Throwbacks! Ten Things Our Kids Will Never Know About

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  • throwback troll
    Image via Cali4beach, Flickr

    The other day, I was talking to my teenage daughters and mentioned Cyndi Lauper. This may show my age, but my senior year the homecoming theme for my high school was based on her song, “Time After Time”!

    “Cyndi who?” they said. (Head hung down in shame. Dare I bring up Menudo?)

    I get it. Time is moving on. And I realized that each generation has its ‘thing’ that doesn’t make it to the next generation. Oh, we had some good times back in the day! Do you remember what the first cell phones looked like? (They came in big boxes that took up an entire seat in your car!)

    Today, I am sharing with you a list of ten throwback things kids from today will never get to experience! How many of these do YOU remember?

    {Continued: Throwback #1}

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What do you think?

Throwbacks! Ten Things Our Kids Will Never Know About

Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane. She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (w ... More

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  1. Avatar of Pete Pete says:

    Ah…funny! I’m 57 and have kids and grand kids from 35 to 3 wks. Let’s get this straight, floppy disks are not 3.5″ cartridges pictured, they’re 8″ black plastic things with a hole in the middle :) I coach my 14 yr old all the time as he uses his tablet about tools of the past. Most kids just don’t care. Society is also pressuring us to avoid the humor in the past. “Duck Season” and “Hillbilly Hare” are some of Looney Tunes’ best, but you’ll never see them on TV for fear that everyone will start shooting each other with a shotgun. But look at them and admire the creativity and laugh…that was always the point.

    I had a set of World Book encyclopedia in 1964. I learned a lot by browsing on hot summer days, since we didn’t have air conditioning back then (and only one small fan). Today my son spends his time on YouTube watching Metabots. The educational experience isn’t really the same. It’s the role of parents to provide guidance. By the way, my son calls me “Google Dad” because I know things without looking them up. I wonder what small percent of adults 30 years from now will say that.

    In the near future, a well-rounded education, knowledge of grammar, respect for all, a sense of humor that is based on wit rather than profanity, and a penchant to learn and help others, will set people apart from others. These people will be leaders.

    Let’s be sure we help our kids honor (and yes, laugh at) the past and grow into the leaders the country needs.

  2. Avatar of Wesley Wesley says:

    What about Pay Phones with a door to keep the elements out, it had a light and cost a nickel. Only three channels on TV, running behind DDT fog Trucks. No need to lock your doors at night, on cold days you could leave your car running while you went inside a store. Cars with AM radio only (these was no FM radio), mine was a used 1955 Ford Crown Victoria 2 Door Hard Top w/292 V-8, cost less than some of today’s HDTV LED Flat Screen TV’s. I paid $600.00, someone had hit it on the rear quarter panel and messed up the trunk. Bought the two parts from a junk yard and put them on myself, the paint job was $300.00, it was only a year old. I do miss the old and much simpler days!

  3. Avatar of Isaha Isaha says:

    i feel sorry for people like you who do not get that children are not as stupid and aware of the irreverent things of your past. I do know and have used most of the things on your list before. i loved Loneytoons and Tom and Jerry and watching the Three Stooges on Saturday morning with my parents and brothers. Floppy dist of course kids know what they are i have a bunch in my room from our old computer. With the payphones the reason they are hard to find is because no one needs to pay for a call when you can just pull out a cellphone or trackphone. I am only 15 by the way. The news paper you should be happy to hear is still read because it is safer and cheaper than taking an iPad on the morning bus ride. What i am trying to say is just because you are older and the newer traditions and technologies have changed does not always mean its gotten worse. i can talk with my friends in Taxes from across 5 states with skype while still being able to have a good old fashion face to face conversation with my friends. i think you are getting all worried for nothing. each generation has their things like i asked my mom if she knew what a mmo was and she thought is was a stuffed animal or thought was talking about C.O.D. he ment the fish. I asked my older sister who is now 36 if she remembers the old 8bit arcade games and she couldnt even name one. And so i come to my point just because kids dont remember some of the terrible things to come out of the passed like sherry temple or the bob does not mean we are looseing touch with other people. if i asked you to tell me if you know any of theirs things could you
    5 finger deathpunch
    hot wheels battle force 5
    garrys mod
    teen titans
    or even the adventures of jimmy nutron. Just because you dont know all the stuff that was popular in a generation does not mean you need to jump the “o no this generation is messed up gun.

