With time racing at the pace of a hadron collider, it’s easy to remain oblivious to the passing years. Only after a while, years, if not decades, do we notice how much things have changed around us, ourselves included.

It’s when we press pause on the present and look right back into the past. What do we see there? Well, it’s no secret that most humans have a strong sense of nostalgia that puts the years gone by in an exceptionally positive light.

This thread from Ask Reddit may also give us some answers by showing what things people thought were simpler, more accessible and efficient, and overall way better in the past. And now we can all decide whether it’s true or it’s our sentimental longing speaking. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

#1

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver my knees/ankles/back...

bbpr120 , Towfiqu barbhuiya Report

October
Community Member
2 months ago

Thumbs up for this one, if my thumbs weren't hurting so much.

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#2

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Saturday Morning Cartoons.

The late 80's/ early 90's heyday.

Shadow_strife , Ksenia Chernaya Report

Marie Dahme
Community Member
2 months ago

Yeah those days were the best. Anyone remember Thundercats and Space Ghost?

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#3

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver I miss the days before social media was a big thing. Everyone would just hangout and be focused on the interactions we were currently having.

pineappledaddy , Jessica Da Rosa Report

General Anaesthesia
Community Member
2 months ago

"Social media" is as big a misnomer as "clean coal".

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“We tend to romanticize nostalgia and look back on our memories fondly,” Alex Wong, the marketing expert, book author and creator of “Hijack Copywriter” told Bored Panda. “This is because ‘back in the day’ seems much simpler and less chaotic than the present. We always have something to do and somewhere to be. However, when we look back on our childhood or earlier days, we ignore these challenges and focus on the more positive, simpler aspects,” he explained.

#4

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Home appliances. Old ones could be dropped out of a plane and still work well. New ones break because someone looked at it funny

ForgottenForce , Dinh Ng. Report

KitKat
Community Member
2 months ago

Planned obsolescence 😕

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#5

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver The sky. Light pollution has destroyed one of the most beautiful sights that humans had gazed upon for thousands of years.

ProtectorOfSol , Francois Le Nguyen Report

flutterbyy
Community Member
2 months ago

Also the fireflies- when I was a child we'd see lots of them at night, adorning the trees and such, but I rarely get to see them now.

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#6

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Prices vs earnings.

Jimbruno55 , Igal Ness Report

Nimues Child
Community Member
2 months ago

Not to mention savings accounts that allowed you to actually accrue savings.

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Wong, who’s in his 30s, said that for him, the good old days were in the '90s and early 2000s, before smartphones and the modern internet. “Things moved slower and you wouldn’t get dozens of emails or notifications a day,” he recounted. “However, my father is in his 70s so I’m sure the '90s and 2000s were a lot different for him. When he explains how his life was back in China in the '50s and '60s, it seems like a completely different world,” Wong added.

“One reason we tend to idealize the past is that we were young at the time and life seemed a lot more simple and innocent,” the marketing expert argues. “We were full of hope and aspirations. Over time, we tend to become more cynical and pessimistic.”

#7

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver The environment.

227743 , Antoine GIRET Report

Helen Downey
Community Member
2 months ago

So true. Things like fast fashion, built in obsolescence, more disposable income etc have a lot to answer for (not just them obviously but...)

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#8

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Being a kid…I don’t think kids today get to have as much freedom and fun as previous generations did

PhibesIsMyDoctor , charlesdeluvio Report

Marie Dahme
Community Member
2 months ago

Yea, this! I remember the days when we played outside all day long but when the street lights came on in the evening then you knew it was time to go home.

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#9

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Airports.

Ron_deBeaulieu , Phil Mosley Report

October
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Holidays in general. Most beautiful places have become so overcrowded. I remember when there was actually space to move in Venice and the Eiffel tower wasn't terrrorism proofed.

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Another problem is that our memory is quite selective and we tend to romanticize things while leaving out a lot of details. “We focus on the positive aspects while ignoring or downplaying the negative issues. I remember the good times I would get cards and comics with my dad but tend to forget that my parents were going through a rough divorce during that time. It’s easier to not think about it.”

