Come to think of it, the kids who grew up in the 1990s didn’t know they were born either. Oh, your dial-up internet took a long time to start up, did it? Boo-frickety-hoo… try getting through life without the internet at all, you spoilt little brats.
Try living in a time when only rich yuppies who didn’t mind looking like prats had mobile phones – giant mobile phones, but mobile phones nonetheless.
Try living in a time when an Apple wasn’t something you spent your entire allowance and existence on, but something you left on your teacher’s desk.
Try living in…the 80s. Here are the things about that decade that kids today just couldn’t handle.
If you needed to get somewhere 30 years ago, you had to send messages from your brain down to your legs. Your legs then engaged in a motion-based phenomenon known as ‘walking’. Many people who grew up in the 80s didn’t set foot in a car until they bought one.
2. The importance of being punctual
Perhaps the weirdest thing about the 1980s was its strict adherence to the concept of time. If you wanted to meet your mates down at the video arcade on Friday at 7pm, you were forced into doing this bizarre thing where you all agreed to meet at that time, and then when that time came around, you all turned up at that time. It really was mind-boggling behaviour.
3. Mobile phones (WE DIDN’T HAVE THEM)
There was text messaging in the 80s. This was performed by walking (there’s that damn walking again) over to your friend’s house, knocking on the door and asking if they could come out to play. Your friend’s mother could ensure they didn’t see the ‘text message’, however, by replying with: ‘No, he’s in the middle of his tea.’
4. Asking someone out
Please don’t let it be her dad who picks up the phone… please don’t let it be her dad who picks up the phone…
5. Flammable clothing
In the 80s, your parents wanted to make you tough. So when you came home from school, they would put you in something called a ‘shell suit’, a sartorial device that taught you not to play with matches.
6. Patrick Swayze
Every boy wanted to be him in Road House. Every girl wanted every boy to be him in Dirty Dancing. In the end, nobody got what they wanted. It was a tough decade. Pain DOES hurt.
Once Wogan was finished, that was it, you were heading up the Wooden Mountain. And you had to be careful going up it – because some interior designing idiot thought it was a genius idea to put gaps in between wooden stairs so children could slide through them and fall to the laminated hall floor below.
In the 80s, if you couldn’t obtain the right change, you were screwed. The kid in the arcade with the roll of 10p pieces was king.
9. The threat of nuclear war
This one was kind of minor. We were more worried about making sure we had correctly taped Thriller from vinyl on to cassette. You couldn’t listen to Jacko on vinyl – damn thing just kept skipping because you were doing so much jumping around. The end of the world could wait.
10. Video Games Part I
Kids today hook up their console or fire up their iPad and away they go. In the 80s, you had to queue up at your local arcade, which was usually populated with the kind of dropouts and undesirable layabouts you could only dream about becoming. It was a brave move to put 10p down beside the joystick while that mean, bigger kid was playing Pole Position, to signify you were up when his go was over.
11. Video Games Part II
If you were one of the lucky ones to have a games console in your house, it wasn’t exactly home entertainment heaven. Cassettes weren’t only used to listen to music, you know. Magical words such as ‘Amstrad’, ‘Commodore’, ‘Spectrum’ and ‘Atari’ were thrown around by the more privileged kids in the playground.
Like everything in the 1980s, toys were hard. Those Lego castles didn’t build themselves and those Rubik’s Cubes didn’t solve themselves, you know. Your big brother did it.
13. The information superhighway
Luckily, the internet did exist in the 80s. But it was even better back then because there were two highly-sophisticated versions of it: Ceefax and Teletext.
14. Making friends before social media
With no Facebook or Twitter to let you ‘like’ or ‘follow’ people, you displayed your desire to be part of someone’s clique in another way: punching them on the arm.
There were only two: Angel Delight and Viennetta. You could also try mixing vanilla ice-cream with a packet of Skittles, but it never tasted as good as it did in your head.
Today, kids have Ben 10 and Frozen. Back in the 1980s, we had a guy with his finger up a mouse. But we didn’t care: Fingermouse was brilliant.
17. Not everything was obtainable
Children get whatever they want these days. Thirty years ago, that wasn’t a possibility. This is known as The Mr Frosty Conundrum.
No matter how much you wished for one, you could never get your hands on a Mr Frosty snow cone making machine. There were vague rumours of kids who did have one, but they claimed Mr Frosty was nowhere near as cool as he looked in the Argos catalogue, so they couldn’t have been true.