Retrocon 2024

9 Things That Made the '80s a Different Time To Live

The 1980s were a magical time. The decade birthed some incredible music, hilarious fashion, and more pop culture than you can handle. This article will look at some of the things that were completely different in the '80s that made it a unique time to live.

People were friendlier

People in the '80s seemed nicer and went out of their way to make you feel welcome, which is something that is completely lost today. You can sense it when you go back into your hometown or visit somewhere well off of the beaten path. Technology had not developed enough to keep people glued to screens and phones.

Gas was super cheap

Gas was only $1.19 per gallon in 1980 which means you could get around 30 miles for a single dollar. That means road trips were considerably cheaper. Plus, no one really knew about climate change so there was no guilt associated with driving a larger car.

There were some amazing magazines

Sports Illustrated, People, and Rolling Stone were some of the biggest magazines around. They had tons of awesome news and articles that are no longer relevant today. Plus, there was a real sense of community within these publications. You really felt like you belonged after helping to get someone else's favorite athlete traded for their own preferred one.

TV shows and films were so much better

There was an insane amount of great TV shows in the 80s. There were programs like The A-Team, Magnum P.I., Knight Rider, Miami Vice and so many more that are unmatched today. The '80s may have been a simpler time, but it also had some incredible culture to go with it.

Everything was built to last

Automobiles, washing machines, and other household appliances were made to be more sturdy than anything that you buy today. You may have saved money in the short term by buying something cheap, but longer-term costs really add up. Today's products are engineered specifically to break down as soon as possible so that companies can charge you for repairs or replacement parts

Drinks came in glass bottles

You could get a lot of drinks in glass bottles back in the day. This meant that you always had a reusable container to use at home or when you were out and about. Today, it is much more convenient to have your drink ready to go. However, there is something special about a classy bottle of cola that has been in your refrigerator for a week.

There was no internet

There was no internet in the '80s. That meant no social media, no dating apps, no Google maps, and no online casinos like But that meant the world was a more interactive place on a personal level. People used to talk to each other and get a drink in bars. Imagine that!

The music was way better

Music was awesome in the '80s. There were some incredible bands that produced amazing music during the '80s. There was so much variety with some groups down right fun while others were deep and thoughtful. Whether you were a New Romantic or not, you can't deny that the '80s was a great time for music. Think Queen, Hall & Oates, N.W.A, and too many to mention here.

TV adverts were different

Adverts during this time were like mini-movies. You've probably seen the Nestle chocolate bar adverts that featured a kid driving his motorbike into a bar while his friend continues to eat the chocolate bar. How about those crazy Pirelli advert videos? Or people dancing for Dr. Pepper? So many great ones that entertained during TV breaks.

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