In this age of rapidly changing technology, shifting cultural norms, and evolving social dynamics, generational divides have become more apparent than before. Each generation brings its unique perspective to the table, but the “Boomer” generation often finds itself at the center of generational discussions.
In this article, we explore the top most boomer opinions from non-boomers gathered from the Reddit community. Whether you’re a Boomer, a non-Boomer, or somewhere in between, this list will undoubtedly spark conversation and perhaps even lead to a reevaluation of what it truly means to embrace a “Boomer” perspective in the modern world.
1. The “Need” for Smartphones for Children
The first and most unanimously supported opinion was that “five-year-olds don’t need smartphones.” This stirred a lot of debate amongst the Reddit community, where one user commented saying:
“The smartphone ownership for kids is baffling to me. It makes me feel like a super boomer, but knowing the shit they get up to, it’s pretty harmful in many cases.
Shady games are tricking kids into microtransactions that render you broke, kids finding out about porn, and not just porn but really rough stuff too. Cyberbullying one another, being groomed by creeps, etc. Lots of dangers, but fortunately, a lot of that can be avoided through vigilant parenting, and using the parental access controls, and y’know, actually raising the damn kid.”
A second user went to the extent of commenting as follows:
“Ten year olds don’t need Smartphones either. Maybe 13 is a decent age, but with smartphones getting so much easier access to the internet, I’d be scared of giving my child a phone before 13. I wish someone made a modern looking phone with similar features to smart phones but significantly reduced communication options. A phone with a fancy screen, maybe a few simple games, and a camera but no internet.”
While another one said:
“People look at me weird when I tell them my teenager doesn’t have a Smart phone.
It’s always been our opinion that he’s not getting one until he gets a job and pays for it himself.
I’m a grown adult, and I don’t have one either. I don’t want one and don’t need one. I have a barely smart burner phone I bought a bunch of years ago at like WalMart, but only so I can listen to Spotify at the gym and for my Fitbit (at least until that went out too). I wouldn’t have bought it at all if the headphone jack on my 10-year-old MP3 player hadn’t died.”
The impact of the use of smartphones was discussed by a couple of Reddit users where one said:
“My fiance’s brother asked for an iPad for the birthday of their 1 y/o. Their 5 y/o has trouble counting to 10. They don’t make the connection.”
Another one commented:
“Parents don’t need to be lazy and allow the kids to play on them all day. It’s not the kids fault. It’s lazy parents.”
However, we also noticed comments from people who don’t support this school of thought. One prominent remark is as follows:
“It’s obvious a lot of these opinions are from people without children.
Please tell me how to explain to a five year old why every adult they see constantly has a phone in their face, but they aren’t allowed to use one? Now I wouldn’t pay for a phone plan for a child, but an iPad or iPod, hell yes.
You can control what they have access to and for how long and there’s plenty of educational material out there. My kid was sounding out words years before school thanks to abc mouse on their iPad. And now they’re 10 and animating and coding on one. Technology is now a part of life whether you like it or not. Not teaching them how to use is properly is setting them up for future addiction and is just as bad imo.”
2. Refrigerators Shouldn’t Be Connected to the Internet
Appliances shouldn’t be connected to the internet as one Reddit user commented saying, “I don’t want my d**n refrigerator connected to the internet. It has one job.”
There was an annoyed user who commented saying:
“Or my printer. I was trying to scan something at my mom’s house this week, and her printer wouldn’t let me log into the program to scan things unless I was connected to the internet. (She has internet, but her computer drops the connection every time it goes to sleep, so she has to reboot it all the time).
And then it wouldn’t let me scan things until I made an account.
The printer has spent 100% of its life connected to the computer with a USB cord, and the printer knows it is connected via USB because it told me it was connected via USB.
HP, you can fk right off with these nonsense obstacles you put in the way of people using the device they already paid for. The only reason I need internet and an account to use the software is so you can nag me about signing up for “helpful” refills of your overpriced ink.
And let’s not talk about the free printer I got from my dad, which I tried to use to scan something, and which would not let me scan because it was out of ink, and clearly those two functions are entirely dependent on one another and could not possibly function independently.”
