Older people often find themselves feeling nostalgic for the good old days when life seemed simpler. It’s no secret that they sometimes look back with longing eyes and compare them to what we’ve got now. So, what’s got them all worked up about the present?
One Redditor asked, “Old farts of Reddit, what is something you dislike about the world now compared to when you grew up?” Now, this thread received thousands of comments, and we have listed the most interesting ones for you!
1. Seeing Your Pictures Everywhere
Back in the day, cameras were a whole different story. They had those clunky, film-filled contraptions that couldn’t show you the pictures until you developed them. Can you imagine the suspense? But now, with smartphones and social media, people can’t escape the constant flashbacks to their wild hairdos and questionable fashion choices. Oops!
A discerning Reddit user commented, “Absolutely wild for me to say, but when I was a kid, I simply… never saw photos of myself. Maybe once or twice a year in a photo album, but without social media, I genuinely didn’t give a f*** what I looked like as a kid. God, it was wonderful. Feel terrible for younger generations who actually have to care about that nonsense as opposed to just enjoying childhood.”
Another replied, “That’s true; I haven’t thought about it. We had school pictures every year, plus the annual class picture. Beyond that, there were some vacation pics and holiday pics, a few birthday party ones, and random ones, but nothing like now. I think there’s only a few formal photos of me and my parents the whole time they were married.”
2. No Freedom
One said, “I had a lot more freedom to roam as a kid than kids do now.”
Someone else added, “Oh boy, is that the truth. In the summers in the late 60s and early 70s when I was ages 8-15 or so, I’d be out of the house in the morning after breakfast and back home for dinner by 6. What a time.”
Back in their time, people roamed the streets, staying out late without their parents breathing down their necks. Freedom was the name of the game!
3. Not Being Neighborly
In the previous generations, everyone knew their neighbors like the back of their hand. They’d have block parties, borrow sugar from each other, and even water each other’s plants when they were away. It was like one big, happy, nosy family!
A Reddit user wrote, “Being neighborly. We always knew a lot of people on the street, and the family across the street basically were family. People used to travel together, socialize more, etc… Now, I know my immediate neighbors, but homes turn over so much no one establishes relationships any longer. I miss all those friendly waves, stopping to take time to chat even if you were leaving. We had the luxury of time…”
Another added, “It’s hard to make those connections when I have to move every time my rent gets raised. It just doesn’t seem worth the effort when I know I will probably never see them again after the year I moved in.”
Another person agreed to it and said, “Plus, we all work so hard and long or are entangled with electronic diversions we don’t spend the time trying. Society is the worse for it, I feel.”
4. Social Media
Older people didn’t need a gazillion likes to feel good about themselves. They were secure in who they were without the constant need for external approval. Now, it’s like we’re addicted to those little hearts and likes, and we’ll do anything to get more of them.
A Reddit user wrote, “It was a good world without social media.”
Someone else replied, “The dopamine addiction to Likes and Comments is spread across a majority of our culture now. I don’t think I know anyone under 30 who can go more than 2 days without access to social media.”
5. Cell Phones
One Redditor stated, “I was still on answering machines and asking mom to use the landline when I was a teen. It sounds like it was bad, but in retrospect, having all that time to myself was really healthy mentally. It just isn’t possible for all of us anymore, for better or for worse.”
Someone commented, “I wish I lived before smartphones were everywhere so that I could have a deeper appreciation for how far things have come.”
Now, it’s like everyone’s head is buried in their phones, and we barely notice the world around us.
6. Viral YouTube Videos
Entertainment used to be all about TV shows and movies. We didn’t have these weird internet celebrities doing ridiculous challenges or pranks!
Someone on Reddit said, “You could exist in public without the threat of some Youtuber or influencer harassing you for clout. I’ve luckily not been a victim, but I have encountered some of these people second-hand.”
Another responded, “You could also make minor mistakes in public without going viral. Everyone has their moments of anger, or trips while walking, or just general misunderstandings that now get blown way out of proportion and humiliate the subject for way longer than is reasonable or fair.”
7. Infantilizing Kids
One said, “I don’t like how we infantilize kids, even older teenagers. I often describe my childhood as “Stranger Things without the monsters”. When I was a kid, it was considered normal to walk down to McDonalds for lunch or bike to the store to grab milk if we were out.
