13 Things From Your Childhood Today’s Kids Have No Idea Ever Existed, According To Reddit

Time marches on, and such, it’s not at all surprising that a lot of things from your childhood that don’t exist anymore — and, indeed, that kids today have no idea ever existed in the first place. That’s the subject of our AskReddit thread du jour; posted by Redditor trnt, it asks, “Reddit, what is something from your childhood that a majority of today’s youths don’t know existed?” On the one hand, it’s a little depressing — but on the other, it’s kind of a nice walk down memory lane. And in some cases, it’s a walk down someone else’s memory lane.

To be fair, it’s probably inaccurate to say that today’s youths have no idea these existed; I mean, I know what an 8-track player is, despite the fact that I’ve never actually used one. (8-tracks went out of style in the late ‘70s; I wasn’t born until the mid-80s.) But as a few Redditors demonstrated, very small children today — roughly the under-12 set — actually don’t have any idea what some of these things are. They might learn later, but they’ll always be museum pieces to them — totally obsolete objects that serve no purpose whatsoever.

Then again, isn’t that always what we say about old technology?

My favorite part of this thread isn’t actually reminiscing over the things I grew up with; it’s seeing people from generations that are even older than I am reminisce about the things they grew up with. Reddit has a reputation for being full of young ’uns, but it’s a nice reminder that the Internet is for everyone. So perhaps more accurately, this isn't a list full of things from your childhood; it's a list full of things from the Internet's collective childhood. History stretches far and wide.

Here are a few of my favorite answers; head on over to AskReddit for more.

1. Party Lines

It’s kind of weird to think that we’ve gone from multiple households sharing the same line to every single person in any given household having their separate own lines thanks to the wonders of cell phone technology, isn’t it? At least this part of the whole party line thing isn’t a problem anymore:

Now we have social media for that.

2. Pagers

I’m willing to bet that by the time this little girl is old enough to be a doctor, not even medical professionals will be carrying around pagers anymore.

3. Card Catalogs

Not going to: I kind of miss card catalogs. I got a weird sort of joy out of being able to find what I was looking for in them. Inputting search terms on a computer just isn’t the same.


4. *69

Not having a caller ID resulted in some pretty creative telephone dialing. Also we got to feel all sneaky while doing it.

5. The Bakery Truck

NotTooDeep isn’t the only Redditor to bring up the bakery truck in this thread, and the many fond recollections of these magnificent creations is enough to make me wish they’d still been around in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Who needs an ice cream truck when you could have a doughnut truck instead?

6. Having To Get Comfortable With The Unknown

It’s true: If you didn’t have the resources, you might very well go your entire life never knowing the answer to that burning question you’ve had since you were five. These days, we can just Google it and come up with the answer in about three seconds, no matter where we happen to be at the time.


7. This:

It’s a joke that’s been made numerous times, but it’s still so accurate it hurts.

8. Nine-To-Five Jobs, Five Days A Week

It’s true: Today’s employees have a much harder time disconnecting from work on their days off. A lot of that is due to the accessibility of technology; because we can access our email from anywhere, we’re often expected to access our email from anywhere — and jump to work if it’s deemed necessary. It’s one of the prices we’ve paid for all the cool stuff we have now. Sigh.

9. Roll-Up Car Windows

I honestly can’t remember the last time I got in a car without power windows. It was years ago, probably. Although if you’ve either got a friend or family member who’s into vintage cars, or are into vintage cars yourself, maybe this one will be less unbelievable to you.


10. VHS

You kind of have to wonder what kids today would make of a VHS tape if they encountered it in the wild. Or a VCR. Or pretty much any kind of media that ran on tape.

11. Sanitary Belts

Honestly, it probably would have been a lot easier on everyone if free bleeding had been encouraged throughout history. Then we wouldn’t have to dismantle all those weird stigmas surrounding menstruation we still have today.

12. Life Before The 24-Hour News Cycle

The Internet has done away with the need for morning and evening editions of newspapers — but it also means that the cycle of news never stops. EVER.


13. THESE:

I only encountered these suckers a few times — they were already getting phased out by the time I was born in the mid-‘80s — but seriously, you guys. I saw this, and memories came flooding back.

BRB, time traveling in my mind.


Images: Fotolia; Giphy (5)