#10

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Certain dog breeds. Imagine, pugs used to have a nose they could breath through and eyes that didn't get infected every time they almost bulged out of their heads...
Same with shitzu's. And imagine English bulldogs that didn't collapse in exhaustion by even hearing the word walkies

Shoddy-Day7300 , Никита Теленков Report

General Anaesthesia
Community Member
2 months ago

And they call themselves dog lovers.

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#11

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver The weather.

I remember playing outside every morning during summer vacation.

This summer, even 5 minutes spent sitting in the early morning sunlight that came in through the window was enough to give me headaches.

I live in south India- and no matter what climate change deniers say, it’s been getting steadily hotter year after year in my part of the world.

AP7497 , Taylor Heery Report

Nimues Child
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

It is much hotter now. Moreover, the sun does much more damage now than it used to and droughts are now an annual thing in New England. But the thing that let us know how much hotter it is overall is the fact that we now get *tornados* in Massachusetts in places like Concord and Revere. Until this century, the cooling effect of the ocean kept tornados at bay around here.

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#12

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Weird to say, but inconvenience and boredom. I kinda miss being like, “whelp, there’s nothing on TV, I’m gonna go walk the neighborhood and knock on my friends doors”.

I primarily text and talk to friends on the phone now, it seems like an event to actually meet up. Even friends who are less than a mile away.

ThinkIGotHacked , Lesia Gant Report

D Battle II
Community Member
2 months ago

Riding bikes through the neighborhood and playing kickball!

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When it comes to demonizing the present, Wong believes that most people struggle with this. “We are never truly living in the present. We are either ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. As a result, we are never living in the moment. How can we be grateful for what we have when we are constantly complaining about things?” he wonders.

Wong is conscious of that and that’s why he starts off each day by asking himself for 3 things that he is grateful for. “This helps to remind myself that I am lucky for what I have and to be grateful. Because there are lots of people in the world, such as those in war zones or third-world countries, who are in much worse situations,” he told Bored Panda.

#13

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver People's attention spans.

Drizzledizzler , Kerde Severin Report

ben woskje
Community Member
2 months ago

What a load of s**t... my attention span is.... oh look, turtles.

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#14

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver MTV.

Super_Analysis_9390 , wikimedia.commons Report

Marie Dahme
Community Member
2 months ago

When MTV used to play only music videos

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#15

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Flying in general.

More seat space, meals included (and a choice of meals), actual metal utensils, luggage included, no need to get to the airport 2 hours before your flight...

cinemascifi , Hanson Lu Report

Todd Campbell
Community Member
2 months ago

Ahh the days before they thought your shoes and coke were bombs.

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When asked what things, according to Wong, were better in the past, the first thing that came to his mind was food. “Before industrialization, when everything was mass-produced, the quality of food seemed to be better. It was less processed and not pumped full of antibiotics or sprayed with pesticides.” These days, when Wong goes grocery shopping, he said he is very careful with what he buys. “When I check the list of ingredients, most of them I have no idea what they are.”

Another huge thing we don’t see much these days is privacy. Wong argues that although technology has made life much easier, it has come at a cost: our privacy. “Large corporations, such as FB, are constantly trying to find ways to gather more data on us so they can use it to make more money. It’s gotten to the point where we have to be careful with what we put online since we have no idea who will see it and how it will be used,” he explained.

#16

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Christmas…. I don’t know how to explain it. We didn’t have much money so it wasn’t because of the presents. We actually used to wrap our own toys and give them to each other for Christmas. But there was always just this feeling that I can’t explain. Sometimes when I watch the 90’s Christmas movies I can feel it again for a moment, but then it’s gone. It’s just the happiest, most peaceful feeling. It just felt like magic.

Ridiculous48 , S&B Vonlanthen Report

Materyst
Community Member
2 months ago

Maybe it changed because you grew up. Just like kids enjoy their birthdays more than most adults

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#17

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Being a kid without technology.

xXQueenofWolvesx , Ryan Fields Report

Nimues Child
Community Member
2 months ago

You built stuff! You turned sticks into swashbuckling foils! You drew and painted! You made up songs and stories and poems! You explored nature with your friends! You read actual books! You used your imagination! (Hmm. I should start doing all that again now!)

