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Older Generations Explain Which Things Young Folks Get Wrong About Past Decades

Reddit user WeirdJawn asked: 'Older Redditors, what do young people get completely wrong about past decades?'

retro diner interior

Spencer Davis on Unsplash

I have no aesthetic or emotional issues with getting older as it certainly beats the alternative, so I freely admit I have reached a certain age.

It's the age of sound effects when I get up from a chair and asking younger people to pick things up off the floor for me.

It's the age of having to use Urban Dictionary daily to understand messages I get from younger friends and relatives.

But as much as I don’t understand their language, music or hobbies, there's a lot they'll never understand about my childhood and adolescence.

I was reading an article by writer Eric Chilton who pointed out Gen X—the generation born between 1965 and 1980 of which I'm a part—was the last to live in a world without the internet, cellular phones and social media.

And those are only a few examples of the paradigm shifting innovations in our lifetimes.

Reddit user WeirdJawn asked:

"Older Redditors, what do young people get completely wrong about past decades?"

As a young person, I was fascinated with the idea my maternal Grandmother lived through the transition from horses to combustion engine vehicles, the inception of commercial air travel, the creation of the motion picture industry and the invention of television.

But I've lived through vinyl LPs and 45s, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and digital music players.

If I wanted to see a movie as a kid, I went to a theater—or drive-in—or waited for an often heavily edited version to air on TV. Then cable movie channels were introduced, followed by LP size video disc players, then Betamax and VHS, DVDs, HD and Blu-ray and now?

Digital downloads and streaming services—I haven't been to a theater in years.

drive-in GIFGiphy


"Up until video rental stores in the early 80's, at school the next day every kid was talking about what was on TV the night before, as every single family was watching tv together every single night."

"With some exceptions, most people watched the same thing as their schoolmates or co-workers, just to be a part of the conversation."

~ Grimjack2

"There's something very isolating about modern media.

"You can be into a TV show, or YouTube series, and nobody else you know has heard of it."

"I'm a fan of aYouTube series—RedLetterMedia—that's pretty popular and very well regarded amongst its fans, and only one of my friends has heard about it.

~ SlashThingy


Unanswered Questions

"Probably just how often you had to accept that you couldn't find out the answer to something."

"If you had a question you could ask your family, maybe your friends, maybe your teachers, and your last chance was the check the library."

"But if the library didn't have the answer, then you just had to accept that you weren't going to get an answer (or you'd have to hope to come across that answer someday in the future)."

"Now you just ask Google and get 10 answers in just seconds."

~ john_jdm

encyclopedia GIFGiphy

One & Done

"How on-time you had to be for your favorite shows because there was little to no chance you’d see that same episode again until they (hopefully) did re-runs during summer."

"I remember waiting anxiously for the nightly news to be over so I could watch my favorite TV shows."

"Commercial breaks were just mad rushes for the bathroom, or to the kitchen to get something quick to drink."

~ ladyeclectic79

"Once it was done, it was gone."

"The happy tears I cried when they finally released The Stand miniseries on DVD about a decade after airing."

~ Barrys_Fic

"I feel I was in the last generation of this, even though channels were much more prevalent and reruns of everything was the norm."

"I remember rushing off the bus with all my friends because we were absolutely SURE Goku was gonna defeat Frieza this episode. And it was a crap shoot whether or not the driver would be fast enough for us to make it."

"Years later when DVDs started becoming more prevalent, they STILL didn't put shows on collectable media regularly. You couldn't just get an entire season of a show and binge it."

"At most you could find a 'best-of' compilation of five or six of the most popular episodes, and that was only if the show was incredibly popular."

"And what I am describing here was considered 'having it good' compared to older people."

~ McFlyyouBojo

80S VHS GIFGiphy

Say Cheese!

"That it was incredibly common to just not have pictures of events or other things we see as important now."

"Not only did we have entire vacations where no pictures were taken, we could go months without a single picture being taken of any member of our family unless it was particularly notable."

"A trip to St Louis? No pictures. A trip to Disneyland? Maybe a picture at the entry gate or one of the souvenir pictures of us with a character."

"A trip to zoo? No pictures. An average day? Forget about it!"

"Frequently, the only pictures taken were at major holidays like Christmas or on someone's birthday."

~ bbbbbthatsfivebees

"I explained that to my kids the other day."

"What if every picture you took cost a dollar?

"And you don’t know if it’s even good until probably weeks later, as long as the photo lab doesn’t f*ck up processing."

"Or your film or pictures don't get lost in the mail going to or from the developer or they don't send you someone else's photos by mistake."

~ beebsaleebs

"You had to plan ahead to take a photo."

"'Did you remember the camera? Did you remember to buy film or flashbulbs?”

~ brazilliandanny

retro camera GIFGiphy

So Few Options

"It's an exceptional AMOUNT of media to consume now. In the 90s, you had 3-4 super popular channels, and 4-5 low rated channels. They all showed one show at a time."