    • Avatar of Kimberly Kimberly says:

      This article was great. But after reading the snark from this person who is obviously younger, I would add respecting your elders and corporal punishment for those that spoke disrespectfully to their elders. are something many individuals of this generation know nothing about ..whether it be parents or teachers. And, Isaha…Oder people know of the five finger death punch, Digimon and others on your list. The author was merely trying to generate memories and a laugh, especially for those of us who are of the generation that remembers these. I certainly enjoyed it, and read comments to see if others would add to the list. Your comment was highly disrespectful. How many articles have YOU published?

  4. Avatar of Shauna Shauna says:

    I feel weird that I knew what all this stuff is, and have used everything but a payphone and shoulder pads. I love Cindy Lauper, and Looney Toons, especially Tweety Bird. I have used floppy disks and encyclopedias before, always read the Peanuts and Garfeild in the paper, watch Doctor Who in black and white, when I was younger I lost the remote to my tv so I had to use the buttons, I used the rotary phone at my grandmothers house, and am always talking face to face, I’m only 15, perhasps there is still a glimmer of hope?

  5. Avatar of Dak Dak says:

    I’m in my mid twenties and I’ve known six of these ten things; seven if you count rotary phones which my grandmother has.

  6. Avatar of DAVID DAVID says:

    well I would never forget different colors of toilet paper lol

    • Avatar of Katrina Katrina says:

      Do you remember when they tried scented toilet paper? They stopped it pretty quick when girls were having all kinds of reactions to the perfumes used.

  7. Avatar of Bobbie Bobbie says:

    I am 80 years old. I love encyclopedias and newspapers!! They are my favorite things next to books!1 I, of course, know about rotary phones! I never heard of Cindy Lauper nor many of the people or things you mentioned!1It is not only the younger generation who do not know about the many items you listed! Us oldies never heard of them either!1 Nongreat loss to either the younger nor the older generations!1 However, I feel sympathy for anybody who has never thrilled to the great music of Gershwin nor Berlin; not to mention the egually fabulous Andre Crouch and Bill Gaither! Also, I mourn the loss of wonderful face to face communication and beautiful letter writing!! I hope these precious pleasures are not entirely lost to the younger generation! Love to all, Bobbie Sena

  8. Avatar of LadyAnneJT LadyAnneJT says:

    We still have our encyclopedia from the 1970s, and I frequently go to it, especially if I’m already on-line, and can’t be in more than one place at a time. When my great-grandparents came to America from Germany, one of their first purchases was a set of the “Book of Knowledge”, printed in 1891 – in English, thank you! – for their two sons. In addition to “regular learning” – history, literature, French lessons, and such, there are games to play, simple magic tricks, hidden pictures, a scale model village (great for teaching multiplication and modeling skills), sewing, etc. that one, I use a LOT.

  9. Avatar of Maria Maria says:

    You will be happy to know that not only does my 14 and 9 yo girls know who Cyndi Lauper is but Girls Just Want to Have Fun are on their Ipods and they love the video.

  10. Avatar of m m says:

    actually MENUDO are still performing today as MENUDO EL REENCUENTRO…and the oh so cute guys have grown up to be very handsome and successful men !

  11. Avatar of clara clara says:

    thats awesome so much time has passed and these are still my favorite toys 18 years ago i had this collection

  12. Avatar of sayhola sayhola says:

    And the encyclopedias! A few years ago we visited my (not yet then) in-laws, and they didn’t have the internet and our phones couldn’t get signal enough to grab it. Downstairs we went, fishing up volume after volume to answer the questions we wondered aloud as we chatted.

  13. Avatar of sayhola sayhola says:

    This is so funny you mention it – I called cust support for something or another the other day and was on speaker phone. As it offered the choices to select (press #1 for…) it also said "if you are using a rotary phone, stay on the line for further assistance." My husband just rolled his eyes!