There was another user who sounded aggravated and went on to comment as follows:
“I’m surprised this isn’t higher up on the list. I’ll take it one step further and just blanket statement the need to have your whole house connected to the IoT, especially smart locks. What happens if the power goes out while you’re not home and battery backup fails? You’re locked out. What happens if someone hacks the company like what happened with WD last week? All your data is gone. Or people hacking into your cameras? Just give me my analog appliances please.”
Similarly, a user used the following words:
“Internet connected appliances are super dumb. I have a stove that connects to wifi. You can adjust time and temp. Like, who’s gonna do that without looking at the cooking food first? You’re at the oven already, looking and making adjustments.”
Adding to the debate a user remarked that:
“I have a bachelors in computer science. I want my TV to be just accept inputs. Washer to just wash. Refrigerator to just keep stuff cold.”
To the above comment, there was a noticeable response as follows:
“This soooo much! When my last TV (a 42″ flat-screen that was like 3 inches thick) died, I looked for weeks for a “dumb TV”. But I was unable to find one. I ended up getting a 55″ “smart TV,” but there’s absolutely nothing smart about it! I just want the thing to show whatever signal I’m feeding it. I hate that I had to pay for a lot of stuff I have absolutely no intention of using! Why would I want the TV to have apps, for example? It’s connected to a computer, and whatever I can do with the apps and the remote control would be a lot more hassle than just using a mouse and keyboard on the computer.”
On the contrary, we also found this comment by a Reddit user who didn’t agree with any of the above:
“I don’t want anything in my house that isn’t a computer or phone connected to the internet. People are now connecting the internet to their vacuums, and I swear I read somebody connecting their microwave to an app. It’s bad enough my printer app doesn’t even work half the time; oh, I definitely don’t need somebody having access to my garage door or my locked car or my locked house or security features just because it’s all connected to my phone. I live in an area where people still steal cable from wires in the street! Nothing is safe.
Besides, I’ve seen Poltergeist 2. I don’t need to imagine my entire set of kitchen appliances coming to life and trying to kill me because they suddenly have minds of their own.”
3. Physical Keyboards Are Better
An unusual comment, in our opinion, went as follows: “Physical keyboards are better.” However, it encouraged a lot of debate amongst the Reddit community.
The most popular comments are reported here:
“I think that most people will agree with you on that one. That’s the reason virtual keyboards have clicking sound effects, to mimic the real and superior keyboards.”
“I’m going to expound on this and say physical buttons in general. Playing phone ports of games or emulations is the WORST. Phone games, in general. Even with vibration, there’s nothing tactile there. It’s uncomfortable and feels clunky. There’s no difference between the on-screen d-pad and the shoulder buttons, so moving your finger a tiny bit too high messes up whatever you’re playing. Yuck.”
“I consider laptop keyboards the devil and cannot even fathom or consider how someone could write anything of length or substance on a tablet or phone.”
“I’ll take this a step further: any Bluetooth keyboard or mouse can go in the trash. Gimme a damn wired keyboard and mouse any day of the week. They’re cheaper, and you don’t ever have problems with the computer not finding them.”
Other comments showcase why the keyboards were preferred and in which formats:
“And I hate trackpads. I’ll use a mouse forever.”
“Also, the keyboards need to be wired. I don’t want to think if my keyboard has a battery. I just want to be able to use it when needed.”
“The old ones, too, the clunky ones that give a lot of tactile feedback that we learned to type on. My boyfriend has a MacBook, and I’m like this is so flat it may as well be a touchscreen. I’m an 80-year-old 20-year-old and I need the physical buttons!”
4. Instant Communication Doesn’t Have To Be Instant
Another popular opinion was captured in the following words: “Just because we have access to instant communication doesn’t mean I’m obligated to message you back immediately.”
Features of instant messaging platforms were discussed as follows:
“I don’t really understand the core benefit of “read” in messaging apps or “seen”. Fundamentally, it just seems to create an unhealthy scenario that puts pressure on the receiver and unhealthy expectations from the texted.”
“All the boomers at work seem to think you do need to reply instantly.”
