From Boomers to Gen Z: The Things We All Did as Kids That Are Now a Thing of the Past

I recently saw this question online, “What was common when you were young but is rare now that you’re older?” Let’s delve into the top-voted responses, which shed light on these nostalgic elements of the past that hold significance to many. 

1.    WWII Veterans

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The most upvoted comment on the topic is that Word War ll veterans are rare now that they’re older. Max mentioned that the last surviving Spanish-American War and WWII veterans passed away during their lifetime. It made them reflect on how, if they live a long life, they may witness the last of the WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans as well.

Max’s father, who is turning 70 this year, got his draft number during the final Vietnam-era drawing, and most veterans from those conflicts are around his age or older.

2. Ringing the Landline of Your Friend’s House

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One user shared you had to ring a landline to ask if your friend was home and to put them on when you wanted to talk to them. Another user commented they also remember calling the landline to “get a hold of that cute girl in middle school you want to talk to, and having a panic attack, wondering who in the house is going to answer the phone.”

3. Letting Kids Go Outside With No Way to Contact Them

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This may sound weird if you hear this now, but we swear it was normal back then. It was common to let kids and teenagers go outside with no way to contact them, while most people don’t want to think about that now. 

Another user shared that they never noticed until reading the comment, which struck them. Their fiancé’s 16-year-old sister doesn’t have a phone, and when they sent her home alone yesterday, they found themselves worried. It made them realize how having immediate access to information and the constant ability to communicate can contribute to anxiety. It made them appreciate the things they often take for granted.

4. The Freedom to Make Mistakes

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According to one, it’s the freedom to make mistakes, and they added that “the consequences of our actions rise significantly with age.” 

The opinions on this differ, and another user commented they believe the difference is that when you’re a child, you don’t have much power and must follow what grown-ups say. If you accidentally break something, it can upset someone, but if you grow up and become independent, it’s okay because you can get a new one.

5. Stories About Sinking in Quicksand

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A commenter shared stories about sinking into quicksand when they were younger. He explained, “Quicksand and its inherent dangers were ingrained into my generation. I have never encountered quicksand, except on Super Mario Bros 3.”

6. Getting and Receiving Postcards

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One user commented about the joy of receiving postcards, expressing how much they miss that experience. Another user chimed in, sharing their longing for the era of sending and receiving actual letters, which added a special touch to communication. 

A third user acknowledged that they still send physical mail occasionally. Still, it feels strange when the recipient responds with a simple WhatsApp message, lacking the same tangible and personal connection.

7. People That Are Smoking Literally Everywhere

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An individual commented that smoking used to be pervasive, with its lingering smell hanging everywhere. However, things have improved, and the environment is fresher and healthier.

A second individual shared they remember restaurants’ smoking and non-smoking sections as kids. Restaurants inside malls allowed smoking indoors. 

8. Having Colored Toilet Paper

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One user mentioned colored toilet paper. In the past, it was common to find pink, yellow, light blue, and light green toilet paper alongside the standard white one (at least in the US.) However, nowadays, colored toilet paper is rarely seen. Many users remembered this because of this post, and one added, “I don’t ever remember seeing colored toilet paper, but I do remember seeing it with patterns and flower prints and such like that.” 

9. Compromising And Finding A Middle Ground

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Somebody described that finding a middle ground and compromising seems to be a rarity these days. There’s a prevailing mindset of extreme positions, where people see things in only black or white and avoid anything in between. Disagreements often lead to labeling others as terrible individuals who must be completely crushed.

It’s an all-or-nothing mentality, rejecting any attempts at compromise. If we don’t achieve everything we desire, we prefer to have nothing at all. It feels like a scorched earth approach to resolving conflicts.

10. Advertisements for Disposable Plastic Goods

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Steve shared that, in the past, TV advertisements promoted disposable plastic goods as beneficial and convenient, encouraging people to simply discard them after use. It’s easy to forget how random plastic items were marketed without considering their environmental impact. For instance, instead of investing in a quality metal razor, the focus was on buying countless disposable razors, contributing to a never-ending cycle of waste. These ads perpetuated the idea of endless consumption, benefiting plastic manufacturers.

John commented on that, saying he vividly remembers a sign at his grocery store in the 80s proudly declaring, “Plastic bags take up less landfill space than paper! Use plastic with PRIDE.” Even at a young age, he couldn’t help but question their claim. Wasn’t paper recyclable and renewable? They were trees, right? 

Did this story make you think of something you loved in the past but would never do again?

The Dark Side of Aging: 10 Things That Will Drive You Crazy as You Grow Older

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I recently saw this question online, “What are you starting to dislike more as you get older?” Here are the top-voted responses.

I Can’t Believe I Didn’t Know This Until Now: Embarrassing Things People Learned Way Too Late In Life

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I recently scrolled the internet’s front page when I saw this question, “What’s something you learned “embarrassingly late” in life?” Here are the top-voted responses.

14 All-Time Favorite Celebrities Exposed as Secret Jerks-Prepare to Be Surprised

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I recently discovered an online discussion listing beloved celebrities who were revealed to have undesirable behind-the-scenes personas. As I read about the hidden sides of these public figures, my perceptions of them were flipped completely.

Parenting Confessions: 10 Parents Admit What They Hate Most About Having a Child

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I recently scrolled the internet’s front page when I saw this question, “What do you think is the worst part of having a child?” Here are the top-voted responses.

Source: Reddit