It takes a lot to turn away from religion, so it must take even more to turn back.
Atheism generally comes about from people who have completely and totally lost their faith, either via a traumatic life event or from some other disillusionment. But some people do eventually go back.
Some go for the community. Some go for the lessons. But what is it that made them turn back?
Here were some of those answers.
The Spark WithinGiphy
I was raised church of christ in the heart of the bible belt, and they were genuinely wonderful people, but i was an angsty goth as a teen. A lot of horrible things happened to me that drove me to rebel against everything. I was working hard to get far away from home. A few years after HS i quit my job, and moved to SLC for school, and wanted to learn as much as possible with my time abroad. One day my mormon roommate asked me to go to his sunday service, and out of curiosity i decided to go. No, i didnt convert to LDS, but it did ignite a spark in me. The next saturday, i went to my other roommates church that was seventh day adventist and it was really eye opening.
It was like an open discussion instead of being preached to. After that, i made it a point to try a different church every week to better understand how people worship in their own ways. Ive been to an almost entirely black Baptist church, islamic temples, easter mass at a large cathedral, korean first methodist, and many more. I made lifelong friends, ate all kinds of amazing food, got help during the low times of my life, and most importantly i gained understanding.
In the end, I found home with a small Universalist Unitarian congregation back in my hometown because everything just clicked. I wish I could share all the stories and amazing experiences i had, but it would be 100 pages long, and I honestly think that the path to finding spirituality is up to you and how much you search for your own soul in the melting pot of the cosmos.
It's not exciting, and kind of weird to me still, but I found comfort in prayer when I was feeling bad about stuff from my younger years, and I guess I just never stopped. I'm not about to spread the gospel or try to convert anyone, but getting back in touch with my spirituality helped me deal with life a little bit more. For the record, I was one of those edgelord atheists that would often try to argue with my religious friends, unprompted, when they just wanted to simply hang out.
North South East West
When I was at the lowest point in my life, I had nothing left to live for and needed a reason to keep going and to improve as a person. My SO, my friends, I lost them all to my increasingly disgusting behavior. The core values of religion provided a good moral compass for me and helped me be more patient and in control of my actions. I became a better person because of it, and I found a reason to live. Not to say that atheists are bad people, I just mean that it helped me personally become a better and more patient person.
I was born and raised in an atheist household. Starting in high school, I was really depressed and didn't know how to seek help. I loved and continue to love my parents but they didn't allow me to seek medical help. This continued on into my freshman year at college, even though I was living on campus and away from my home. However, I was still stubborn and wasn't comfortable with seeking help. Instead, through an acquaintance I met in a class and, after briefly mentioning about some life issues I was going through, he guided me to Christianity. We would occasionally have Bible study with other students, and I felt belonged. It also warmed my heart to know that God was protecting us all, including me, from evil. In a way, this moment also helped me become a better person by learning to love and not judge people so quickly, help others, and most importantly, love and accept myself for who I am. A few months later, I finally had the courage to get medical help for my depression. I honestly would not have done so had I not become a stronger person in part due to my curiosity and time with Christianity.
As an avowed teenage atheist (having grown up in a non-church-going family), I met a super smart nerdy guy and starting hanging around him. Turns out he talked about his faith in Christ... a lot.
So one day I blurted out something -- I don't remember verbatim but along the lines of, "Gee, I thought you were smart and understood science."
He said, "It's because I understand and love science that I believe the Scriptures. Every new archaeological or scientific discovery just keeps confirming what I know."
He went to great lengths to show me what he meant, and 38 years of marriage later we're still sharing what we learn -- from Scripture or from the latest physics discovery.
Spirituality Vs. Religion
Not necessarily religious but spiritual. I was raised Christian, and my mom was very forceful with it. When I was 12, and starting to develop my own beliefs, she refused to accept that I might not be Christian/didn't want to attend church. That just made me rebel and I became a very edgy, angry atheist that hated anything spiritual, period.
As I got older though I utilized a thing called DBT therapy which is based on Buddhist practices. It made me realize that spirituality could be useful and wasn't all bull. I picked up different theories and bits of religions, whatever resonates, and built my own belief of a "god." I personally call it "source" or "universe." I've been happier, since. It makes the world make a bit more sense, gives me a sense of purpose and comforts me in terms of what potentially comes after death. I'm a kinder, more tolerable person now. As an atheist I believed there was no purpose to life. Everything was random. Now I believe everything has a reason and there's no coincidences, adds a sense of wonder and mystery to even day-to-day life :).