Another detailed opinion went on to comment as follows:
“I feel like a phone is a leash, I always have. My stepdad disliked being crowded or having to answer a phone as well, for decades our main form of communication was sporadic physical letters.
I recognize the utility of a phone, and I have a decent model that I keep charged, but I also usually turn it off if I’m not at work. If somebody complains that I didn’t answer or respond I try to explain that I HATE being on call like a perpetual unpaid secretary and I just don’t want a little noise device going off on me and demanding my attention and response.
Back when I was single for a while one of the nicest ways to unwind was bowhunting out in the backcountry where no cell signals reach. Just me and a bit of hunting gear, a couple of bottles of everclear, and five or six days of no humans. By the time I’m done, I’m almost excited to see people again.”
Needless to say, the Reddit community was very agreeable to this.
5. Hurting Backs
To this, a user replied saying: “Had back pain since I was about 17. Boy, I feel like an old man as I literally groan when I get out of a chair.”
While another one replied:
“Same. Was stupid and reckless and hurt my back twice pretty badly as a teen; and again I with an unfortunate accident two summers ago. Here I am in my mid-twenties with the back of a retired life-long manual laborer.
If you’ve never had back pain – it’s so damn debilitating a thing to have, and people really don’t understand when you’re young with it. Imagine making your prom date unhappy when you won’t dance and need to sit down, cause you’re suddenly paralyzed with pain and on the verge of tears for no apparent reason.
I hope technology can give me a metal robotic spine by the time I’m 60…”
6. Apps Ruling the World
The most boomer opinion found on Reddit was about the existence of infinite smartphone apps. This was reported in the following words:
“I hate how literally everything these days has a stupid app that you need to have in order to use it. Everything from kids toys to freakin cars needs some sort of crappy app these days. Why!? What if you plan on having this item for a long while and the app either gets deleted, gets malware, or just doesn’t function due to the company not updating it? You would have to throw it out causing more waste in this world. This is planned obsolescence just disguised as being technologically advanced.”
With 18K hits and 800+ comments, this received a lot of traction from the Reddit community. A few noteworthy comments are gathered as follows:
“My doctor’s office requires an app so that I can view my appointments, and test results, and set up video chats. Why?!”
“Or how every single url takes you to the app instead of viewing it in the mobile browser. This goes for Reddit and imgur. I just want to quickly click the link and view it, not launch another app just to see one picture.”
“I had this issue with the washing machines at my apartment complex. They randomly decided to replace the card readers with an app. No more paying with a card, no more coins, you had to use a smartphone app, make an account, put in payment info, confirm via email, connect with Bluetooth, all that bs. It made everything a pain. The kicker was when they decided to switch apps and we had to do it all over again.”
“This drives me the most nuts for parking meters. I’m going to be in this city using a parking meter for one day. I don’t need an app that I register myself and my payment information to just to feed the meter.”
Apart from these, there were a ton of other comments as well, about how apps have been introduced for the slightest of daily/routine tasks. For us, this was an absolute winner.
7. Staying Off Beautifully Manicured Lawns
A comment as simple as “get off my lawn” got a lot of users from the Reddit community talking. The top replies to this were as follows:
“My neighbor (WHO HAS A FENCED IN BACK YARD) would take her Great Dane to our front yard purposely to use the bathroom. After I realized our yard had become a doggy bathroom for apparently half the neighborhood, I bought a “please stay off the grass” sign. And then I bought a motion-activated sprinkler. That took care of everything.”
“My neighbors with a McMansion monstrosity play baseball in my front yard because their entire property is house, more or less. I hate it.”
“Literally had to ask my boomer neighbor to please not mow (and get off) my lawn – twice! I’m in my early 30’s. P.S. He was re-mowing my lawn that I had mowed the day prior, and I had done a nice job. I am particular about my lawn.”
“When I first moved into my new house there were neighborhood kids who would chase each other around my house and even up onto and across my front porch. It’s kinda terrifying to be relaxing at home and suddenly hear footsteps running in front of your front window.”
