Sometimes, it appears that cell phones have become a required accessory attached to every kid and teenager that you see in public. You see them being used for calls, text messaging, music listening, and game playing, virtually everywhere that kids are found. So, how did kids survive without cell phones in the 80′s?
- Notes in Class. Kids in the 1980s may have been one of the last generations to have to rely on passing notes to communicate with each other during class.
- Pay Phones. Though they are rarely seen in public places today, coin operated pay phones were available on virtually every street corner and in most public buildings. If a kid needed a ride, or otherwise wanted to make a phone call while out and about, it was going to cost them a quarter.
- Home Computers. When personal computers first began to be common in homes, kids were some of the first to begin finding new ways to use them for fun. There were few games available for early home computers, but they were perfect tools for role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, which were extremely popular with the young people of that era.
- Video Game Arcades. In the 1980s, video game arcades became widespread, and functioned as gathering places for kids and teenagers. Games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders kept kids feeding quarters into the machines.
- Walkman. The Sony Walkman was introduced in 1979, and it changed the way people, especially kids and teenagers, listened to music. By the early 1980s, young people wearing lightweight headphones and bobbing their heads to music had become a common sight in public places. Kids could have their music with them at all times, without annoying people around them.
- MTV. In the early 1980s, MTV debuted, and kids everywhere gathered in front of the television to watch and listen to music videos. MTV literally changed the way the music business operated, as videos became a required part of virtually every new music release.
- Game Consoles. Atari, Sega, and Nintendo became household names in the 1980s, and the first stores devoted completely to electronic game cartridges and accessories began to appear. During this period, many homes began to have at least one television that was devoted completely to video games.
- Game Watches. It may sound a bit hokey to today’s kids, but the introduction of Game Watches by Nelsonic Industries was a huge step in the evolution of gaming. Game watch combined a timepiece with an electronic game, was worn on a wrist like a watch, and could be played anywhere.
- Game and Watch. The Game and Watch from Nintendo was a handheld device that, like the Game Watch above, combined a timepiece and a video game. The early versions were made to play only one game, but later versions allowed the user to play various games on one unit.
- Teen lines. Many homes in the 80′s had more than one phone line for their land line phone. Often times, the second line was referred to as the ‘teen’ line. If they wanted to call their friends, they used the their land line at home to call their friend on their friend’s home phone.
It may be hard for young people today to imagine, but life in the 1980s without cell phones was not only survivable, it was an exciting time of innovation, and many of the applications that kids use on their cell phones today were born during that decade.Taken From Landline Phone Service