15 Things Every '80s Kid Grew Up With, But Our Kids Can't​ Identify

15 Things Every '80s Kid Grew Up With, But Our Kids Can't​ Identify


Kids today! They have it so easy ... no, seriously. At the risk of sounding like a cantankerous old stick-in-the-mud whose favorite pastime is chasing kids off the lawn, kids today really do have it easy in a lot of respects -- particularly when one considers the archaic devices and overall inefficiency we grew up with.

Sure, there's something to be said for doing things the old-fashioned way; back when we were kids, our parents didn't have to stress about things like too much "screen time" or the dangers of sexting, but let's face it: nobody misses dial-up Internet or rewinding cassette tapes (unless you're incredibly unwilling to embrace change or have a major obsession with all things retro).

More From The Stir: 21 Things '80s Kids' Did That Would Horrify Us Now

Still, it's always fun to indulge in a little harmless nostalgia, particularly when that trip down memory lane involves showing kids pictures of now-obsolete items that used to be part of everyday life (You used that for what?!). We asked moms to weigh in on the everyday items that have left their modern kids absolutely mystified.

Check out our gallery of "antiques" to see how many of these things your kids would never recognize, but don't let it make you feel too ancient!

Would your kids be able to identify #5?


Image via Bob B. Brown/Flickr

  • Floppy Disks


    Image via frankieleon/Flickr

    "My 9-year-old daughter found an old box of these in our basement and was completely mystified. I had to admit I had no idea what we were still holding on to them for -- I don't even have a computer with a disk drive anymore!" -- Sarah C.

  • Rotary Phone


    Image via Nate Steiner/Flickr

    "I took my son to the eye doctor when he was about 4. The eye chart was in pictures since he couldn't read yet, and there was a picture of an old-fashioned desktop rotary phone, which he confidently called a jacket and moved right on. The handset did look like arms and the phone's body was the jacket body to him. After he said it, I laughed but could totally see it too!" -- Katrina J.

    More From The Stir: 20 Things Kids Today Will Never Have to Worry About

  • Roll of Film


    Image via Uwe Hermann/Flickr

    Remember taking your film to get developed? At a photo developing place?! And putting even blurry photos in an album, because what else were you gonna do ... delete them??

  • Typewriter


    Image via Seth Morabito/Flickr

    "I inherited my grandmother's old typewriter and had no idea what I was going to do with it -- turns out my 6-year-old son gets a huge kick out of using it! He can't believe that was once the only option, though." -- Pat S. 

  • 8-Track Cartridges


    Image via Leonard Nevarez/Flickr

    Sure, we're going way back here, but admit it: YOU HAD THESE.

  • Car Window Crank


    Image © iStock.com/tomczykbartek

    "A few years ago, my family was all together in the truck. My husband pulled up next to a friend and motioned for them to roll down the window. The girls had no idea why he was moving his hand in a circle. I tried to explain it, but they said 'you just push the down button.'" -- Wendy K.

    More From The Stir: 20 Signs Childhood As We Knew It Is Gone For Good

  • VHS Tapes


    Image via Orin Zebest/Flickr

    "My son found a box of VHS tapes. I explained they went in a VCR and you could watch movies, much like a DVD. He said, 'Look, these go in A-v-c-r-a' (all the letters spelled out). Years later we still call it that." -- Jennifer D.

  • Beeper/Pager


    Image via Hades2k/Flickr

    The pre-cellphone way of tracking down your high school boyfriend (Why hasn't he called back yet?!).

  • Walkman


    Image via Bob B. Brown/Flickr

    "My class a few years ago had no idea what a 'Walkman' or 'disc man' was. So believe it or not I still had one packed away up at my parents' house and brought it in to show them. Then I had to explain tapes and fast forward and rewind. Needless to say, they were amazed, and I felt old." -- Candice M.

  • Yellow Pages


    Image via Jamie/Flickr

    "We still get these delivered to our house, for no reason. I told my kids they're like Google, sort of, except only for phone numbers." -- Anonymous

  • Car Ash Tray


    Image via Lindsay Attaway/Flickr

    Because not only did everybody used to smoke, everybody used to smoke in their car

  • Analog Clock


    Image via Simon Law/Flickr

    "My 6-year-old nephew didn't know what a clock looked like. He knew what a digital clock was because that's all he ever saw (or a watch). But could not recognize the type with hands." -- Erin J.

  • Audio Cassette Tape


    Image via Shutterstock

    "My daughter was using my CD player that also plays cassette tapes. She came running up to me saying, 'Mom, I'm sorry but this huge piece just broke off.' She was holding a Nirvana cassette. She had no earthly idea what it was, she thought it was a piece of the player." -- Beret N.

  • Vinyl Record


    Image via Shutterstock

    "Yesterday my boyfriend's son wanted to put an Iron Maiden record into the CD player." -- Sarah K.

  • Phone Jack


    Image via Shutterstock

    "We went on vacation, the Wi-Fi went out, and I had to explain a phone jack and dial up. And why mommy was very cranky." -- Kim R

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