“I moved into a neighborhood where I share a pond with 4 other people. For some reason the entire subdivision thinks they have the right to stand in my backyard and fish /leave trash at all hours of the day bc I’m the only one without a fence and/or am a young woman and am not just going to approach the strangers in my backyard double my size drinking and tearing out my no trespassing /no fishing signs.”
8. Excessive Use of Phones
The debate about the unhealthy amount of phone usage was stirred by this comment: “People use their phones too much, particularly for texting and social media. Getting upset because your girlfriend/boyfriend hasn’t texted you back for a few hours, or hasn’t liked your photo, is so unhealthy.”
One user missed the old times: “I miss the era before cell phones. Where, unless you were important enough to have to carry a pager, no one could contact you off of work hours.”
While another differentiated between communication and unhealthy texting: “I don’t have a problem with texting itself, but I think it’s unhealthy to text too much or expect instant replies. Particularly in relationships – people will text each other 24/7 and then meet up and wonder why they have nothing to talk about or catch up on. Sometimes, it’s good to have a little distance and not be constantly in contact. That’s what I mean.”
9. Teenagers Are Scary
“Teenagers are scary,” was a comment that got a lot of Reddit community talking.
Explanations came pouring in saying: “They’re scary because they’re big enough to do damage and mot developed enough to have impulse control.”
“Also because in a lot of countries the law just takes the side that they are unaccountable for their actions, because they’re minors. In Ireland, I don’t fear the adult junkies, I fear the roving gangs of 16 year olds – they are untouchable and they know it, it’s terrifying.”
Another one went scientific, quoting:
“Teenagers are that way because their cerebral Cortex isn’t fully developed
“The cerebral cortex is responsible for many higher-order brain functions such as sensation, perception, memory, association, thought, and voluntary physical action. The cerebrum is the large, main part of the brain and serves as the thought and control center.””
10. Phones Should Be Banned at the Dining Table
A very boomer comment stated that there should be “no phones when you’re eating with someone.”
This pulled in a couple of narratives where people said:
“I get enraged when I have a close friend I haven’t seen on their phone the whole time. Makes me feel like they don’t want to be there.”
“Agreed. There have been times I’m sure that onlookers have thought my husband and I are in a loveless marriage because we’ll be out to eat and look at our phones. Like, we just spent the entire day together. We’re both ready for a break in conversation.”
“Yeah, I agree with this; when I’m eating with my family or at a restaurant, phones are generally away unless it’s like a work call or something of the sort. When my friends and I are at McDonald’s through them, it’s not a problem as it’s more of a social environment.”
11. Too Many Subscription Services
After phones and apps, people were also generally annoyed by the existence of too many subscription services. This debate was invoked by this comment:
“There’s too many subscription services. It’s nice to have access to unlimited movies and TV, but like. For the most part I wind up just watching the same sitcom over and over to decompress after work. I wonder how much I could have saved by just getting B99 and King of the Hill box sets instead of paying for Hulu for four years. And anything where they mail you a box of curated junk every month is absolutely unnecessary.”
12. Everything Is Disposable
The lack of permanence and durability of things was another hot topic. The first comment on this was as follows:
“Absolutely everything is disposable nowadays. Nothing is made to last anymore. If you find something you like, it’ll be worn out in a year and probably not made anymore when you want to buy a replacement.
It’s the absolute worst with clothes and kid’s toys. With kid’s toys, by giving them such disposable toys, it discourages them from being nice with and taking care of their possessions. Why does it matter when it’s going to get worn out so quickly and they’ll be bought a replacement. I also think it’s a shame that these kids won’t have their toys to pass on to their own children because it couldn’t last.
Fun fact: Jeans originally became so popular because of their durability and affordability. They really appealed to the working-class man whose clothes were constantly getting worn out and didn’t have the money to constantly spend on new clothes. Now if you want a pair of jeans of that quality, it’s $60+ dollars.
Edit: While I appreciate all the suggestions on good jeans, I don’t actually wear them because I absolutely despise the feeling of denim. I’ve tried many different pairs of varying brands and qualities, and I just don’t like the material. It’s a texture thing.”