By the time I was 9, I was biking all over town to go to friends’ houses. Nowadays, it’s considered child neglect to send your 3rd grader two blocks down the street to the park with his friends. Everything has to be structured; you got your school day, then music lessons, then karate, then home, then repeat. Kids benefit from a little chaos.”
Another person added, “This. My parents have let me do the whole stranger things without the monsters thing for a while. Around like… 10 or 11 (because I finally knew where stuff was in my town and learned how to ride a bike). It’s really nice. As long as I tell my parents what I’m gonna do, they literally don’t care lol. They never made me do any extracurriculars either.”
Now, it’s like we’ve got kids getting dropped off right in front of the school gates. We miss the days when kids had a bit of freedom to explore and figure things out on their own.
8. No Intellectual Curiosity
Someone shared, “Seems like many kids today lack intellectual curiosity. Instead, they gorge themselves on an unending stream of mindless tik tok videos and video games.”
A user responded, “This. People have gotten so used to on-demand answers that it doesn’t even occur to them to stop and think. Common sense is just gone. I cannot even fathom how people are ok with this, and the only reason I can think of is that they’re blissfully unaware.”
But you know what? As much as older people grumble about our lack of intellectual curiosity, there’s some truth in what they’re saying. Maybe we need to put down our screens and ask more questions. Maybe we need to challenge ourselves to go beyond the surface level and explore deeper topics!
9. Gun Violence
One user shared, “A lot more gun violence and mass shootings now.”
Another added, “I remember Columbine, and I remember it being such a horrible but rare tragedy. Unique. Unheard of. God, it’s crazy to pause and think how far we’ve spiraled.”
And let’s not forget about all the mass shootings and senseless violence. Back then, we’d hear about a fight in the neighborhood, but now it’s like hearing about these horrifying shootings happening everywhere.
10. Underpaying Employees
People used to fight tooth and nail for fair wages and workers’ rights. But now, it’s like we’re accepting peanuts as our paychecks and not even putting up a fight.
Someone said, “My $3.45 minimum wage job went a hell of a lot further than whatever minimum wage is these days.”
Another added, “Yeah, 7.25 doesn’t get you much. Realistically minimum wage should be something like 12.40 or so if you account for inflation and production since 2009 alone, but that still doesn’t get you much. But it’s a minimum wage, so yeah. Anyways back in like 1978 or 79 (when minimum wage was 3.45/hour), that got you the purchasing power of nearly 12 bucks now. That’s what minimum wage should be now but whatever.
But then stuff was way less expensive even compared to that, too I think at least around half of the states have minimum wages above the federal minimum, but only like 18 of them are above 12/hr. It’s sad. atleast in Pennsylvania next year; they’re probably gonna increase it (it was passed by 103-100 btw, lol) to 11, then 13, then 15/hr, then keep it with inflation after. So yay because I live there.”
11. Being Always Reachable
Back in their day, older generations didn’t have cell phones and all this fancy technology. If you wanted to talk to someone, you’d pick up a landline phone and hope they were home. But now, it’s like we can’t even finish a conversation without checking our phones every five seconds.
One Reddit user wrote, “Not being always reachable and not communicating back instantly was way more OK. And I’m not even super old.”
Someone said, “Being always available/accessible. Sometimes it’s good to be lost.”
Another commented, “People feel entitled to your attention now because of texting and social media. Doesn’t bode well for someone like me who literally hates talking to the same person more than once a week, lol. I just can’t do it, man. I just don’t wanna talk to people. Leave me alone, lol.”
12. Being Courteous
Let’s talk about how the older generation just can’t deal with the lack of courtesy in our time. It’s like they’re rolling their eyes at our “whatever” attitude and wondering where all the politeness went. But hey, can you blame them?
One wrote, “Lack of courtesy. It seems when I was younger; people did not act like their desires alone were the only things that mattered in public.”
Someone else agreed and said, “I miss when people were mostly courteous to each other, especially on the road. People drive like complete a**holes now. Half the people NEVER use their blinkers now, and it annoys me beyond belief. A large portion of drivers now do 90+ mph, which is insane. 80 is the new 70. Truckers here in Michigan do 80 all the time. The highways are a f***ing free for all now; it’s the Wild West.”
A Redditor wrote, “The whole self-obsession and over-inflated egos so many people have now.”
Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “I think the worst part about this is that not only are young people obsessed with their appearance now, but they also have all these filter and retouch apps allowing them to alter their appearance. And at some point, these people start to get lost in the delusion of this alternate “better” form of themselves.