Science For Religion
Not really religious, but eventually hard problem of consciousness convinced me that the current scientific models of reality are fundamentally incapable of explaining my consciousness.
At that time I was kind of early 20th century science optimist so this was quite crushing realization. Around that time I also found out about Gödel's incompleteness theorems which made me think about many other things which seem obviously true but are not rigorously provable and science suddenly has not seemed as powerful as before.
I didn't turn religious in the sense that I follow a religion, but after some pretty intense experiences with acid I came to understand that there most definitely is something beyond the physical plane and that our senses aren't really equipped to understand it.
The argument for atheism is always that the onus is on religion to prove God exists, which is fine and all but is "God created the universe" really any worse an explanation than "a big bang happened but we don't know why and an enormously complex sequence of unlikely events just happened by coincidence and here we are"?
I grew up in a Protestant household but around seventh grade went through some really hard times and developed depression. It became difficult to believe in a God. This year, however, I went through confirmation at my amazing church (highly recommend United Church of Christ churches -- super accepting) and really built my faith. I realized that faith is about just that -- believing that no matter what this mortal world throws at you, He has a plan, and that it's okay when I have doubts and question that there's a God who watches over all 7.5 billion people because I know in my heart that He's more amazing than my human mind can understand and that when I meet him again, I will understand the glory of His kingdom.
Leap Of FaithGiphy
Don't follow an established religion, but i now believe there is more than our life on earth. Maybe it's that our "soul" is just a higher dimension we can not tap into in our human form. Maybe there's a heaven and hell, or maybe they're just a representation of the reflection we will endure after leaving life on earth. My lack of religious beliefs changed after a very large dose of mushrooms and hearing experiences from those who have tried dmt, which i really would like to experience.
Athiesm itself is a religion imo, because you have a belief of something you can not prove, thus requiring a leap of faith. Was atheist from around 12-16, then agnostic, now i guess I'm spiritual? The word makes me cringe but I don't know what else to call it.
My family is atheest. I was too. Then, I started hearing people talk about religion and how special it was to them, and I was like "Wow, that's incredible that you have something that you believe In so much." Then, I began reading the bible and thinking about it and realised, I can't believe that there isn't something bigger in our giant universe. It didn't all just poof into existence without some sort of interference, I don't think. What really cemented it, though, was hearing my dad bash it. I didn't tell them I believed in God. They always said they'd be fine no matter what I believed in, but I felt like at the age I was, I didn't know for sure. Then, my dad started bashing people of faith for being "foolish enough to believe in a man in the sky." And for some reason that just made me more convinced.
Shades Of Grey
I've turned from Atheist to mostly agnostic. When I was 4 or so, I decided that there were some lies in the Bible so all of it must be lies. I saw only black and white, not the many different shades in between. I've let religion back into my life. I'm learning about acceptance of myself, taking time to rest and self-love. I'm learning about being a member of a community, kind of a family.
I don't go to church every Sunday, I actually rarely do. I don't believe in God or miracles or anything like that. I believe in myself and everyone else. I believe evil people do not exist, that everyone is good, but perhaps confused. I believe in helping others, accepting help when I need it and not overworking myself anymore. I'm happier as an agnostic Catholic than I ever was as an Atheist.
This is something that gets done to death in religious circles, people use these made up stories as "proof" of god. Plus a solid conversion story sells well, there are plenty of religious authors who made a nice chunk of cash recounting how they found faith.
This thread is going to be filled with
- sock puppet accounts featuring people pretending to have been atheists who found god (but were really always religious to begin with)
- bullshit strawman accounts of people saying they lost faith because they were "mad at God" or decided at a young age to be atheist just for the edgy shock value
- special pleading fallacies.
I found myself surrounded by people who were openminded, kind, and understanding. They saw things others I encountered couldn't, and reassured me I wasn't crazy. They believed me when I told them of the things I'd done in secret, and they shared their stories too. Legitimately, Fae Worship (not genuine worship, but the acknowledgement of fae and acceptance,) has positively changed my life and allowed me a healthy mental, physical, and magical outlet for stuff Ive carried with me for way too long.
