1980s life

Growing up in the 1980’s

A few years ago when my kids said something to me that I won’t forget. 

My kids said, how did people talk to each other without a phone?

What they meant was that today the phone is like an extra limb and goes everywhere with us – even the loo.  It got me thinking how dependant some people are on their phones.  They have a panic attack if they lose it.  Going out without a phone is unthinkable!  I might need to contact someone, or I could get in trouble, or I might need directions… the list goes on.

In the 1980s we always left the house without a phone (because it was attached to a cord and a wall.  When we got into trouble, we had to work it out ourselves.  When I ran out of petrol on Appleby Straight, I had to go to a nearby house and use their phone to call a friend.

There was a time when I was working with street kids in Auckland and a few of us were driving the motorway when a tyre blew out.  I had to leave one guy with the car, while the rest of us walked to get help.  I didn’t really consider how dodgy it could have been leaving a young lad alone.  But he couldn’t phone anyone anyway.

In the 1980s and before, our parents often didn’t know where we were or what we were doing.  Dinnertime or a darkening sky told us to start heading home.  There was definitely no photographic evidence of what we did (or what we ate).

Thank goodness we didn’t have phones at school like today.  I can’t think of anything worse than having a record of some of the things I did when I was young.  And I’m glad these things weren’t shared around to many for their comment.  Thank the Lord that my online history is pretty boring with few skeletons to get people too excited about.

When I did my big OE I didn’t have google or anything to find places.  I used a map.  I couldn’t get in contact with my family very often and was pretty much on my own.  I survived.  I don’t know how, but I did.  Today before anyone travels, they research the places they are going, seeing the places they will stay and confirm prices.  Imagine arriving in a country basically not knowing anything about it. 

Raleigh Chopper bicycle.
I had one of these. Wish I had it now.

I grew up without bike helmets, gravel under swings and monkey bars that were high with no safety thought.  I grew up where chatting to a girlfriend on the phone for an hour was all the socialising I did on a school night.  I got my full car license at 15 and summers lasted longer and were nicer.

I didn’t know what went on in other people’s homes, what they had for dinner, who thinks what about something.  I didn’t have to worry about what I thought or said because no one really cared.  People could filter out the idiots.  And we didn’t need other people to tell us how to think, except teachers and the occasional adult.

Finally, nothing beat watching Dukes of Hazzard Friday nights.