Reddit users recall the 80s, 90s, and 2000s as a time filled with annoying experiences. Whether it was the tanning craze, losing touch with friends because of lost phone numbers, or the increasing crime rates, these decades will forever be remembered with a mixture of good and bad memories.
A now-viral Reddit post asked the question, “What are some awful things from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s everyone seems to not talk about?”The post was quickly flooded with comments from people who experienced those decades and recall being annoyed by various aspects of that era.
Let's take a closer look at their bad memories.
Losing Phone Numbers Meant Losing Touch With Friends
The introduction of social media revolutionized how we stay connected with our friends and family – we’re no longer required to memorize phone numbers to keep in touch. Before social media, however, losing a phone number meant losing touch with a person.
“If you lost someone’s phone number as a kid, good luck reconnecting with them. So many classmates moved and I never heard from them again, until Facebook came along…,” one user wrote.
Also read: 30 Horrible Things Men Wear That Women HATE
Getting Bullied for Being Nerdy
The perspective of being a nerd has changed over time, with a Reddit user pointing out that it wasn't as cool in the past as it is today:
“Getting bullied and even physically attacked at school for being nerdy or into nerdy things. It’s still amazing to me that being nerdy is now cool.”
Having to Talk to Parents on the Home Phone Before Talking to Your Friend, or Worse, Your Girl
The convenience of calling someone directly on their mobile phones was not available in the home phone era. Instead, one had to first engage in a polite conversation with the parent who answered the phone before speaking to their friend.
“That awkward 60 seconds when you’re waiting for your friend to come to the phone and you have to make polite conversation with their parent who answered the phone,” one Redditor shared.
“Even worse was calling to ask a girl on a date and having to talk to her dad when you were expecting her to pick up the phone,” another added.
In the past, there was a lack of restrictions on indoor smoking, making it common for indoor spaces to be filled with smoke. “People smoked cigarettes indoors. Everywhere,” one user wrote.
The Widespread Excessive Drinking, Driving After Drinking and Neglecting Children
In the past, behaviors such as excessive drinking, driving after drinking, and neglecting one's kids were considered normal compared to today, according to a Reddit user:
“As an 80s kid I’m convinced that most parents in my life - mine and my friends’ - were massive alcoholics. Drinking and driving, as well as ignoring your kids nearly 100% of the time and expecting them to fend for themselves while they got loaded pretty much every night was a lot more normalized then than it is today.”
During the 1950s to 1980s, having a tan was all the rage and was seen as both healthy and attractive, particularly among teenage girls. This belief is reflected in the numerous advertisements from that era.
“All the teen girls I knew who went to tanning beds regularly, starting age 14 or so. Glad to see that fall out of style. In high school (2005ish) before social media was huge, trends moved slower and there was a definite point where the hip girls in my city were all trying to look pale but the girls from the suburbs were still tanning,” one commented.
The internet has made it possible to watch favorite movies and music with just a click, without the need for a personal collection and at no cost, a luxury that was not available in the past.
“Having a personal collection of music was not that affordable. Movies and such as well,” one Redditor complained.
Serial Killers and Domestic Terrorists
A user on Reddit pointed out how Eastern Europe was an unsafe place at that time.“A ton of serial killers were active in the 80's Eastern Europe did not have a good 90's,” one shared.
And let's not forget the domestic terrorists that were a threat to America during those days. ”I don’t hear people talk about the domestic terrorists, Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh, much,” another added.
The Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness
As time moves forward, the social stigma surrounding mental health issues is becoming less prominent, and people are more comfortable talking about their mental health issues now.
Back then, individuals who suffered from mental health issues had to endure the stigma that came with it. “How awful stigmatized mental illness was,” one Redditor shared.
In the days before GPS, getting around meant relying on paper maps, a time-consuming and often frustrating experience that one Reddit user complained about, “Using paper maps instead of GPS to get around,” they wrote.
One Reddit user commented on the issue of class indicators among kids, saying that it was an apparent and toxic problem in the 80s.
They wrote: “Rampant greed and toxicity in the 80's. I grew up poor but so help you God if you didn't have the right brands on..kids are cruel as f...k.”
Despite its intention of preventing drug use through education, the D.A.R.E. program has been criticized for not living up to its purpose.
A Reddit user shared that they view it as one of the worst things from that time, with another adding that “DARE graduates were more likely to do drugs.”
PCs With Slow Loading Times
One Redditor complained about the frustrating technology of the past, saying, “For electronics: load times. Your Windows 95 PC taking 10 minutes to boot,” with one user jokingly replying, “There was a time when I thought the longer it took to load, the cooler my computer was. Think of all the startup commands it can do!”
Every Song Supposedly Had Satanic Messages
The satanic panic of the 80s and 90s was a source of annoyance for many, as reflected by a Redditor who shared their thoughts on the matter.
“That so many of the songs played backwards supposedly had satanic messages. And band names were meant things other than they were....like ACDC meaning antichrist devil's child,” they wrote.
The Capacitor Plague
Many people were greatly annoyed by the capacitor plague that took place in the early 2000s. A big number of non-solid aluminum electrolytic capacitors – particularly those manufactured in Taiwan – were failing during that time due to a faulty electrolyte composition.
For one Reddit user, the capacitor plague was a particularly frustrating experience, “The capacitor plague that affected many electronics from 1999-2007,” they shared.
But Let's not dwell only on the annoying details of the past – despite not being a perfect time, the 80s, 90s, and 2000s are still remembered fondly for the good things they had to offer, like unique fashion trends, popular music, memorable video games, and iconic movies.
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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.