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- Not everything is better because of technology. Some things were actually simpler to do 50 years ago.
- It was easier to meet new people and find your significant other (in life – not on technology).
- It was cheaper to see a movie and to buy a house.
- In the past, it was easier to support your family with one income.
It’s no secret that technology has made most of our lives much easier. From ordering food to a fast Google search, technology has made the world more convenient.
But there are some aspects of our lives that haven’t benefited from technology. In fact, some things were better 50 years ago and are more complicated, more expensive, and more dangerous to do now.
Keep reading to find out how life was better five decades ago.
Meeting people organically was much easier
Today, people rely on their phones to communicate. In fact, some studies find that millennials’ reliance on their phones makes them less social in life. As a result, meeting someone organically and out in public can be far more difficult. But this was practically the only way to meet someone 50 years ago.
It was easier to meet your significant other
With today’s popularity of dating apps, our dating options seem virtually limitless. Many aren’t settling down for a while because they are looking for the absolute best thing – and they feel they can find it easily at their fingertips. While 50 years ago, people’s dating pools were limited to their immediate circles like their schools and workplaces, today we might have a dating paradox of choice.
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Remaining anonymous and staying off the grid was possible 50 years ago
Without any GPS or tracking systems, it was possible to completely disappear. But, now it’s near impossible to completely vanish with social media, geotags, and GPS. Additionally, financial transactions have also gone largely digital in recent years, making it even more difficult to delete your digital footprint.
Work life used to be more personal and less reliant on technology
Today, many tasks in an office depend on some form of technology whether you’re making copies, typing your to-do list, sending an email, or scanning a spreadsheet. But some are so reliant on it they even send emails to colleagues sitting a few feet away instead of communicating in person. Fifty years ago, communicating in the office was much more personal.
It was easier to focus before the advent of technology
It’s getting harder and harder to focus on a task – especially in the workplace – because of the importance of technology and social media in our lives. In fact, a study found that in 2004, people on average were distracted every three minutes. By 2014, their attention span dropped to 59.5 seconds. Our ability to focus on a task has dramatically decreased over time.
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Sleeping habits were better five decades ago
Many of us today scroll through social media in bed right before falling asleep, but studies show that this inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone vital for sleeping. While doctors advise turning off electronics 30 minutes before bedtime, many don’t and risk a bad night’s sleep. Fifty years ago this was not an issue.
People were healthier both mentally and emotionally before the rise of technology
Studies show that people, especially young people, experience stress, anxiety, and even depression from social media and phone usage. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 Americans suffers from some form of depression. Psychology Today thinks this is, in part, because we are now able to compare ourselves to everyone on the internet who appears to be living a better life. This was not the case 50 years ago, when there were far less platforms on which to engage with others’ representations of themselves.
Politics has always been a complicated, heated subject but today its outcomes can be more manipulated
Facebook recently admitted to finding 3,300 ads that were run by Russia during the 2016 election and aimed at swaying sowing discord. They also found 470 inauthentic Facebook pages that ran during campaign season and featured these very ads. Additionally, fake news was shared on social media sites, attempting to manipulate voters’ opinions. This is an issue born of the age of social media.
Traveling by plane was faster and simpler
Fifty years ago, the TSA wasn’t created and airport security was much more lax, so getting through security was a breeze. In fact, you were able to take a lot more items on planes, like blades, baseball bats, and even scissors. Traveling with liquids was also allowed.
Fifty years ago, it was easier to see a movie in theaters
Although we seem to have unlimited access to movies with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, it’s actually more difficult to see a movie in theaters today. Fifty years ago, movies were significantly cheaper, costing about $1.42 in 1969. Today buying a ticket at the movies can cost as much as $20. And with movies coming either straight or very soon after their release to our personal devices, some predict that movie theaters are meeting their slow demise.
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It was easier to shop at smaller, locally-owned stores
Today, big stores like Walmart, Target, and Tj Maxx are destroying smaller, locally owned stores. Fifty years ago, these smaller stores were much easier to access.
It was easier to feed a family on one parent’s salary
It’s nearly impossible to afford a family if only one parent is working, but that hasn’t always been the case. In the 1960s, 70% of fathers were the only source of income, according to the Pew Research Center. Today, more than 60% of families have dual income, says Pew.
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Fifty years ago, it was easier to buy a house
As housing prices have increased over the decades, it has become increasingly more difficult to buy a home. According to the US Census Bureau, a median home cost $11,900 in 1960, while the household median income was $4,970 (or nearly half the cost of a home). In 2010, the median home cost $221,800, while the median income was $49,445 (or a bit more than a fourth the cost of a home).