I wasn't atheist really I was more agnostic. But everything in my life fell apart. My mom was going through it all with me. She was telling me about the sermon she heard at church that week that brought her comfort. She never tried to push me to go back to church. But she was dealing better with the tragedy our family was going through than I was.
I decided that I would try to go to a church near me. I went and everything the pastor said felt like it was talor written for my ears. I went back weekly I said prayers some were answered. Some were not. I felt better. I felt lighter. I am glad i went.
I wish every one could find something that makes them feel as content, happy and at peace as religion makes me feel. I don't care if that is a religion an activity or what. As long as they are not hurting them selves or others. I also have no will to push others in to my religion, or hate and judge others because of religion, race, sexual orientation or any other reason. I know some religious people do that. I don't like that so many so called Christians do that.
Didn't turn religious, but I did change the way I look at religion.
At some point in time, as an atheist, I decided to look into other religions besides Christianity to see if anything appealed to me. Surprisingly, many things I read changed the way I would see the world. I still think that God isn't real, but I treat religions as ways one can become better: I keep the good parts only. I would also interpret things in my own way just for the sake of simplicity, such as meditation being time spent with my eyes closed thinking.
As if being a mom isn't hard enough, why does society want to heap on more stress. Women who can breastfeed need to be able to breastfeed. They need to do it whenever and wherever.
This has been a contentious, dramatic issue for generations. Some people just can't handle a boob out in public. A boob that is nourishing a child, I might add. When you're hungry, you don't want to wait, so why should a mom, make her baby wait until a more "appropriate" time?
God grow up.
Redditor u/Brace4Landing wanted to chat about what women have to do what they do, by asking:
What are your thoughts about women breastfeeding openly in restaurants?
Ok!Cartoon Yes GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
"Breastfeeding, sure no problem. Changing diapers on the table/booth/chair, no freaking way. There's a reason most bathrooms have a change table."
"As long as you don't leave your dirty flip-flops on the table that's disgusting."
"Last week I was at a cafe terrace and I saw a woman breastfeeding her baby and afterwards changing the diaper on the table (which was a tad odd since they have a nice changing room there). After she left I noticed she left the dirty diaper on her plate, didn't even bother to close it up."
"A baby can't scream with a mouthful, so I'd say it's a win-win."
"My son used to do the same. The thing is his twin would get right to feeding and would stimulate the let down on his boob too, so it would be 20 seconds of screaming and 30 seconds of vague drowning noises before he clicked that food was happening."
"The baby's gotta eat. Plus I don't even pay enough attention to other people to even notice or give a crap either way."
"I agree lol!! I've noticed moms breastfeeding their babies at a restaurant maybe a grand total of TWO times in my whole life, and I go out to eat all the time. However, I ALWAYS notice when a baby is screeching so loud nobody can enjoy their meal."
"I don't even mean just crying, I mean that SCREECH they do sometimes where if you're anywhere close to them you can't even continue talking, you just have to stop and WAIT for the kid to finish. (I promise I don't hate kids LOL this is just my opinion)."
No AdultsOh No You Didnt GIF by happydogGiphy
"Acceptable if she's breastfeeding her baby, weird if she's doing so with her husband."
So far, so normal. Stay in your own conversation. If you're that interested about another person, you're sounding like a stalker.
WhatevesLet It Go Whatever GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"The more it happens the less people will care."
"I was once breastfeeding my daughter on the beach, aside from my boob being *kind of* out (mostly blocked by the baby) I was wearing shorts and a shirt, more covered than most of the people on the beach. Apparently a dude started watching me that I didn't notice and his girlfriend took offense to it."
"She started to approach me, but my mom was with us and gave her the stink eye to end all stink eyes. I have to think if they had been just a little more exposed to breast feeding this wouldn't have been anything. I'm also 99% sure that incident resulted in the couple fighting."
When in Public
"I walked with my head down the majority of my life because I felt like everyone was staring at me as I'm a very tall female. Started looking up a few years ago and realized how very wrong I was. I cared WAY more about this made up scenario in my head while assuming the worst and causing MYSELF to feel shame over it- than anyone else ever cared about my height. We're all busy doing our own thing and I don't think MOST people care about women breastfeeding in public as people think they do."
In the UK...
