How did we ever cope?

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I have often thought about the great times of the innocent 80′s years and pondered on how we ever coped without the trappings of modern life that are available today.

For starters commuting was much quieter, not filled with the ramblings of those on their mobile phones boasting about the previous evenings exploits, the disgruntled girl explaining to her best friend (often loudly while trying to hold back tears) on how her boyfriend dumped her or shagged her sister. The Top 5 lines spoken into a mobile device on a packed train, that really wind me up (in reverse order) are:

” I’m on the train love, put the tea on I’ll be home in 30 minutes”

” I’m in the next carriage.”

“My boss is a tosser.” (Tell him or her to their face you coward)

“Hello, Hello!!! Yes, I’m just going through a tunnel (voice getting louder) Hello!!! Hello!!!”

“Of course I love you, (blows kiss down the phone)”

Let’s face it,  however you choose to travel these days, bus, train, car, boat or by foot you can’t escape these individuals. At least on most flights the use of mobiles is banned, I wish I could fly into town.


Arranging a night out with friends  in the 80′s normally took one conversation, today it seems to take an invite in triplicate, facebook, twitter and a text message. Modern communication also makes it easy to turn up late or not at all to these thrice arranged events. One timely text message and your excuse can be relayed without the need for uncomfortable face to face fibs. Such actions as a late show in the 80′s would have meant a forfeit in the form of a very expensive round of drinks  and/or picking up the tab for the taxi home. Not turning up would have been resolved by a simple phone call the next day, this call would also be the forum for negotiation re the pending forfeit. A no show today and you almost certainly will be named and shamed on hundreds (maybe thousands) of mobile devices and laptops covering a vast area, even people who don’t give two hoots and have never met you will know. It could result in plenty of blocking and unfollowing, not to mention being the subject of a loud, unwanted phone conversation on a train.


Sat Nav – we used a map… enough said.

C64c_system - Courtesy Wikipedia


Remember the days of when leaving the workplace, meant leaving the workplace?  Imagine having to take a Commodore 64 (pictured above) from the office, onto to the train and having to reply to emails, write you next presentation or just do anything really…… it just didn’t happen. Thankfully in the 80′s that annoying beast, laptop man, just didn’t exist. Leave your work at work, always the best way or of course FINISH BEFORE YOU LEAVE.

The Commodore 64 became the biggest selling Computer model of all time, selling more than 17 million units but didn’t have the memory to store one modern day digital photo. (I love that 80′s fact)


We may not have had mobile phones in the 80′s but for a while we had a form of communication that we thought was just the best thing ever…. C.B. Radio. On reflection it was a forum for, shall we say, a very varied cross section of our society.  As far as I remember there was a very specific code of practice and C.B. speak was full of numbers and shortened words, a little like the text culture of today that didn’t quite cut it on the geographical coverage front. It was fun at the time and I’m trying desperately trying to remember some of the amusing “handles” (C.B. nicknames) What I do remember is the sad exchanging of calling cards when you were “eyeballed” by another regular visitor to the C.B. circus.


To bring part 1 of my look at “80′s life, without the digital age” to a conclusion I must mention that I hold no grudge against progress and change for good. Mobile phones have saved many lives and helped oil the wheels of commerce. On the flip side we seem to have lost the art of verbal communication, the routine shortening of words sent via text has crept like a specter into the spoken word. I shudder when I hear “lol”, “omg” or “wtf”.


The Hog







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Posted by on Jul 4 2013 Filed under Hog's 80s Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “How did we ever cope?”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more on how things just seemed more quiet and actually simpler back then. While it’s nice to be able to be in touch 24/7, it also ISN’T nice to be in touch 24/7.

    A few months ago, I was sitting at an airport and watched everyone on their devices. Most everyone around me was plugged in to some type of electronic. Sad to say, my kids and I were at a restaurant yesterday and all 3 of us were on phones/ipods while we waited for our food. LOL!

    Loved your fun fact on the Commodore 64. I didn’t know that it wouldn’t hold a simple picture from today. Crazy!!

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