And it fills a void for them. But then, when they’re faced with the reality that they can’t hide behind this filter anymore, and they’re forced to face their real selves, it’s even more damaging to them. That’s the scary part. We’ve come to live in an alternate virtual reality. People are losing touch with real life.”
Now, it’s like we’re snapping selfies left and right, trying to show off our fabulous lives but forgetting about the people around us.
14. No Manners in Public
Someone said, “Lack of manners and sense of entitlement.”
Someone else added, “Society is so much more vulgar. No sense of decorum or politeness. Very depressing to see how people conduct themselves in public.”
One user said, “Kids used to have enough respect to stay off my lawn without me having to tell them. /s”
Saying “please” and “thank you” used to be like breathing – it just came naturally. It was a sign of respect and common decency. Now, it’s like we’ve forgotten those magic words and older people wonder if we even know what manners are!
15. No Daft Arguments
Someone commented, “Pub arguments about stupid stuff. I remember at university; we watched Gone in 60 Seconds, then we went out for a few drinks. My flatmates spent most of the night arguing if the car the cops drove was a 5 or 7 series BMW and if it was faster than the Mustang. We’d do stuff like that all the time. Now if anyone can’t agree on a fact the phones are out, we find out the answer, and that conversation is over. I miss the daft arguments that could last for days because none of us could price a stupid point.”
Another replied, “True. In situations like this, I usually tell my mates it’s cheating to look it up and make a big deal of it so the argument can continue.”
Do you think we should bring those silly arguments back?
16. One-player Games
Video games used to be like epic quests. People had to navigate through tough levels, conquer difficult bosses, and die a billion times before reaching the end. Finishing a game was like a badge of honor because it took some serious skills.
Someone said, “Single-player computer games that are actually difficult. Seems like 90%+ of them nowadays just reach a point quite early on where you just start snowballing in power to the point where its impossible to loose.”
Another responded, “I never really thought of this, but you’re right. Most games you can beat in a single evening or weekend.”
A discerning Reddit user commented, “My area used to be filled with forests, cornfields, hiking trails, parks, and all the flora and fauna therein. No matter which neighborhood you lived in or were visiting, a beautiful place for kids to play outside was always a short walk away. Nowadays, almost all of those wonderful places have long since been razed and turned into identical strip malls, highways, and housing developments.
They exist only as tiny, isolated fractions of what they were, and you need to drive to get there. I feel bad for all the kids who never had the chance to grow up with nature and imaginative outdoor adventure like I did.”
Another replied, “Yes, it truly is a shame that many microhabitats are disappearing. We will always have the state/national parks/forests, but it’s becoming more and more rare to find random patches of nature.”
Now, exploring forests and spending time outdoors in nature is long forgotten!
18. Being a Free-range Kid
A Redditor wrote, “As a kid, I was free range, rode bicycle everywhere, but you had to lock it up or risk walking home. We all had different opinions, and to the others here that suggested we lived together in harmony, that’s bs. We knew what mothers locked their kids outside so they could drink and vacuum.”
Another replied, “We were all ‘free Range’ kids. Our parents made us go outdoors to play with friends and neighbors. At 6, I used to ride my bike a mile to the town swimming pool every day during the summer. It was great!”
Picture this: these people grew up running wild in the streets, playing hide-and-seek till the sun went down, and having the time of their lives. But now, when we try to step out of the house without a GPS tracking device attached to our backs, it feels like the end of the world!
19. The Night Sky
Someone on Reddit said, “It’s much harder to star gaze now. My kids have never seen the milky way.”
Someone commented, “Light pollution is such a hidden evil. I had no idea the night sky could look the way it does until I went to Glacier National Park. More stars than your mind can even imagine.”
But you know what? Despite all the challenges, we’re still out here, staring up at the cosmos. Sure, it might not be as easy as it once was, but that doesn’t mean we’re any less passionate about it.
20. The Gender Crisis
One user shared, “Why so many so-called genders, different in my day.”
Another person pitched in to say, “Everything didn’t have to be non-binary or gay or straight. Now everywhere I look, it feels like characters are being gender-bent, and everyone makes sus jokes like they give a s*** if they’re gay or not. Idk It’s weird to me in a sense that it feels like it’s just overly forced by people rather than a natural progression of thought. Idk; being a cis white male these days feels like a bad word in most left-leaning circles.”
How many genders do you think there are?
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.