Skip to Content

8 Things Kids Will Never Understand

Here’s a list of stuff  kids will never understand or use like the Polaroid camera, fax machines or shopping at Blockbuster Video Store. As technology develops at a breakneck speed, our past is being erased.

This list may not be as important as the invention of the Internet, cell phones or electric cars but it’s part of our generation and worth reflection.

nostalgia, technology, kids growing up, memories, midlife


Ten years ago, my husband cleaned the basement and discovered his old record collection. He even located the turntable. My five year old picked up an album and said, “Dad, that’s the biggest CD I’ve ever seen!” Bye-bye eight track tapes, VHS, and tape cassettes.

Top 10 Most Valuable Records

Penny Candy Store

As a kid, one of my biggest thrills was shopping at the local drugstore with my mother. She tossed me a tiny brown paper bag and one dollar as she shopped undisturbed for twenty minutes while I loaded up on vintage candy like Pixy Stix, Chuckles, Necco wafers, BlackJack gum, wax lips, Bottle Caps, Pop Rocks and candy cigarettes.

Want candy from your favorite decade?


Do you recall the hours we spent practicing cursive in second grade? Penmanship has been replaced by keyboarding skills. Your grandparents’ precise handwriting soon may only be found in scrapbooks. The only things kids today know how to write is their signature. Anyone for a typed love letter?

What learning cursive does for your brain


If you were born after 1983, chances are good that you never heard of Mercurochrome. Growing up in the70s, Mom had a pretty small arsenal of ointments and oral medication to fight the common cold, lacerations and burns. One thing she relied on was good old Mercurochrome to cure the owies. Maybe this is one is best left for the history books since it contains mercury and not considered safe. Dang.


Once upon a time, people gathered in groups and looked at each other and engaged in conversation. Flash forward. Things have changed. Ever observe teens hanging out at the mall? You’d never suspect they were together. Each kid plants their face a few inches from their iPhone, thumbs flying. Face to face conversations is a thing of the past. Interpersonal skills nada. Good luck getting a job.

Original Monopoly

Remember playing Monopoly with a gang of neighborhood kids for several days straight? You’d run home at dinnertime then pick it back up the next morning. Well, the Monopoly game we grew up with has gone through a renovation. Hasbro doesn’t believe that kids today can handle a game lasting more than 30 minutes. Sadly, they’re probably right. No jail in new Monopoly either. Of course.

Library/Book Store

Why go to the library when you can download a Kindle book in seconds? Gone are the days when kids enjoyed searching for a stack of books to bring home. As Amazon replaces bookstores, hanging out at the library on a hot, summer day is a thing of the past. Remember microfiche?

Doing Nothing

For this generation, boredom is a thing of the past. Our kids are constantly bombarded with the iPhone, computers, instant messaging, Facebook, and Twitter. Time to turn off the television and cut social media. Great ideas emerge when you are alone with your thoughts. Creative thinking is dead. Do you think Pablo Picasso and Leonardo Da Vinci wasted time playing Zombie Farm or Snapchat?

What do you miss from your childhood? Leave me a message. 

Read more from Stacey Gustafson on her blog, Are You Kidding Me?

Stacey Gustafson

Stacey Gustafson is an author, humor columnist, and blogger who has experienced the horrors of being trapped inside a pair of SPANX. Her blog, Are You Kidding Me? is based on her suburban family and everyday life. Her short stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and seven books in the Not Your Mother’s Book series. Her work appears in Midlife Boulevard, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, ZestNow,, Pleasanton Patch, Lost in Suburbia, Better After 50 and on her daughter’s bulletin board. She lives in California with her husband and two teenagers that provide an endless supply of inspiration. She writes about parenting and daily frustrations like her dislike of the laundry, self-checkout lanes, public restrooms, Brussels sprouts, roundabouts, and being middle-aged. Her book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life With an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, hit #1 Amazon Best Seller in Humor - Parenting & Families and #1 Amazon Best Seller in Motherhood. Released September 2014, it is available on Amazon and eBooks. Visit Stacey at or follow her on Twitter @RUKiddingStacey.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:


Thursday 20th of February 2014

What? NO jail in new monopoly? Good thing we already have one (although it is UVAopoly) because there is no greater glee in this house than throwing mom and dad in Jail.

My 9yo learned "joined up writing" in the UK...his teacher commented that he had nice cursive, formed almost the same as we do here' so I'm hoping that means that our school is still teaching it. Everyone should have a chicken scratch they can't read 20 minutes later...

Kathy Baker

Wednesday 19th of February 2014

I miss everything about my childhood! Catching fire-flies, climbing trees, playing jacks (not fake plastic ones) on concrete with a golf ball...walking miles giggling with girlfriends (hey, that's exercise)! Riding miles on our bikes...I could go on forever. Oh, and finding pictures in the clouds...then at night gazing at the stars. Enuf! :-)

Jennifer Wagner

Wednesday 19th of February 2014

I don't miss handwriting at all. I am so much happier typing. I can barely even sign checks anymore legibly. However the rest, except for the Mercurochrome, I will or do miss. And I agree about doing nothing. I did not over schedule my kids. I might have been in the minority, although it wasn't as bad when my kids were young, but I do believe that kids need time alone.

Connie McLeod

Wednesday 19th of February 2014

My sweetie who is 65 has a bad chest cold. Last night I asked him if he wanted me to rub Vicks Vaporub on his chest.

Janie Emaus

Wednesday 19th of February 2014

Letter writing!

Comments are closed.
Read previous post:
thai chicken, thai chicken with noodles, weight watchers thai chicken with noodles, weight watchers, weight watchers points,
Skinny Thai Chicken and Peanut Noodles

Here’s a absolutely delicious dinner to make tonight! I love any kind of Asian noodle dish, especially a Thai one...