"Now we have a dozen streaming services with infinite media options."

"It's becoming increasingly difficult to engage in office conversation because so much content is available, people do not have to stray as far from their interest to consume content they want to consume."

~ MemeTeamMarine

Smoking Or Non?

"They understand restaurants had 'smoking sections' and that bars & clubs were filled with cigarette smoke. But I don't think many understood how pervasive smoking was."

"Non-smoking areas or sections didn’t exist before the 1980s. There were ashtrays and people smoking literally EVERYWHERE."

"Jury boxes had ashtrays in front of every juror. Judge smoked, lawyers smoked, the gallery smoked."

"You smoked on planes, trains, busses, taxicabs, and in all transportation centers."

"You smoked at the library, the PTO meetings at schools, the town hall and all city offices. Hell, you could smoke at the courtyard at my High School as a student."

"You smoked in the elevator and on the escalator. The mall. The grocery store. Sports venues. Doctor's offices. Hospitals. Sitting at your desk at work even if you were in a cubicle or open area."

"The movies. The plays, opera, concerts and every other public performance, people smoked."

"A non-smoker would come home often smelling like smoke. One was constantly surrounded by smoke. It was insane."

~ parkerjh

"You literally made ash trays as a grade school art project, that’s how common it was."

~ _Poffertje_

Smoking GIFGiphy

What Choices?

"Probably under estimating how few choices there were."

"Today, it seems like everything imaginable is available in a variety of sizes, delivered to your door over night."

"Catalogs and mail order had 4-6 week delivery."

"Malls were the best thing ever—all the stores in one place, a wide variety of products and sizes and not downtown."

~ 2Loves2loves

"And also just how little people knew they were missing out. If it wasn't on network evening television (Channels 2, 4, 7, 9, and 11), or on a store shelf in your town, or in the Sunday newspaper... it simply didn't exist for you."

"If you had an inkling something existed—say, tin foil that comes in sheets instead of one giant roll—you could go around asking people, if you wanted. But you were more than likely to just get a shrug and, 'Why would you want such a thing?'."

"Let's say you were particularly enterprising, so you dial '0' and ask the operator for the number for corporate headquarters of Reynolds Aluminum Foil, if you knew the city it was in. Because there was no internet, and the only way to find a number was by dialing '0' and speaking to a telephone operator."

"But even if you spoke to someone at Reynolds, they had no way to exchange money for goods at that level, and they probably would just tell you they sell it in the Ohio area, and that would be that."

"You went to the market. They have one brand of pancake mix, and no one had ever heard of anything different, and why would you want a different brand, anyway?"

"Then you go to the hardware store, and they carry one brand of paint, and no one had ever heard of any other brand of paint."

"And it was that way for a long, long time."

~ nOwsL-ACEna-pe2323

grocery shopping Publix GIFGiphy

One For the Road

"How common drinking & driving was."

"Until MADD came along, people did this routinely."

"It's where 'one for the road' originated."

~ HailRoma

"Yes! When my friends and I had our 18th birthdays in late 1979, the thing to do was to celebrate by driving through Beer Barn, where you could literally drive-through to get beer, wine, wine coolers, whatever."

"Then open them up and drive while drinking. At 18. This was in Texas."

"It also was not uncommon for my dad to drive while drinking when he was taking us wherever at night."

"Zero education on why you should not do that."

~ emeraldcity4341

Good & Bad

"I am definitely older (born in 1949 so Baby Boomer)."

"What today's young people don't appreciate is how, growing up, we had to invent our own sources of fun."

"There were no video games (which I enjoy playing), just 3 channels on a black-and-white tv (we didn't get color until 1967), and no real entertainment aimed at kids."

"All we could do is interact with each other and play established games like marbles or maybe an organized sport like Little League baseball."

"There was a baseball diamond, overgrown with weeds, across the street from us, but mostly we played in the woods that surrounded us, climbing trees pretending to be pirates or some such.

"I loved the bookmobiles that would visit my street, and I must have read every biography (all bound in blue covers) in my elementary school library."

"It was a different era with many fewer distractions and much more time for sustained imagination."

"Being a different place and time, we developed different skills for interacting with the world and each other than young people do today."

"Was it better? That's hard to say. We tended to have an insular view of our own little world, while today it is hard to escape what it happening everywhere on Earth."

"We had to wait days for a letter to arrive, and we shared a party phone line with our neighbor's phone. That is a far slower pace than today's instantaneous texting culture. (Yes, I do text.)"

"Some things have been lost while others have been gained. That's the way it always will be. Just wait."

~ BOBauthor

The Sandlot GIFGiphy

In Chilton's article—referenced at the beginning—he stated:

"We [Gen X] will be the last generation to know the world without...

  • Cable TV
  • Cell Phones
  • The internet
  • Seat belt laws
  • Remote controls for the TV"

What would you add to the list?

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.