The first noticeable comment on this went something like:
“I played with a few of my Dad’s toys from the early 70s growing up, and while being decently beat up, it’s still around for my kids to play with.”
Another comment was about Levis:
“$60 would be a good deal for name-brand jeans like Levi’s. But in my experience, they still do last. I’ve had my jeans that wear 3-7 days a week for about 3 years now. My last pair lasted about 7 years. Not a bad way to spend the $75 I think I spent on them.”
While another one about dress pants stated:
“In the late 1990s, I could go into a store and pay $12 for a pair of dress pants on the discount racks.
Yesterday, I went into a store and could have bought a pair of pants of similar quality for… $12 a pair on the discount racks.
Everything else in life has doubled or tripled in cost except clothing and other decorative consumer goods.
What the hell is happening to devalue clothing by 50%or more? I know it’s because of increased offshore manufacturing in developing countries, but the blindness many of us have at the cheapness of so much stuff and how it drives us towards obliviousness consumerism is wild.
I paid the same for a pair of jeans in 1999 as I do now. I have trouble swallowing when people say “stuff is expensive today”. Yes, many things are – gas, accommodation, durable goods, certain grocery products. The cost of living has gone up and incomes haven’t kept pace.
But not everything.”
13. Social Media Is a Mistake
With smartphones and internet, another cause of societal evil came about to be social media. This was stirred by a comment which went as follows:
“Social Media was a mistake. I genuinely think that it is single-handedly one of if not the most damaging thing to the world that’s happened in the past however many years.”
To this, a lot of people agreed and remarked that:
“Social media has ruined a lot of people.”
“It’s the biggest double-edged sword ever made.”
“Good and bad. It makes people think they are informed, but in reality, they know nothing.”
14. People Shouldn’t Spend Money on Things That’d Be Unwanted in a Year
“Quit spending money on stupid stuff that you won’t want in a year and put it towards saving for the future,” was a comment that got a lot of people talking. A few interesting stories are collected as follows:
“My sister and her husband have always struggled with money, they were barely scraping by last year. And then in December she got a $900 tattoo…
Like bro. I get that you really like tattoos and it does look good but you’re in no position to be spending $900 on ANYTHING that isn’t a pure necessity.”
15. Country Music Has Gotten Worse
A very interesting boomer comment found in this debate stated that “country music has gotten worse.”
An agreement to this was captured in these words:
“Absolutely no question. There’s still good country out there, of course, but they don’t play it on the radio, I can tell you that much.
It’s because everything is composed by darn music executives now and autotuned all the hell. And the only thing people sing about is happy love. The genre, which at its best was all about the suffering and striving if ordinary poor people, has been sanitized and turned into pop with a Southern accent.
Oh also no one does stories anymore, like ballads, you know? Just something I’ve noticed. A lot of old country songs tell a story. Most modern pop country ones really don’t.
If I have to hear darn “I don’t love you like I used to” or whatever one more damn time…”
16. People Are Too Overprotective of Kids
When it comes to kids and overprotective parents, the Reddit community had something to say about this as well. The debate was stirred by one comment, which went as follows:
“People are way too overprotective of kids these days. It’s making for anxious adults who aren’t confident in their own abilities.
I grew up underneath a helicopter parent, who was WAY too overprotective. I have to actively force myself to not be that way with my kids. Which, maybe I’ve swung too far in the opposite direction, but I really want my kids to do things on their own and not be 18 years old on the highway having a panic attack because they don’t know what to do with a flat tire (not my finest moment).
I also want to be able to freakin leave my kids in the car for TWO MINUTES while I step inside the gas station to pay for my gas when the card reader outside is down. To me, it’s not worth the hassle to get both kids out of the car, herd them inside, make sure they keep their sticky fingers to themselves just to pay for gas. I always end up going to a different station if that’s the case.
I remember being 8 years old, bored in the grocery store and given my mom’s keys to sit in the car and read. Can’t do that today, it’s child abuse via neglect. Like, come on.
I don’t do this things, not because it makes my kids safer, but because it lessens the chance that I’ll be investigated for something that I don’t think is inherently wrong.
