Life changes in an instant. Every second can be a new discovery and a change of course. So one can only imagine the impact on a person's life when they are released from incarceration and they notice the life and the world has moved with warped speed without them.

Redditor u/EddiesThings101 wanted to hear about life for some on the outside by asking.... People sentenced in the 80s-2000s what modern world change shocked you the most?

A What Phone?


I remember helping a guy who went in, in 2005. Got released 2014. Had a black and green audiovox phone in his effects and asked where he could activate it. I had to explain that it wouldn't be happening lol

Like 3 months later, "y'know, I like the iPhone but I'm gonna wait for the release of the newest one."

Adapted pretty quick. lazarus870


No matter what year you go in when you come out and stand on carpet for the first time is the most disturbing feeling. stuckondense

My Uncle was in prison for 20 years and the first thing he said when he got to his mom's house was, "whoa, I haven't felt carpet in years! It's so soft!" And then proceeded to walk around barefoot for about 10 minutes just smooshing the carpet with his feet. elarkay


There was that documentary of someone who was sentenced in the 70s, Otis I think, and he just couldn't believe the stuff he was seeing, since he lived in New York, with all the screens it was just a different city then all the different colored drinks and people wearing ear phones like they were in the secret service. It's an interesting thing to watch. waawaaaa

Hungry Howies. 

I hired a guy that was released after 17 years (circa 2005). A week after he started working he bought a phone. He had a child like wonder with push to talk and texting. A week later he was pissed off that he couldn't text his order in to Hungry Howies. if_I_absolutely_must



Knew a guy who was blown away by digital cameras. He had purchased an old, terrible one and couldn't get over how amazing it was. litttup1

So Much Chatter.

A co worker a few years ago had spent 10 years in jail. He got out right when blue tooth headsets for phones were huge. He'd talk about all the random conversations he thought people were trying to have with him, and smart phones freaked him the hell out. bigmac22077

So Many Cars....

Prisoner transfer I did one time for this man who was sentenced to life in 1968, and it's the first time he'd driven past the CN tower in Toronto and he couldn't believe how tall it was. That and he was blown away by how many different car brands there were. MissMyCrownVic

In the recent past pretty much everything below Front was Parking, rail, industrial. Now the parking and industry are leaving and condos, and towers take the place. green_bin_coon

Current Functions.

Got a call from a woman filing a claim on some abandoned funds... I got all her information and then asked for an email address and she said "What's email? I keep hearing about it, but you gotta understand I've been in prison a looooong time."Scottolan

I'm honestly surprised there aren't mandatory classes in prison that help keep people up to date on current events and technologies. It would go a long way to help ex cons function normally in society once they get out, and isn't that the whole goal of the prison system? Infinite_Jets

No Smoking.

I remember getting the bus years ago and this old bloke got on heading away from town centre towards the more residential areas.

Without a second thought he sparked up a cigar, one of the passengers told him you can't smoke on a bus! He apologized and quickly stubbed it out but said he got discharged from prison that day, and when he went in you could smoke anywhere you wanted so this was a massive culture shock to him. RooR_

Ahhhh Memories....


My cousin's husband (that she married while he was serving 10 years beginning around 2008) wanted the first thing he did as a free man was to go to Hollywood Video, and rent movies to watch with her. Then she blew his mind with Netflix. At least the idea of Netflix and chill wasn't far from his original plan, but he was shocked about there not being video stores anymore. baxtermcsnuggle

Old Friends....

My friend's older brother was jailed in 1994, and served 15 years.

He said when he went in, anyone with an in car phone was super rich, and to then see absolutely everyone have a completely cordless, pocket-sized phone, was amazing.

He also said that all the TV adverts had websites to visit, or were for completely online stores, which were a bit of an alien concept, as he'd never really seen or used the internet.

He also found the chip and pin process of paying for things on a bank card, extremely exciting.

EDIT: I'm unfortunately not in touch with the friend anymore after an incident with the haddock and the umbrella, so I can't get any further answers to your questions about his brother. Last I heard was around 2012, and he seemed to be doing OK, and had a job and a place to live. rocknrollnobody

CD's Out! 

Not me, but my father. I remember him trying to flip a CD upside down and put it back into the CD player like you would do with a record because it was skipping. Didn't notice how much of a big deal that must have been to him at the time. Adjusting to life on the outside can be really tough. NightxShade

Oh the Fanny....


My uncle went away when fanny packs were in and when he got out in the mid 2000s we had to break the news to him. chinslapped

Google It....

I knew a guy who was in prison from about 1999 or 2000 for about 12-13 years. When he got out he did a few odd jobs for my family (my mum was friends with his parents and was helping him earn money for stuff like mowing the lawn and cleaning etc).

While he was over we found that he had no idea how to use Google, how to find a phone number in his phone contacts and barely knew how to send a text message. We helped him out with a few of those skills... but lost touch a while later... I'm not sure where he is these days. RQCKQN

Stuck in the Net....

Not me personally, but we had an older guy rent out a room in our house a few years back. Usually we rented it out to students but someone let us know that he had just moved to our city and needed something temporary until he found permanent accommodation.

It was a bit frustrating because this guy would not use the internet to search for a car or place to live.

Didn't know how it worked and didn't trust it. We tried to help him learn how because we thought he was just old and stubbornly resisted technology but nope. Turns out that he had spent 11.5 years in maximum security prison after being framed (by WA police!) for murder in the mid 90s. Came out with trust issues and a dislike for the 'new' internet.

Edit: Western Australian not Washington Police. And here's his Wikipedia page for those interested in his case. LarkieShark


My friend got out of jail recently and was blown away by how many LEDs are everywhere and how many stores are using insane amounts of LED billboards. We were all at a buddy's house and he was blinded by all the bright LED light in the house. Biffmcgee

Attention Span...


I was talking to a lady who runs the education for a federal prison in Florida. She said when they start getting rambunctious or off topic, she mentions a new feature of the newest iPhone and all the sudden they're very interested in what she has to say again. sharkkkk


I asked a friend what the hardest thing was for him re adjusting to being free again, this is a roundabout of what he said. "Closing doors. I'd leave the fridge open every time without fail for months, you're not allowed to open or shut anything for yourself and I'd I'd accidentally let the pets outside by forgetting I needed to close the front door someone else had opened in front of me, you forget the last one in rule etc, and have to learn it all again." "What was the thing you found you liked the most?" "Candy crush!!" gets phone back out and starts playing, 5 mins later exclaim they've leveled up excitedly, so sweet. ArtyMostFoul

Better Hearing....


Communication. It used to be only the rich had phones, now even kids have phones! Intertops

Hello WaWa....

Not my personal experience but a man I worked with after he was released from prison after being sentenced as a young adult was blown away by the touchscreen ordering at Wawa and could not fathom why the employees could not take an oral order from him. grunchk1n


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