Life in the 80's vs. life today
The Cold War, the brief reign of the Iron Sheik as WWF champion, the Steve Miller Band... needless to say the 80s were in many ways a dark age of human history. Not least of the decade's more annoying properties? No smartphones. The ways this indispensable pocket companion has changed our lives is countless. Well, actually, it's not. Because we counted them! Check it and see just how much awesomerer life is now compared to thirty years ago (yes, it's been that long) thanks to a little help from Nokia Lumia and Windows Store.
Taking photos was a pain
Not only did you have to lug around a bulky camera who's only secondary function was making you look like a tourist, but sharing snaps with pals was next to impossible. Mankind was forced to either develop multiple sets of film or present radical Sandals vacays via slide projector -- and that wouldn't happen until days, weeks, or months later. Today, you can show your all-inclusive Mai Tais to the entire world with just a press of a button instantly.
Making a call on the street meant a phone booth
If you're thinking: "Wow! Those things were awesome! Superman got dressed in them!", then you're missing some very salient points on the 80's phone booth. A) "Pee" was the best smell you could hope for when stepping into one. B) There was always some guy just waiting in them. Was he waiting for a call? Maybe. Waiting to murder you? Could be. It was awkward. Making a phone call from the street in the modern era is only as weird as having to talk to someone instead of just texting them.
You had to keep your contacts in a physical medium
"Rolodex" -- an awesome 80's word for a not-so-awesome way of having to keep track of everybody. Yes, you had to write people's names down like some kind of barbarian, and then lug this contraption from job to job. Thanks to contact apps in your smartphone, every person you've ever gotten digits from or called or texted or Facebooked or Twittered or Snapchatted or whatever is saved both on the phone and in the cloud. You'll never have to struggle to remember your favorite pizza joint's number ever again.
You had to do math
Splitting the bill? Calculating the tip? Trying to find the GDP of Yugoslavia? Better break out the abacus in the 80s, because the only way to do math was the hard way -- actually, you know, doing it. Grabbing a bite to eat and splitting the bill 20/40/40 is as easy as whipping out a calculator or dedicated tipping app. Also, Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore :(.
Getting a date was even weirder
The stigma attached with mobile dating apps is practically gone. It's totally acceptable to meet, marry, attend furry conventions, or do any other matter of activities with people you meet via a phone. Three decades ago, sexy singles would have to (seriously) put ads in a newspaper. These ads even had their own shorthand that makes our modern day "LOLs" seem downright sensical.
Checking voicemail meant an answering machine
And it was legally required by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop that all answering machines had to have a kooky, silly, funny, or Breakfast Club-theme-y message. Well, not really. But wow was there a lot of unnecessary Huey Lewis impersonating on answering machines. Modern voicemail just means popping in a password and wondering why on Earth anyone left you a voicemail.
Playing games required a board
You can play Halo five seconds after turning on a phone. Halo! In the 80s, playing a game meant breaking out an actual board, setting it up for 30 minutes, reading the rules for another 30 minutes, then watching your friends just give up and drown their sorrows in Shasta.
Listening to music took effort
Making mix tapes, actual physical mix tapes, meant recording songs off the radio and pausing during commercial breaks. And those tapes could break easier than the dudes 2-stepping on sidewalk cardboard. With Spotify and a host of other apps, getting thousands of songs in an instant is easier than a more modern reference than breakdancing that we can't think of.
Updating your status wasn't a thing
Short of standing on a milk crate with a megaphone and telling people what you think, there was no way to let millions of strangers know your take on current events, fashion, food, and various celebrity butts. In fact, celebrity butts were rarely at all talked about. Fast forward 30 years and with Facebook and Twitter, everyone can now your hot take with the press of an index finger -- and that's way cooler than Zubaz pants.