"I went to a mall in London, England once with a room dedicated for baby care. There were comfortable chairs and a microwave and sink. There were also little rooms with rocking chairs and low light floor lamps. Now, I would feed my baby wherever the hell I needed to, but this was luxury."
Free!Mothers Day Mama GIF by reactionseditorGiphy
"I'd rather a happy baby having a meal than a hungry miserable baby screaming and crying for nourishment. I am however against the restaurant charging an opening fee."
It is what it is. Be free ladies. Whatever keeps the kid quiet, works for most of us. Do as you need.
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Our society has a lot of strange ideas about masculinity. In fact, we have such a string of contradicting and misleading pieces of information on how a man "should" act that it has created a very emotionally stunted pool of men in the United States.
And it's usually traits that differ from this path of "most masculine" that, ironically, make us appealing to potential mates. When people look for a partner, they usually look for some preliminary signs of who that person is, and these are some of the traits that most stuck out upon first impression.
"What instantly makes a guy hot?"
Here were some of those answers.
To Make Others Feel Heard
"Learning how to actively listen is a wonderful skill to learn. Restating or affirming a statement or comment made really makes people feel heard. Great for developing rapport especially with coworkers, doubly so for the quiet ones."-Psychadous
It Must Be That Sweet Sweet Tire
"Blew a tire on the way back from a trip last weekend. Still had a couple of hours to go on the drive. Pulled over and changed it in about 15-20 minutes."
"Wife kept taking pictures of me while I was making the tire change. The remainder of the drive home, I kept catching her staring at me out of the corner of my eye."
"Fast forward 2 days later… walk up behind her in the kitchen and she's zooming in on a couple of those pics she took. I think she was into my basic tire changing skills."-bonediggler69
Just Simple Things
"Nice smile and eyes. Voice is also important too it can affect my entire attraction to him."
"Edit: by voice I don't mean stereotypical manly voice. I like different types, and so do other women. It's not a type per se it's just a voice. I can't say 'yeah I like all voices that sound like X' cause that's not how it works."-proncesshambarghers
Just noticing these things in a guy can really change your focus.
"He's funny. Not in a 'prank' way but in a clever word-play manner."
"He doesn't have to like what I like, but he allows me to like it without being demeaning or belittling."
"I dated a guy once who was very different physically from my type - but he was so damn hot because he was clever, funny and caring."-bunniesandacat
All He Had To Do
"Listening. My husband listened to me, listened to what I like and went on wooing me from there."
"Brought me my favorite foods and deserts, took me to my favorite movies, bought me tickets to my favorite concerts."--user deleted
"All she wanted was a day where she could do anything she wanted without hearing mom mom mom. Also at night on sundays I would draw her a nice hot bath and light some candles."
"The kids new on Sunday nights leave mom alone and I made sure she was able to decompress a bit. She was a stay-at-home mom and she needed to have that alone time now and then."
"She was my everything and I treated her like she was. Damn I miss her so much...."-StraightSho
"When he talks about something that he's knowledgeable and excited about without talking down on you for not knowing about it."-AllDogsGoToReddit
"So all the years of learning about animals, prehistory and biology weren't wasted..."-bigfatcarp93
Let's Play "Who Has Trust Issues?"!
"I'm a guy, but I've heard from women that being good with kids instantly makes a guy hot. I've heard from other women that it instantly makes him look like a creep. Idk. Lol"-IMeasureFromTheTaint
Yes, really just one of these things is enough to turn heads and generate some whispers about yourself.
It's That Calm Stuff
"Self awareness. Which translates into empathy for himself and others, kindness, honesty, deep conversations, A CALM ENERGY."
"Basically, a REAL nice genuine man not the ones who pretend to be nice guys just to get in your pants. Oh, and being a good dog dad or good dad in general."-yewcant_seeme
All The Kindness
"Being kind to people when he didn't have to be."
"Favorite quote from my favorite movie:"
"'I'd only give one piece of advice to someone marrying. We're all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind.'"
- "About Time"-Deviolist
Security In Masculinity
"Self-assuredness / a quiet confidence. It's incredibly unattractive when I see guys saying things like 'that's gay/ that will make me look gay/ men don't do ___.' Being confident of yourself and your masculinity is very attractive."
"(I have a friend who kept flirting with me in the past. He kept saying guys without facial hair look gay, and guys who wear short pants or anything remotely 'feminine' look like women. how fragile is that?)"-zanylife
It's not all of these things, but just one of these things that can move a guy up from a 1 to a 10 at the speed of light with no extra things needed.
