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Why Being A Teenager In The Early 2000s Was SO Much Easier

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    Photographed by Natalia Mantini.

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    When we were teens, Snapchat and Instagram weren't even ideas yet — for some of us, Facebook was barely a thing, either. As much as we love these apps now, we are so glad we didn't have to document our entire adolescent years on social.

    The idea of tech-free teenage years might be horrifying to members of Gen Z. But for millennials, there are definitely advantages to not having had access to smartphones and social media when we were younger.

    We asked Refinery29 staffers what made them happy about growing up with turn-of-the-century tech, and the results were varied. Some people were glad that they learned how to get around town without relying on GPS and map apps. Others were happy they focused their efforts on real-life friendships, rather than online personas. And a lot of us are just happy those awkward phases were never immortalized online.

    "I still can't help but feel a bit nervous every time I see a 9-year old with an iPhone," admits Landon Peoples, the fashion editorial assistant. "It makes me worried for the youth of today, but thankfully, I get a feeling they're taking advantage of it and using it for good — for the most part, at least."

    How kids and teens are using their phones these days is certainly a lot different from the way we grew up. Click through to see all the reasons we're glad we were iPhone-less adolescents.


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  2. Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

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  3. Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

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  4. Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

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  5. Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

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  6. Illustrated by Abbie Winters.

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