I sometimes feel like the equivalent of the old lady whining about kids these days. I’ll be 33 in a month, btw.”
17. Communities Within Neighborhoods Would Be Lovely
An unexpected comment on the thread of most boomer comments emerged as follows:
“Communities within neighborhoods would be lovely. My mum talks about it all the time, but it’s something I’ve never experienced myself. Like, we know our neighbours, but that’s about it. I’d love to live on a street or in a suburb where people have little get-togethers (street parties for big events) or just generally know and look out for each other on a more meaningful level.
ETA: oh wow! Thanks for the award and all the lovely comments. Sadly I am but a lowly 23 year old, far off owning my own property, but one day I would love to “be that person” and bake brownies for my little cul-de-sac. Sorry I can’t back to all these comments, I’m overwhelmed lol, but I’m taking notes for future me. Currently live on a council estate where not everyone gets on (there’s a cockerel war rn) so now is not the time to get cuddly with the neighbours lol.”
18. 9 PM Bedtime Is Perfectly Reasonable
On the subject of boomer opinions, the fact that “a 9pm bedtime is perfectly reasonable” emerged as one of the most debatable topic.
Agreeing to this, users commented saying:
“Best bit of advice I ever got on this: Get up the same time every day, including weekends. Go to bed when sleepy. That way you get into a natural rithm. 10pm to 6am it is for me, works tremendously. I get up without an alarm most days and feel well rested. Plus the weekends are a lot longer.”
“Of course it is any bedtime can be reasonable it just depends on when you wake up and how long you keep spending time on your phone.”
“Especially as a teenager! I need 9 hours of sleep to function, and even then I have huge procrastination issues, especially in the morning! So, yes, I wake up 2 hours before school so 6:30am, don’t wear makeup, and still end up running late so yes I have to be fast asleep by 9:30pm!”
19. Paper-Printed Books Are Better Than E-Books
When it comes to printing books, the Reddit community had a lot to say. It started with one simple remark: “I don’t like e-books. I only read books that are printed on paper. It’s just much more satisfying.”
The experience of reading paper printed books was related to about a lot of users.
“This is insanely true. It’s the tactile feeling of having the paper in your hands, the feeling on your fingers as you turn the page, the creak of the spine as you open it, and the comforting almost earthy smell of a book you’ve read and then re-read through your adult life. Computers just don’t provide the same sensory experience.”
“YES. Also for me a big part of the joy of books is passing them around, sharing, lending them to friends, talking about what we thought of them. Also rummaging in bookshops for old, rare, out-of-print, second- (or third- or fourth-) hand copies. Can’t do that with a Kindle, unless you’re illegally pirating the books or prepared to spend a lot of money on replacement Kindles.”
“Agree, ‘just something about a nice bookshelf filled with books.”
20. People Should Work on Their Faults as Opposed to Simply Recognizing Them
Lastly, the most boomer opinion that we want to talk about is “that society is slowly putting much more emphasis on people accepting their faults than working on them.”
Replies to this comment were very diversified, and we have gathered them here as follows:
“I’ve noticed the strange glorification of mental illness recently. As if it’s almost uncool to be “neuro typical”. And as you said, it feels like it’s following more of a “if you can’t accept me at my worst” ideal, rather than the ideal to work on the more negative symptoms.”
“That’s so interesting, because I feel like I see the opposite thing although we’re likely responding to the same phenomenon. I see people discussing mental health, taking medication, getting accommodations at work, using supportive tech, going to therapy etc for problems as working on their faults. In the past, they’d have just had to suck up and deal with (“accept”) their limitations. I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective.”
“And no-one takes responsibility anymore. It’s always blame the corporations, blame the schools, blame the food, the drugs, the mental issues, the media, the economy, the racism or sexism that isn’t even there half the time. There’s always an excuse for people’s bad behaviour.”
“100%. Boomers themselves promoted the exact opposite to an extreme, (not even acknowledging mental health issues as a factor) and as a result, I fear we’ve overcorrected too hard. We went from “I don’t care, get your stuff together” to “your stuff doesn’t need to be together, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise”.”
Overall, this was a largely diversified subject.
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