Being kind goes a long way, as does clarity and self-confidence. Invest in yourself, and others will also invest in you.
Have you ever found yourself handing over some hard-earned money while wondering "why am I even paying for this?"
There are some things that absolutely should be "free" - or at least not an extra fee on top of some already-paid money. So let's talk about them.
Reddit user QadeerRay asked:
The responses were honestly a lot more varied than I expected. I was positive I'd see someone mention the places that charge you for using rain water - the literal water that falls freely from the sky - but there's a lot here that I hadn't even thought about and honestly, I'm kind of salty now.
Come, be salty with me.
Notifying People Is Expensivecreepy grim reaper GIFGiphy
"Death certificates." - redrivverrunning
"For me they were $16 each - and every single company that the deceased has an account for needs a copy."
"I learned to go in person to places like banks as much as I possibly can. They make a copy and give it back to me, that way I can avoid mailing it for them to keep forever so I have to buy even more official copies." - classic_elle
"In the state where I live, they charge you $20 for the first certificate and $3 for each additional one so the funeral homes generally suggest you go ahead and order 5-6 more than you think you'll need after figuring out their accounts and stuff because it's still cheaper than getting a single extra at a later time." - SilverDarner
"The UK government does have a service where you inform them of a death, provide them with the certificate, and they'll make a best effort to inform all of the person's banks and pension providers. It doesn't have nearly the number of companies being informed that I would've liked, but it's a good start."
"What confuses me is that other companies aren't jumping at the chance to be on the notification list... you'd think it would be in their best interest to be notified if one of their customers died so they can clean stuff up on their end. But oh well." - SweatyOctopussy
"Not really, (at least in the US) they would really only need to stop billing/autopay once they are informed of the death and it is confirmed. The longer they can go without that confirmation, the better it is for their bottom line."
"Source: Work in corporate America" - TheLastFartan
Looking At You, Nestle3D Loop GIF by Pi-SlicesGiphy
"Drinkable water. Looking at you, Nestle. The company has a history of taking over water sources and that whole formula thing was gross." - Whit-Batmobil
"Nestle financially pushed for hospitals in 3rd world countries to start new born babies on 'free trials' of formula feeds so the mother's weren't feeding & their milk would dry up. Essentially forcing them to buy & continue using the formula forever."
"To make matters worse, this was done in areas with no safe drinking water so babies that were only a few days old were giving formula mixed with unsafe water & many got sick/died as a direct result when their mothers could have just breastfed them safely and for free."
"Even when Nestle was alerted to this (as if they didn't already know) they refused to change their tactics. The company is scum." - now_you_see
In Publicbathroom GIFGiphy
"Using public toilets in Europe." - pretty_pumpkin
"Personally, here in Germany I find it is counter-intuitive. I think people resent having to pay for a toilet, and treat it like 'Alright, you're going to charge me €.50 for a pee, I'm going to get my money's worth then and just piss everywhere, because f--- you for making me pay to pee.' "
"This I find is especially true with toilets where the cleaning is 'automated.' On the other hand, you go into a lot of department stores, or a mall, etc, the toilets are often attended to by a person sitting just outside the entrance. Payment is usually optional (i.e. there is no turnstyle you have to unlock by putting money in), but it is typical to put €.50 or so in the dish on your way out... and in those cases I find the bathrooms very clean."
"Other bathrooms, particularly those along the autobahn, are actively serviced, but have a payment turnstile thing you have to go through. You can then use the receipt from the turnstile at the fast food and snack shops which are a part of the building, and you'll get the amount you paid at the bathroom deducted from your purchase."
"But overall public bathrooms are just terribly hard to find (paid or otherwise). Public pissing is common and basically unavoidable. You see it and smell it regularly." - Mozambique-Ready
Insulinmichael douglas greed GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"Insulin industry is actually hijacked by three companies and they're doing all they can to keep it's price high."
"It's not a luxury. It keeps people alive! Show some humanity."
"• Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi are the three companies that dominate more than 90% of the world insulin market by value. This means that they can set prices as they wish."
"• Production cost of insulin is about 2% of it's market price."
"• Unlike any other medicine, there is no generic insulin. Insulin is still under patent after 37 years. 'Big three' producers are abusing legal loophole for over 4 decades. (Known as Patent evergreening)."