  14. Avatar of Margarita Margarita says:

    Rotary phones have been hard to find since the 90s, but you can still find payphones at airports, bus stations, stadiums, etc. As for newspapers, you can still find them in plenty of stores and people still get them for coupons, though the internet is becoming a bigger source for them. Interestingly, I found some books at the library without words (the author is French) that I thought would be great to show my daughter as she’s not reading yet. She kept asking at every caption: "What did he say?" Still, she did enjoy them and answered whenever I asked what they were doing/thinking/feeling. Wish I’d stumbled upon them sooner.

  15. Avatar of Sarah Sarah says:

    isn’t it sad that our kids will never know the joys of playing outside all day, drinking from a garden hose and not having to worry about strange people coming up to them.

  16. Avatar of Laura Laura says:

    If you seriously think black and white movies are a sign of a simpler time, you obviously haven’t seen many black and white movies.

  17. Avatar of Zahra Zahra says:

    Hey, no encyclopedia will be accepted as a source after high school (if not sooner).

    My toddler loves the Pixar shorts and his favorites date back to 1986 and 1989 (search for "Luxo Jr. and "Knick Knack Pixar" to see them). They’re both without any dialogue.

  18. U say ur 40 something n I’m 20 something n all of that stuff applied to me, n I’m sure some will still b in my dd life. But then again were in a major city, los angeles. I would agree on the rotary phone n floppy disk tho. N cassettes like mention b4. But even vinyl records r still around. Crazy huh? As for the tv remote thing is more complicated. Cuz most cable boxes don’t even have a channel buttons anymore. Or nexflix, u need a remote. Payphones, yeah still around. Thank god cuz I don’t always have a car charger n need to get a hold of someone. Just used one like a lil over a yr ago. My dd has watched loney toons. She’s five. Can’t say its her favorite but she’ll watch it if nothing else is on. I think powerpoint is for older kids, I’m sure well still use posters in elementary. Encyclopedias r still in libraries. So r news papers. I don’t think those things r gonna go away too soon. Now whether they use them is a different story.

    • Avatar of Chuck Chuck says:

      Remember the days when grammar mattered? I hate to be one of those grammar Nazis but when I read posts like yours I truly worry. You are sitting at a keyboard, not typing a text message on your phone. Cuz, n, yr, r gonna, are not words. I doubt it would actually take you 10 seconds more to use proper English. Your post is very annoying to read. If you want your point to be taken serious then please type like an adult and not a kid on her phone.

      • Avatar of Chris Chris says:

        Absolutely agree about the loss of grammar. I’m not a grammar Nazi either and I’m okay with the occasional misspelling (you are liable to find one in this post for that matter) but Chuck hit the nail on the head when he said that the “cuz, r, N, shortcuts are annoying to read. This form of communication may be quicker to write but requires more time to read since you have to actually do the translation in your head when reading it!

        As a former member of my local school board though, I am glad to see cursive being taken out of the classroom. I am 50 years old and rarely write anything without using a keyboard anymore. On those rare occasions when I actually do use a pen and paper, it is only for short notes or reminders and printing works just fine for that. Cursive, after all, was created to speed up the writing process, which is really no longer relevant. I’d like to see us spend classroom time on other skills which are likely to have an impact on kids future lives. That’s not to say that cursive should be completely forgotten. Include it in the coursework for specialized degrees and fields of study, much like we have done with Latin, but why spend time, energy and precious educational resources on something that is nostalgic but no longer really necessary. Use the time for grammar and spelling and leave learning cursive to people who want to study languages and communication history.

      • Avatar of Ripley Ripley says:

        yes, evidently vowels and complete words are also on the endangered species list…

        • Avatar of Katrina Katrina says:

          Agreed. I was sad to find that most schools do not even teach cursive writing anymore. When did we become so lazy that we can’t even teach our children to write – not print. Writing used to mean cursive, not print. When you sign your name it should be SIGNED not printed.

