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Ten Things I Wouldn't Have Believed Exist Now If You Told Me About Them In 1985

Then, I was a few years out of college, and traveling the US in what was, basically, a sales job. A newly minted adult but with vivid memories of growing up still in my mind.

    1. Smart Phones

    And smart watches? Those were the stuff of Dick Tracy. You mean I could have a computer that was many times more powerful than my Commodore 64/128, where the programs were stored on that computer, and I could watch TV and much more, and carry that in my hand? No friggin way...

    2. Variety of Televised Sports

    There was basically baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. In that order in terms of popularity. Then, you had ABC's Wide World of Sports and ESPN covering most everything else.

    Now, there are 10X (100X?) more sports channels than there were channels back then.

    3. The Internet

    Back then, I had Compuserve with a 300 (later 100) baud modem on my Commodore 64. Text only, of course, and all the worthwhile things (booking airplane tickets and such) were additional per-minute expenses. QuantumLink (which became AOL) would come later and be my first

    Would never have thought what we have today could be possible, much less common, thirty years or so down the road.

    4. Variety of Foods at the Supermarket

    I worked in a supermarket from '78 to '83 (mostly dairy & frozen food departments) in what would be termed today a diverse community. The store carried a good deal of what were called "ethnic" foods, but there were only a few brands of most every other type of food. There were, for example, maybe four or five brands of yogurt. Today, at my local supermarket, there are at least two dozen.

    And, the general acceptance of food from many more cultures wouldn't have been possible back then.

    5. Streaming Video

    Cable TV was just starting to catch on in the general public, as folks were very much used to over the air TV (which is making a bit of a comeback as people cut the cable). To think that a box in the other room could send a signal to a TV, that you could basically pick and choose the providers (or channels - there's a term which is falling by the wayside).

    6. Greater Variety of Youth Sports

    Yes, we had Little League baseball and youth football. And that was it.

    As a kid, we played a lot of "sandlot" baseball, pick-up basketball and football. Some street hockey when that equipment was becoming more available.

    Now, there are many organized youth sports available - baseball, football (tackle and flag), soccer, basketball, ice hockey, lacrosse, field hockey, swimming, and more.

    These are great in the sense of learning the skills and the value of teamwork, but also have degraded the opportunity for youth to learn important life skills - fair play (without adult supervision / force), problem solving ("only have 11 players for a baseball game, then right field is a foul ball and Jimmy is the steady pitcher"), conflict resolution (peer pressure to cut it out and get back to the game - even if there was a fist fight, it would be brief and

    7. No More (Paper) Newspapers

    The ubiquitous rolled newspapers in the driveway - with the soft thud after being tossed by the delivery boy or girl - really doesn't exist any more. Maybe two or three times a year we get a local newspaper sample, but only one neighbor

    8. Online Shopping - With Free Delivery??

    Both concepts - no way in '85. I can order from a screen, get most things in a day or two, and not pay shipping costs? Nope... don't believe you.

    9. Gradual Death of the Shopping Mall

    Online shopping is killing the large chain stores, which is killing the concept of the large shopping mall. They may reinvent themselves (list of ten uses of empty shopping malls!)

    10. Societal Conflict

    Having lived through the 60's and early 70's, I would not have believed we could get to that point and beyond, again, in the US.

    I have to believe that for 99% of the population, basic life goals and desires are the same, but may differ on how to go about it. And a small percent of shit-stirrers (DC?) are working a grift for their own power and wealth.

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