"• These companies make profit of worth billions. Not to mention they're spending millions on lobbying politicians and donating to other decision makers to keep quiet."
"• They pay another companies not to enter the market. Or they sue them. That's what happened to company called Merck. Sanofi sued them." - DogDisguisedAsHooman
Standard Bathroom Caretampons ugh men GIF by DiggGiphy
"Uhm tampons and pads in public restrooms, schools, etc. Freak I'm a penis carrier and even I think that sh*t should be free."
"You would be mad if you went in to a public restroom and there was a coin slot for the f*cking toilet paper."
"I don't think they should be free off the shelf. Everything requires money to make so in reality nothing is free, but this should be standard care in every bathroom just in case." - TripleThickBacon
We're Not Here For Funseason 8 episode 23 GIFGiphy
"Hospital parking. Oh, dad's dying? Doesn't matter. 5 bucks." - bdd4
"Where I live you go in for free, but they do charge to leave. If you get your parking validated, (pretty much just saying you had a reason to be there as a patient or visitor) you get to leave for free."
"They had a huge issue with people parking there for free, but not even being there for the hospital. Just a place to park as they did business or shopping downtown where the hospital is located." - Howling_Fang
"You're gonna love this. We as hospital staff have to pay to park the hospital as well!"
"I am close to graduating from a medical program and some area hospitals hire from graduates of our school's program over other applicants so they have meetings at our campus about working there and benefits, etc"
"the cheapest parking package they offered, which is still a MASSIVE hike to the door is $50 a week, the most expensive being $100 a week."
"They made it a point to highlight that their staff ride all the city buses for free with our ID cards and they bring you to the front door, so that's something at least." - xBlackx_xDahliax
The Dreaded PaywallPay Me Kim Kardashian GIF by GQGiphy
"Scientific articles. They're mostly behind a paywall."
"You can either subscribe to certain journals so that you have access year-round ($ depends on the specific journal), or you can pay for access to one article at a time. The latter is usually about $30-$50."
"As a scientist, this has always irritated me. People on social media everywhere reference blogs and other non-scientific articles, which are, of course, ill-informed and non-scientific."
"We should be linked to science journals when we Google - but then every time we're interested in some topic, pay $50 to read about it?? That's ridiculous."
"Even news media reporting on interesting results from science pubs get the results mucked up. You really can't trust anything but the peer-reviewed paper itself." - BrahmTheImpaler
"I firmly believe this is one (of many!) reasons why the US is full of anti-science/anti-intellectualism rhetoric."
"We keep information locked behind paywalls, creating yet another socioeconomic barrier for attaining knowledge. Even if the desire to learn is there, it means incredibly little without the ability to access the information." - sayhellotojenn
Buying My Info BackConfused Always Sunny GIF by It's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaGiphy
"This private company in Germany just collects all your information (like a credit score) without your consent and the you have to buy all that info back from them because otherwise no landlord will ever accept you."
"There is a free Schufa you can request that once a year (so bad luck if your search for a home takes over a month) and it's also not the full one. Some landlords still demand the full one." - GreenKangaroo3
Seeing Is A Luxury?Glasses Seinfeld GIFGiphy
"I have insurance and I still have to pay (in my opinion) too much to just be able to see."
"It's not a luxury, it's a basic need. Also, my sight changes all the time so I can't even get a nice pair and be set for the next few years. If I'm lucky I'll get to keep a pair for 1,5 to 2 years before I absolutely need new glasses." - Proper-Literature173
"I think it's weird that vision and dental are separate from health insurance. Like seeing and chewing are just vanity." - FistedTate
"I can't believe how far I had to scroll to find this, I passed 3 waters and chicken nuggets. Why does it cost money to see? And I have 20/20 vision so this doesn't affect me." - Tian_Lord23
So tell us, what you YOU make free for everyone if you could?
Generations are sometimes a little confusing. What makes up a generation? Is it their ages or year they were born? Is it what was happening politically during the formative years? Is it the economic landscape that either afforded or denied certain life expectations? Maybe it's the technology that they had access to.
According to the Pew Research Center, it's all of these things and more. All of these factors can influence a generations understanding of the world and ultimately their thoughts as the move through it.
