1985 was better overall
2015 is better overall
No internet, only 3+1 TV networks in the US (ABC-NBC-CBS-PBS), a single 24 hour news channel, no treatment for HIV, Valley Girls, big hair. 1985 had a lot of downsides for many of the current generation.
However, the obesity rates were lower. Teens were more likely to be rollerskating at night instead of sitting at the X-box sucking down endless pizzas. Also we had a much more varied "Popular Music" genre, with everybody from Madonna and USA for Africa to Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie as well as ZZ Top, Miami Sound Machine and Kenny Rogers all existing on the "Pop charts" at the same time. In 1985 you could literally listen to "Top 40" and hear every genre there was from instrumental and jazz to rock and country. That sure as hell never happens anymore.
Of course, we also had the Cold War. Anybody honestly trying to look back with pure nostalgia can not forget that. The Iron Curtain was still around, and we often lived in fear that "World War III" could start at almost any time. John Walker was arrested for spying. The Los Angeles Night Stalker murders.
But the Titanic was finally discovered, giving a future career to then 11 year old Leonardo DiCaprio.
But then you have the ultimate worst disaster.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. - John Stuart Mill
I really don't think either are all that hot. You'd have to go back to the late 50s/early 60s before this country went liberal wackadoo to find an actual year worth living in.