on Instagram, explains that there’s a cool factor behind using wired headphones.

“Wired is an attitude. It’s how you carry yourself and move through the world. She further explained that unlike air pods, wired headphones also carry a strong message. “I love the signal they send.

“It’s like, ‘Please don’t talk to me, I’m too busy.’ AirPods don’t really say that. I’ll always talk to someone if I see their AirPods, but when you only have one wire, it’s clear, “Don’t come near me. the perfect accessory.

Other than that, youngsters like Hull also believe that wired headphones give them the “cool IT girl” aesthetic.

Flip Phones

Ah, as someone who lived through the 2000s, flip phones are something I would love to see come back! Its aesthetic is something I lived for, but surprisingly for Gen Z, it goes beyond that. They find it appealing not only for its retro aesthetic, but also for its limited functionality.

It offers them an alternative to the 24/7 screen life that young people now live. The fascination lies in the possibility of what they can do without checking/playing with their phone.

“Our relationship with our cellphones in the era of flips and slides was quite different than it is today,” said Biz Sherbert, cultural specialist at The Digital Fairy. “Today’s smartphones distract us and stress us out, as we constantly find ourselves browsing social media.

“But, in the 2000s, during the heyday of the flip phone, you could use your phone to just call, text, and maybe email or surf the highly pixelated web. [There was] no social networks for doomscroll.

And it seems Samsung and Apple are noticing this trend. Last year, Samsung launched its first flip smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. Apple is following suit with its next foldable model.

iPod shuffle

Before the arrival of Spotify and other streaming platforms, the iPod shuffle ruled the world with its music services, convenience and freshness. The first model, released in 2005, was designed to store a selection of songs. Users can play them in random order.

While its second model, released a year later, was a bit different from its predecessor. Apple called it “the most portable iPod ever” because of its small size and clip-on attachment. Its founder, Steve Jobs, even called it “the world’s smallest MP3 player”.

Like previous gadgets, Generation Z has attached itself to the iPod shuffle. But I’m not sure if they know what it really is. Tik Tok user @sailorkiki who spearheaded the trend is using it as a vintage hair accessory instead of an MP3 player.


Of course, who could forget Tamagotchi! The electronic pet that millennials have spent so much time caring for in the past. Since the release of the new version, Gen Z have followed in our footsteps by caring for their virtual pets in the Tamagotchi On Wonder Garden.

Although the gadget maintains its shape, it comes with new features. For example, users can now take their pets out of their homes, travel to eight different cities, and use exclusive character features in the elusive Wonder Garden.

The best part of it all? It does not require any Wi-Fi connection! “It’s really exciting to see the generations playing,” said Tara Badie, Senior Manager of Bandai America. “Kids really enjoy playing with their parents as they care for their virtual pets together.”

Disposable cameras

Forget high resolution photos. Millennials and Generation Z relish the joys of disposable cameras. Kate Rozansky, like many young people her age, finds this more appealing than modern phone cameras.

“They look more authentic. I like the vividness of the colors. It reminds me of pictures I’ve seen that my parents used to take. And it seems celebrities love disposable cameras too!

Model Gigi Hadid was seen channeling the 90s when she attended the 2019 Paris fashion show. Hadid was seen busy taking photos with her disposable camera in the front row.

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