30 Things That Didn’t Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can’t Imagine Living Without

Do you remember a time when you had to find a payphone to make a call or search out a map to find directions to your destination?

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Over the last three decades technology has attempted to make our lives easier. With that, we almost forget how we ever lived without it. All 30 of these things didn’t exist 30 years ago, and you will be surprised about how forgot to manage without them.

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1. Fruit Pouches

Teaching little ones to serve themselves, these pre-made snacks are perfect for parents on the go. I bet our parents would have loved these when we were growing up.

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30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Pure Wow

2. GPS

GPS went from something used by only the military and government to something that is part of your car, phone and even your watch- all in your lifetime. Remember when Google Maps and MapQuest seemed state-of-the-art?

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30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Garmin

3. Hotmail

Remember coming up with a cute email address when Hotmail first launched? Yup, that was in 1996.

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30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
MensXP.com

4. Febreze

This household name was nothing short of a miracle when it was introduced in 1998.

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30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Febreze

5. Selfies

Can you imagine someone in the 80’s holding out a disposable camera for a selfie? You’d likely only get your forehead in the frame and you wouldn’t know it until you went to take the pictures to get developed.

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30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Thots n Tots

6. Swiffer

Swiffer sweepers changed the way we cleaned our floors. Saving us from constantly having to bring out the mop and bucket, Swiffer made cleaning easier when it was introduced in 1999.

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30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Rite Aid

7. Diaper Genies

Tossing a dirty diaper in the regular trash caused a terrible odor in the house that was hard to get rid of. Showing up in nurseries across America some time in the 1990s, this was an essential invention for any new parent.

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8. The Disney Store

Do you remember your parents taking you on a trip to the Disney Store and it was the best thing ever? These famous stores didn’t make their mall appearance until 1987.

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30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Waymarking

9. Cake Smashes

Back in our day, smashing your hands into a cake would be cause for punishment, not a photo shoot.

10. Wikipedia

Remember having to go to the library to pull the encyclopedias off the shelf to do research for a project? Kids today have no idea how lucky they are that Wikipedia came into our lives in 2001.

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11. Video Calls

In the 80s we would have thought video calls were something from the future, and Apple, Skype and Google have made that possible.

12. Streaming Music

Remember getting ready to record your favorite song when it came on the radio? Usually you missed the first few seconds of it, but at least you could now listen to it whenever you want. Thanks to the MP3 that was patented in 1989, it laid the groundwork for Spotify, Tidal, Amazon music and more. Napster first came around in 1999 just two years before iTunes made its debut in 2001.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Storify

13. Recording and Streaming TV

Remember digging through the TV guide to find out when your favorite show was on? Then you had to wait until eight o’clock when it aired and you couldn’t skip commercials. Kids today won’t know what it’s like to have to watch ads and not watch their favorite shows on demand.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Techlicious

14. Invisible Braces

Remember having a mouth full of metal? Well kids can now do away with those embarrassing class photos, thanks to clear aligners when they debuted in 1999.

15. LEGOs That Can Move!

LEGO has really upgraded its options over the last three decades. While we were happy just to build a tower and not have our sibling knock it down, kids today can now create everything from airplanes to dinosaurs that actually move.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Lego.com

16. Luxury Movie Theater Experience

Going to the movie theater was always a treat even with the stale popcorn, sticky floors and uncomfortable seats. Now kids get to park their rears in recliners and choose their snacks off a menu. Talk about a luxury we never had.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
ParentMap

17. Safe Playground Equipment

Do you remember the hot metal slides that burned your legs in the summer? What about getting a face full of gravel when you fell off the swing? Now kids have much less risky playgrounds to enjoy their summer days.

18. Gender Reveal Parties

When we were growing up, it was common for doctors not to share the gender of unborn babies. Now we are finding out the news, baking cakes, releasing balloons and capturing these moments to share on social media.

19. Google

Seriously, what did we do before Google? The search engine was officially born as a company in 1998 and it changed our world.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Business Insider

20. Nintendo 64

Remember getting excited to play on your friend’s Nintendo and Super Nintendo? The N64 blew everyone’s mind when it came out in 1996.

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21. Prozac

The pharmaceutical industry really took off in the 80’s and 90’s, including the introduction of Prozac in 1987.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
NPR

22. Texting

You definitely could send a text through a payphone. Texting, however, is older than you think. The first text was sent in 1992.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
ITV

23. Disposable Contact Lenses

For those who were tired of wearing glasses, they were excited about this new technology. Disposable contacts were first sold in 1987 and it was a game changer for many people who wear glasses.

24. Social Media

While for some of us, it may seem like yesterday we watched the story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook unfold, it was really over a decade ago. Facebook was introduced in 2004, followed by Twitter in 2006 and Instagram in 2010.

25. Instant Messaging

Being able to instantly send a message to a friend and have them reply was something that happened in our lifetime. ICQ launched in 1996 and changed the game for everyone.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Keyword Suggest

26. IBM Thinkpad

Remember the IBM Thinkpad? Maybe your dad brought one home from work or you saw it at a friend’s house, but a portable computer was the coolest thing in the early 90’s.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Digital Trends

27. Online Banking

In 1995, Wells Fargo was the first U.S. bank to add online banking to its list of services. Can you imagine having to still to go the teller to get all your financial stuff taken care of?

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Wells Fargo Stories

28. Smartphones

Never did we think that we could do our online banking, shopping and check our social media from the palm of our hands. Smartphones have changed every way we do our daily activities.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
GizBot

29. Online Shopping

It wasn’t until 1995 that Amazon launched their online shopping site and it changed the way we buy everything! From next day delivery to Black Friday deals you can only score through a mobile app, online shopping is saving you from a trip to the store every time you need something.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
The Telegraph

30. Uber

You wanted a ride you had to find a payphone and call your dad, or a taxi, whichever would get you in the least amount of trouble for being out too late.

30 Things That Didn't Exist 30 Years Ago That We Can't Imagine Living Without
Independent

Which are you most grateful for?

Inspiration: Good Housekeeping

Emma C
Freelance Writer