  19. Avatar of Kim Kim says:

    ON the Rotary phone, does it say something about me that I’m 19 yet I searched and searched till I found a working Rotary phone then got made cause our phone company doesn’t support them. So after searching through flea markets, garage and yard sales, and even hitting up eBay, spending $100 on it, I couldn’t use it? No, I went and found me a connector so it would work.
    The payphone, well there’s a Skelton of one down the road but that’s it. It’s just a skeleton of one. Though I remember walking down the road to the gas station to get ice cream and having to call my mom from the pay phone to tell her I didn’t have enough.
    The Looney Tunes they have now just sadden me. Yosemite Sam isn’t a cowboy, Bugs lives in a house, not a hole, Lola Bunny is crazy, and so on and so on. My son is 3 and he looks at it like it’s the weirdest thing he’s ever seen. But I put in the DVDs I have of the original Looney Tunes and he sits there giggling his butt off and saying “Poor Wiley” whenever Wiley Coyote gets hurt (so I’m hearing “Poor Wiley” a lot lol)
    Black and whites? Yeah that was before my time but I’ve seen plenty of old western movies to enjoy the simplicity of it.
    The TV I grew up with and my mom still has, came with a remote but I used to sit so close to the tv to watch it that it was just easier to push the buttons instead of using the remote cause I’d have to scoot back to use it. Now I don’t even have the option to use buttons cause the flat screen we have just has an on/off button and a button to change it from normal to aux for if we want to use the DVD player.
    Oh boy the floppy disk, I remember using those. We were made to use them in middle school even though flash drives were already out. Now even if you wanted to use a floppy disk you can’t because computers aren’t made to accept them anymore (double checks computer) yep, 2 flash drive ports, CD-ROM, and a memory card slot.
    Newspapers, ah I’ve went and bought newspapers and have a subscription to 2 newspapers, for news and for crafts. I’ve taught my son the fun of paper Mache and silly putty with newspaper.
    I still have my mom’s encyclopedias from the 80s, they’re out dated on some info but they are still good teaching material for my son. I can teach him about animals, states and other countries, the solar system, all sorts of things.
    Oh Jesus, shoulder pads. My mother has burned every thing she owns with them. I’ve luckily never had the torture of them.
    I try my hardest to have at least 2 face to face conversations a day. And it has to be with 2 different people. Even if its just with my son.

  20. Avatar of April April says:

    When I was a kid (6 and up) I left the house at 8:00am in the summer, came home for lunch, then left again until "the street lights come on." My friends and I were all over the neighborhood on our bikes etc. from sun up to sun down. My kids will never know that freedom.

    • Avatar of Kevin Kevin says:

      LOL. My parents rarely saw me between the ages of six and 18, it’s a wonder they were able to recognize me. We kids went out in the morning, and returned in the evening, all without our parents knowing what we were doing the whole time. As long as a neighbor didn’t rat you out you had nothing to fear, but then we really didn’t do much that would merit parental scrutiny. Playing in woods and fields, splashing in creeks, chasing cows in the apple orchard, these were the things we did for amusement. We rode our bikes for miles, swung from ropes tied to branches, and talked for endless hours face to face. The other day I was at a mall and saw two kids in the now normal position, heads down looking at their phones texting. Turns out that they were texting to each other, how sad.

  21. Avatar of Titania Titania says:

    They will never know how it feels to fast forward to the song you want to listen to then you went a little bit too much ahead & then you have to rewind it to get to the beggining of the song. Lol I remember doing that.

  22. Avatar of Titania Titania says:

    One thing I remember when I was younger & was playing hand games like numbers, ms. Mary Mack, rock paper scissors. & playing out door games like chinese jump rope, double dodge & freeze tag, hide & go seek & riding bikes as a way to keep us entertained. What I fear is that our kids will have those good memories I had replaced with Nintendo DS, PSP, WII, IPad, IPhone/Smartphones, electronic devices ect…

  23. Avatar of Amber Amber says:

    Last year my daughter found a casset tape, and said, "Daddy what’s this?" My husband and I were both like, "Man I feel old."

  24. Oh yeah, I remember all of those, and I’m only 18. I even know of Cyndi Lauper!

  25. Avatar of Ashley Ashley says:

    I still use a 3 1/2 inch floppy for my work. The teenagers were curious as to how it worked. Lol