If you grew up in the 80s, congratulations, you survived an awesome childhood.
Out of the several decades that have come and gone, the 80s still stand out as one of the most interesting since it felt as though the world was waking up in a big way, or had come to realize that there were more possibilities than had ever been realized. But the funny thing about this is that the 80s still felt as though things were shaping up and taking form, and in some cases, this meant that while a lot of things looked professional and were state of the art, looking back at them now is worth a laugh since a lot of people had no idea how ridiculous a lot of things really were. Seriously, take a stroll down memory lane and try to remember things as they were, not as you would want them to be. The 80s was a colorful time in America, and more than anything, there was an edge to the vibrant and almost glaring colors that were so prevalent in this decade. It wasn’t the easiest time in the world, but then again, when were things entirely easy?
If anything, the 80s represented just as much change as any other decade, but with one edge after another, that sought to plow a way into the future that was rough at first but would eventually give way to the 90s, where things started to sink a bit into the grunge of society but never sank entirely. The 80s was about change in a manner that felt like it was bringing the world the rest of the way forward, at least at that time, as technology and modern practices started to unlock the next wave of potential that would allow America to continue to set the pace that had been started years before. The 80s were, more or less, a time when America was attempting to wipe the smoke from its eyes to find a new direction.
And the music, the movies, and the TV shows? Some might say that they were improving, or gaining a definitive edge since the language that could be used was changing, the subjects that were being discussed were being tossed about, and things were definitely taking on a new look when it came to one show or another. The movies were coming fast and furious but didn’t always have that much substance as flash was the thing to do. The music felt like it ballooned thanks to the rock and pop bands that were being given the cookie-cutter treatment at times, but thankfully there were still plenty of great bands and singers that were doing their thing, as they would continue to push forward and balance out those who were in the business solely for the paycheck. Oh yeah, the 80s saw a lot of ideas come to the forefront, but they weren’t always good ones.
Let’s take a few moments to look at the things you might have missed if you weren’t born in the 1980s.
Technology was moving forward, kind of.
Computers and everything that came with them managed to become a little more impressive in the 80s since the games were a little better, the programming was getting better, and they were taking up slightly less space. Okay, they were still quite a bit bigger than they are today, but they were becoming more versatile, and the internet wasn’t too far off at this point, relatively speaking of course. Technology was, at this time, pushing forward in a manner that felt a little clunky, as though it was still gaining the footing that would be needed for a huge surge that would carry things even further into the future. C’mon, a lot of us can remember connecting a PC to a printer and using those big, fat cables that would become tangled all to hell and require a superman effort to move around, right?
Does anyone remember the lack of cell phones back in the 80s?
It’s tough to say whether this was a better time or if it was a lot more frustrating since there are plenty of jokes concerning the fact that we had phone booths, landlines at home, and no way to really know who we were talking to since even Caller ID didn’t come out until the late 80s, and even then, it was never a sure bet that you knew who you were talking to unless you had prior knowledge of the person on the other end. Today pretty much everyone had a cell phone and a way to verify (we hope) who it is we’re talking to. Back in the day, trying to get the phone could be difficult since there was no way to patch into the network from a handheld device, and finding an available phone was, at times, like finding the holy grail depending on what a person needed it for. When cell phones did start coming out they weren’t all that great but they were a step above the average pay phone, even if they did cost an arm and a leg.
The 80s was the era of the bitchin’ rides that were often more about flash than substance.
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of cars produced in the 80s that were heavy hitters on the market and were made to last, but there were also plenty of them that went in for the flash and not much else. This was a decade in which looks were extremely important since they spoke to status, like always, and how well off one person was in relation to so many others. Wealth and status were of great importance in this decade and if you had them, then a lot of people expected you to flaunt them. That can be said of just about every decade, but for some reason, the 80s carried a stronger feeling that being financially endowed was a big deal and was meant to be paraded around a bit, especially when it came to the type of car one drove. The more expensive your car was, the better off a lot of people thought you were. Of course, some folks were exceptionally skilled at posing, which is another thing the 80s became known for.
The cartoons in the 80s were definitely more aggressive.
If you look at some of the more popular cartoons in the 80s (because a lot of us grew up on this stuff) you’ll be able to see a lot of programs that dealt with fighting and a healthy helping of aggression that was somehow still able to inject a few life lessons here and there. From the Thundercats to G.I. Joe, to Transformers and many others, the 80s was a decade that showed young children a great deal of violence that was somehow still acceptable since hardly an episode went by without the toons showing and telling us how to live as a decent and upstanding member of society. In other words, the violence was entertaining, and it still is to be certain, but the calmer moments were to remind us that despite loving the action we were seeing, it wasn’t acceptable at all times. Maybe some folks got the wrong message, or maybe some didn’t want to listen and took away only a few of the more heated lessons from the shows. But the fact is that back in the day, cartoon violence was a huge part of our upbringing, and it didn’t bother anyone nearly as much as it would at one point.
Almost all the movies of the 80s were infused with some level of machismo.
A lot of movies in the 80s were about the hero and what he could do when it came to kicking ass and getting the girl. It’s true, there were a lot of movies that showed the man as the hero and the women as those who needed help, but the trick that a lot of people don’t appear to remember is that there were a lot of badass women in this decade as well who didn’t take a lot of crap from the men. They might not have been the strongest in terms of physicality, but they weren’t the type to back down and they weren’t confined to making snarky comments with the knowledge that the men wouldn’t retaliate in some way. Nope, women in this decade came out swinging a lot more often in one way or another, and it was easy to notice, and appreciate. The fact is that while a lot of men were still the heroes in their movies, the women were adding to the edge that came with the 80s features, and it was a positive move forward since it was clear that women were doing more than being sexy or being made to play the victim. They were becoming far more than dramatic window dressing, and it was awesome.
The concerts back in the 80s were epic events that didn’t need as many effects.
The effects of today are cool and all, but the idea of standing for a concert and banging your head to your favorite band or vibing along with them is something that just doesn’t feel the same today for some reason. Plus, being able to get in on the rising popularity of a band isn’t quite the same as going to see them when they’ve already become legends in the industry. There are plenty of us out there who were either too young during this decade or who hadn’t been turned onto the idea of so many bands at that point, and who wish that we could go back in time to see these bands as they either continued their rise or started gathering people to their fanbase in droves. The 80s saw the rise and even the fall of many bands, and it would have been great to be there to see the first or last, or even just some of the best concerts that have ever been held.
Yes, yoga was a big thing in the 80s.
Whether you’ve seen American Horror Story: 1984 or not, you should be able to accept that yoga was actually a very noticeable part of the decade as people couldn’t get enough of it. Whether it was the spandex, the health benefits, or something else, yoga ended up being one of the biggest fads that ended up lasting for a while. There have been those who decided to hold onto the fad for years and even decades later since it does have some benefits when it comes to keeping a person flexible. Still, otherwise, it was decided that, after a while, it kind of just looks ridiculous. But as far as being a memory from the 80s it’s one that a lot of people might smile at for their own reasons.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
The 80s was kind of a crazy decade thanks to the changes that were happening so often and the fact that it was a decade that saw growth but also a lot of difficulties around the world. Somehow we survived and made our way into the 90s, which we’ll go into in a bit. But for now, let’s just say that for everything that was happening in the 80s, it’s very easy to say that people were doing their best to face forward as they marched into the uncertain future.