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#18

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Fast Food. No, it has not always sucked a*s.

brock_lee , Brett Jordan Report

General Anaesthesia
Community Member
2 months ago

True, it started sucking around 1950 according to grandma.

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Social media has also changed beyond recognition. “Related to technology, social media has only been around for the past 15-20 years or so. Before the internet, the only way to keep in touch with others was by phone and snail mail. And if you wanted to know what was happening, you would have to turn on the news,” Wong said.

However, studies have shown that social media affects our mental health and increases our anxiety, depression, and isolation, the marketing expert claims. “We are always comparing ourselves to others, seeing how amazing their lives are, even though the life they are presenting to us may not be reality.”

“That’s why I avoid social media whenever possible and disable all of my news feeds. The only time I do use social media is for my business, and I make sure to limit the amount of time I have,” Wong said.

#19

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Cost of living

SoulfulYam , Karolina Grabowska Report

DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
2 months ago

They need to start calling it the "don't bother, you can't afford it of living".

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#20

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Privacy

letsgetbrickfaced , Thomas Lefebvre Report

loty moty
Community Member
2 months ago

I function under assumption that nobody cares about what I do.

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#21

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Manners and respect.

Shining__Rose , Helena Lopes Report

General Anaesthesia
Community Member
2 months ago

Even if it's only superficial, good manners make life much more pleasant. Celebrating a@#-holiness, for example "that's part of the charm of New Yorkers", I just don't understand.

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“Related to social media is the news. I remember watching the news once a day in the evening at 6 pm to catch up on the daily events. Or reading a newspaper to see what is happening. Now it seems like there is breaking news every moment and you can’t keep up. MSM news channels, such as CNN, are especially guilty of this with a news ticker at the bottom,” Wong told Bored Panda.

“What’s worse, they tend to only report on negative events, such as murders, killings, scandals, etc. which makes the world feel like a terrible place,” he added.

#22

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Freetime... life was more slowly and you had more time for yourself and your hobbies.

Knorff , Anastasia Zhenina Report

DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
2 months ago

I think I miss this the most and it makes me hate life. Work, work, work so you can survive then get home too tired to do anything you want to do that gives you happiness. It's pointless.

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#23

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Video games.

I literally still have my original N64 and controller. It still goes strong. You just turn the game on and play it. No 60 GB downloads. No loading screens. No ads. No updates. No pay to play.

corviknightisdabest , Pat Moin Report

beldar
Community Member
2 months ago

I have to disagree. Yes pay to play is a horrid blight. But overall video games have become so much more than squishing goombas. Its incredible how immersive and social some games have become. Not to mention the graphics.

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#24

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver I didn't experience it personally, just second hand, but I believe working.. you had set hours and then no one could reach you after. It irritates me sometimes how normal it is to still reply to messages or send emails during off time and weekends or vacations.


I wonder what would happen sometimes if I just fully ignored my phone and shut it off the moment I'm off but it would really just be more stressful, and besides you can save yourself some later effort by tackling things right away. But in the past, everyone was off at the same times, everyone was out of reach, so it's not like you'd come back tomorrow to 50 emails and messages either. It was just over when it's over.

My parents and their friends seemed to have so much uninterrupted time.

lillie_connolly , Torsten Dettlaff Report

Giovanna
Community Member
2 months ago

I agree so much with this one. And Covid has made things worse on this behalf. I think WFH rules will be the new problems unions will have to deal with - at least in those socialist countries where unions exist /s

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The marketing expert argues that even though humans will always have their groups and differences, he feels like society has never been more divided. “Both social media and the 24/7 news cycle have only made this worse where we are presented with preselected snippets of news that conform to a specific worldview.”

According to Wong, many issues are complex and require a nuanced approach. “Whether someone is left or right, conservative or progressive, or somewhere in the middle, we should be able to sit down and have a calm rational discussion. However, I don’t think that is possible in today’s climate.”

#25

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Fruit and corn. They have been bred to be sweeter and harder for transport, and have lost much of the subtle fruit/corn flavor they used to have.

Botryoid2000 , Wouter Supardi Salari Report

Alison Hell
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Also imported vegetables. that we already have growing all over the country. Costco sells carrots that come from Guatemala...they've awful and tasteless! Why Guatamala?! Why not fresh from Ontario or BC...my friend didnt even realize these were from Guatemala...they looked 'off' so I grabbed the package to see what the hell was.up with thse carrots. I had one bite..blech. Why Costco, why?!..so many local farmers..

