From sex to phones to Star Wars…

what would older Redditors like to let the young whipper-snappers know about the past?

Great thread on Reddit – especially amusing for anyone older than 40. It’s amazing how much things have changed since the 70s/80s, and how much we take technology for granted these days.

Interesting items:

  • If you wanted to see a movie, you went to a theater. If it left the theater, tough shit. Star Wars came out in 1977. It first aired on pay-per-view (if you had that, nobody I knew did) was in 1982, five years later. It also came out on VHS that same year, if you were lucky enough to have a VHS deck. It wasn’t on broadcast TV until 1984, seven years later. But for 5 years after I first saw it, I couldn’t see Star Wars again.
  • If you went to a bar or a club, you would be a walking ashtray, and all your clothes would need washing. I couldn’t go to sleep without showering and washing the smoke and ash out of my hair, or else I’d wake up with a wicked sore throat.
  • People lined up at banks on Fridays, to deposit their paychecks and withdraw cash for the weekend. If you ran out of cash over the weekend, too bad.
  • When credit cards became available, it was usually only men with very solid credit who could get them. Often single women, even successful businesswomen, couldn’t get one. If they were married, they might get them through their husband, with their husband’s name was on the card. There were exceptions of course, but I remember reading a Newsweek article around 1980 about how this was starting to change. By the time I got to college, they were giving away credit cards to anyone with a pulse.
  • If you ran out of film, no more pictures. You would be very selective about what to take a picture of.
  • No cell phone, pagers, texting, voicemail, or answering machines. If you wanted to meet up with someone, you had to call them until they were home and picked up, and then make plans. If you ended up at a party, that was usually it. No “hey I’m over at this address, swing by” or anything like that.
  • Read more…

    About Kevin

    Kevin Jarnot is a technologist who lives just South of Boston, MA. He is currently employed as Chief Technology Officer at Micronotes, an AI-driven conversation-marketing company based in Boston, MA.
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