Like any other decade, the 80s had a fair share of their ups and downs. Most parents felt safer with their children, and with no internet, kids had to be more imaginative to pass their time. Here are some things that made kids cool in the 80s but are pointless or not allowed today.
Kids had to go to the libraries to get books
Can you imagine a life without Kindle? Or even worse, having to walk or bike to get a book? Well, the 80s kids not only went to libraries but spent a hefty amount of time diving in, checking out the titles, since there was no Google to find reviews. It was challenging, but finding a great book was much more exciting.
Playgrounds were safety hazards
Rusty and creaky playgrounds with no safety warnings were all the rave. Chipping a tooth or even breaking a bone was not uncommon, and parents did not make a fuss about it. Though children enjoyed them, if you look at them now, they do look like something out of a horror movie.
Healthy breakfast was a box of sugary cereals and milk
Diets were drastically different in the 80s. A typical 80s child would take a box of super sugary cereal and some milk, and breakfast was made. Gluten, vegan, or mindful eating were unknown terms, but on the upside, kids were much more active.
Playing outside was the norm
In the 80s, there was still a sense of safety, so children did not have adult supervision while playing outside. After numerous kidnappings, things took a turn for the worse, but many still went out, played during the whole day, and went home in time for dinner. That sense of freedom is something today's kids will never feel.
MTV played music
Music television played music 24 hours every day. Spending hours to catch their favorite new video by Prince, Madonna, or George Michael was a blast for teens. Music icons of the 80s dictated fashion trends and were generally much more appreciated than today's musicians.
Saturday morning cartoons
A tradition for many children was binging cartoons on Saturday mornings. They could not pick which ones to watch or skip ultra cheesy commercials. But, the snacks were high in sugar, and with all those cartoons, the weekends started on a high note.
Schools were safe
There will always be school bullies. The 80s were no exception, but there were almost no crimes, meaning all children had to do was learn and play. Parents did not worry about mass shootings or knife attacks.
Chewing "cigarettes" were cool
Candy sticks, which resembled cigarettes, were wildly popular. Since most adults smoked everywhere, children had their version, which came in fantastic flavors. Also, kids would often buy cigarettes for their parents since there were no laws requiring IDs for a pack of smokes.
Video arcades were a place to be
Most children did not have consoles at home, so going to the mall to play video arcades was like a reward. Some became legends by scoring highest on Pac-Man and Galaga, and others dreamt of kicking them off the throne.
Biking across the town
No one was worried about their bikes being stolen, and there were no safety measures, so biking was a relaxing and fun way to get from point a to point b. Some lucky children had skateboards or even scooters, but bikes were part of almost every household, and despite the lack of regulations, this form of transport was primarily safe.
Everyone was in the phonebook
If you wanted your crush's number, you had to list a gigantic, psychical book with all the phone numbers you ever needed. Instead of stalking someone's TikTok or Instagram, kids would dial someone and actually talk. Well, unless they were mastering prank calls.
Phones gave no privacy
Phones had cords, and dialing a number took time. You could only more like a few feet, so unless you were an 80s child with a phone in your room, everyone at home knew your business. If you got lucky, the wires would cross, and you could listen to your neighbors gossip...
Waterbeds all the way
Waterbeds were invented to relieve stress from the joints and were used for those with allergies. None of that mattered since they were so extraordinary that only the luckiest kids had them. If your friend was among them, sleepovers were the best!
Alarm clocks were separate items
With no phone or iWatch, people had clocks that they had to set up every night to wake up on time. This mechanism was no walk in the park since the clocks had to be winded down all the time. But they were loud, so there was no way to skip them!
Cameras With Disposable Flash
People in the 80s used cameras, only they were less practical than taking out your phone and snapping a photo. You would take your photos, then develop a film roll, which could take weeks. The super cool ones had a flash on the top that could only be used four times. Not practical at all!
Sony Walkman rocked
Before iPads, way before mp3, and even CDs, people used cassettes. They were fantastic for making mixtapes, essentially playlists, and they were ideal for Sony Walkman. A Walkman was not a toy, as its price was anything but laughable.
Several 80s artists stood the test of time. But no one did it like the King of Pop. In 1984, Michael Jackson "moonwalked" for the first time, and those moves became legendary. Kids in the 80s wanted nothing more than to be half as good as the late pop star.
Video games only started taking over the planet after Nintendo was launched in 1983. The games, like Super Mario Bros., Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, or Duck Hunt, were on cartridges, and part of the fun was watching them load. Yes, children of the 80s were genuinely patient.
Educational gems from After-School Specials
From culture to childbirth and knowing what is right and what is not, the ABC's After-School Specials were a blast. Kids would come from school, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and watch the show while learning about the topic of the day.
Payphones were quite an experience. Though they were made for people to make calls, kids mostly used them for pranks. Though phone booths were small, kids loved getting inside and being silly since no one would trace the call.
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.