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#26

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver When you could write letters and not have to reply for days at a time to now we feel obliged to keep in 24/7 contact with people.

Human-Perspective-83 , Angela Roma Report

Kevin Garren
Community Member
2 months ago

I don't feel obliged to do that, they should realize who they're talking to and adjust their expectations. :P

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#27

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Housing prices

Whenwillthisend12 , Birgit Loit Report

Firstname Lastname
Community Member
2 months ago

It should not cost 1000 dollars a month to live in a shoebox of an apartment, especially if you're never living there because you're out making the money to afford it.

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There are few people who haven’t felt the burden of living costs in the past years. Wong explained that even before the high inflation that is happening, living costs have soared over the years.

“This is especially true for houses. These days, it’s not uncommon to still be living with your parents in your 30s as you try to save up for a house. Unless you earn a high wage, have your parents help you, and borrow a ton of money from the bank, owning a home is becoming increasingly difficult. If you have to pay off your mortgage for 30 years just to 'own' your home, I don’t really consider that to be living,” he said.

#28

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver my mental health

Wonderful_Audience60 , Nik Shuliahin Report

Ranger Kanootsen
Community Member
2 months ago

I feel ya.

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#29

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver A job had a clear purpose.

So much useless "Pseudo-work" done today compared to back in the day

Mofme , Vojtech Okenka Report

Mark D
Community Member
2 months ago

Good observation. I totally agree.

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#30

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Internet. It was new, more friendly and funny

Funny_Skirt6059 , Thomas Jensen Report

Nimues Child
Community Member
2 months ago

There were so many fun sites. And web rings! Those would take you from site to site on a particular subject so you could find others that shared your hobbies and likes.

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The last thing Wong said has become a challenge these days has to do with tuition. “College tuition rates have also soared over the years. Decades ago, going to college was a lot more affordable. Even if you include inflation, it shouldn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars to go to college to get a piece of paper that may or may not help you find a well-paying job. What’s worse, you are stuck with a ton of student loans that you have to pay back now,” he concluded.

#31

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Insects, more than 40% of total have disappeared over the past decades.

________________me , Andre Moura Report

RafCo (he/him)
Community Member
2 months ago

Yes! People don't realize how terrible this is. Insects are at the bottom of the food chain. No bugs, means no birds, flowers, wildlife, etc! Stop replacing native plants with lawns and invasives

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#32

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Shopping Malls

nerdmoot , Tuur Tisseghem Report

Nimues Child
Community Member
2 months ago

Before Simon bought all the malls and made them cookie-cutter nonsense, all the malls in eastern MA (USA) had their own style and personalities. It made going to the mall much more fun.

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#33

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Gas prices.

ItsDominika , Mehluli Hikwa Report

Isidien Gudmundsdottir
Community Member
2 months ago

Well, as a kid I do remember pulling up at a gas station hearing the bell, a guy came out, pumped the see-through pump, started filling up the tank, checked the tire pressure, washed the front windshield but, strangely enough, I can't remember how much the gas was in those days, my wife remembers $ 0.25 a gallon but this was in the 50's she said.

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#34

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver The future

fukkingapig , Pixabay Report

Marie Dahme
Community Member
2 months ago

Growing up in the 80’s after watching Red Dawn, I thought we’d all be living in a nuclear wasteland or the Russians would invade us.

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#35

Someone Wonders "What Was Actually Better In The Past?", And 35 People Deliver Smart phones too, Reddit is the only social media I use and still I stare at this f**king thing 5 hours a day. I know I’m addicted to it and I’d love to punt it but unfortunately it’s also my phone, my map, my camera, my tape measure, my dictaphone, my Walkman etc. etc.

tarkuspig , Jonas Leupe Report

Kayjunmoon
Community Member
2 months ago

Shame really. I like real maps, I like my books and I look forward to a film or to series, watched on tv. I understand how addictive the smart phones can be but I think some people are moving towards just phones again like the Nokia.

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Note: this post originally had 58 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.