Depending on what generation you're from, you might have seen the drastic shift from records to CDs to Spotify, from payphones and landlines to cellphones.
Marked by technology and pop culture references, the older generations might actually look to Gen Z, the iGen, with pitty for never truly understanding the struggle of walking to school up hill both ways.
What are the struggles of the past that young people today really won't understand unless they were there to experience it? We went to Ask Reddit to find out.
Redditor Bagolyvagymi asked:
"What's something that newer generations will never understand?"
Let's see how much things have changed in just a few decades.
Hoping the plans didn't change.
"Meeting up with a friend at the movies and having no way to communicate once you've left the house—your friend doesn't show: is he coming? Should I continue to wait, standing at the precise spot we agreed on? Has he died? Did he forget? I'll call home using a pay phone and hope my mom is there to tell me whether he left a message on the answering machine."
"So much anxiety. But I feel like people kept plans more then. They weren't checking their phone to bail for a 'better' option. In general people met at the agreed upon time and place."
"They also bothered to actually make plans and had to stick to them instead of flaking out or faffing about with 'I'll just call you.'"
"I remember the first time someone stood me up because we hadn't texted same-day to confirm we were actually doing the thing. I was baffled."
"Now I would never plan something a week out and just expect the other person to remember and show up."
"I hate that this is a thing we have to do now."
"Worst still is when it happens and somehow you're at fault because you didn't text them to say your plans was still happening. I showed up. Why didn't you text to make sure if you questioned it?"
Parents trusted their kids would be safe.
"Parents not knowing where their kids are and trusting them not to get into trouble."
"My kids watched Stranger Things with me and they thought it was unrealistic how the kids would just go ride their bikes wherever late at night. I told them we used to do that all the time."
"One time I broke my collar bone in a pick up football game and had to ride my bike home. I was like 10 miles away. (That sucked.)"
"Come to think about it, it seems rare to have enough kids playing outside to have a pickup football game nowadays."
"And trusting other adults in the community to assist, snitch, etc."
"The busybodies do suck when you arent doing anything wrong, and when they breach trust. But it is also good when the general community does not turn a blind eye to crap stuff going down, nipping bad trends in the bud."
You couldn't just download or stream your favorite song.
"Having to buy the entire album to get one song you liked or wait for it to come on the radio and record it. Missing any part of the song was unacceptable and you had to wait until it was played again."
"Than the DJ would talk at the end of the song and ruined it."
"Or hearing a cool song for 10 seconds in a movie and not knowing its name and buying the soundtrack so you can have the whole song and it's not even on there."
Which made road trips need a whole lot more preparation.
"Having a 3 ring binder of CD's for road trips."
"The binder was for the ok music... The real good stuff was in a holder on your sun visor."
"One major tragedy I remember was when I took a sudden hard right turn and all my favorite CDs on the sun visor flew out my open window."
Patience wasn't as hard to come by.
"Taking pictures, then waiting for them to be developed to see if they turned out okay."
"Then finding the while roll of film is someone's thumb, cause they didn't know how to hold the camera."
"Or when you're on the other side of the country on a road trip with a friend, having taken some of the coolest pics ever. And then...the counter on the camera goes one number higher than the film should. To your horror you learn there was no film in the damn camera and the pics you've taken over the last week of your road trip don't exist."
"And you took one or two pictures, not a dozen. Film was expensive, man."
"It was a HUGE DEAL about twice a year to take a roll of film in to be processed, then wait. And wait. And wait. Until FINALLY! Oh god I look horrible. And no do-overs! God, the advent of the cell phone camera has CHANGED MY LIFE like no other invention, obviously I am old enough to remember 110 film (shudders) but medical advances aside, what a game-changer."
The satisfying phone slam.
"Slamming down the receiver on a landline telephone. Pushing the red button is not nearly as satisfying."
"Is you slam hard enough you'd get that little ding to let everyone know sh*t went down."
"I have an office phone at my desk that I slam daily after dealing with our incompetent sales department."
The VCR rewind.
"Having to rewind the tape before returning it to the video store or incur a fee."
"We had a dedicated video rewinder."
"Or video stores in general."
It seems like quite a lot has changed over the years. Maybe because of technology life has becomes easier, but seems like there may be some pitfalls to convenience.
Have we gone to far with our societal advances? Or does it seem like we are heading into a bright future that so many have dreamed of?
Only one way to find out.
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