Retro 80s | Vintage

10 Things We Grew up Doing That Are No Longer Socially Acceptable

There's something so complicated about getting older, because it's not just our bodies that changes, it's the world around us. So while we get older and start experiencing all these aches and pains (hey mystery back spasm, I'm talking to you), we also have to accept the fact that things that used to seem normal to us are no longer acceptable.

Gone are the days of saying things without a second thought, or doing things without technology, because the world is a different place than it used to be. Granted it changes every year, and I'm sure our childhood was completely different from our parents anyways, but let's discuss all the ways in which our world is different now.

1. Stopping by unannounced

There is no moment more dreaded than to hear a knock on your door when you weren't expecting it. Immediately you start to develop an escape plan. How can I quietly melt into the floor? Did they see me yet? Is the TV on loud enough for them to hear, or could I pretend like I just leave it on all the time?

The only time I want someone knocking on my door when I am not expecting them is if it's one of those people with a giant check.

Going to your friends' houses without calling first was a regular occurrence when we were kids. We'd pop in after school, drop by on a weekend, or just stop in for dinner. It was normal and expected in a lot of houses, but now if you were to just appear at a friends house they'd probably assume you were in serious danger.

2. Pushing people into pools

It used to be the go-to move at a party. If things got a little bit dull or if you just wanted to pay back that person for hitting you with that dodgeball in gym class, you would just give a slight shove when they got a little bit close to the edge of the pool.

However, if you to do that now, you have to make sure they aren't carrying their phone before you shove them in. Basically everyone owns a smartphone now, so if you are going to shove them under, you better be prepared to shell out hundreds of dollars to replace it for them.

Also you have got to consider whether or not they back up all those pictures into the cloud because if not, you're never going to hear the end of it.

But let's be completely honest, it sucks whether or not you have anything in your pockets or not. Having to sit around in wet clothes was the worst.

3. Making offensive jokes

Sure, they were always terrible, but people used to think that even though they were hurtful to some, that it was perfectly acceptable to make fun of people for their sexual orientation or their gender. These things don't fly anymore.

Chandler Bing
NBC

If you try to watch old movies or TV shows you really see just how bad it was and it will probably make your skin crawl.

I think Friends was particularly bad for this. Even though the show was arguably one of the most popular of the time, it spent a lot of time on gay jokes that really have not held up well over time.

4. Playing outside until the street lights came on

The world is a scary place, sure, but it seems like since we all have been able to communicate more, we have forgotten that time can pass without communicating.

Parents used to leave us outside for HOURS on end, telling us to come home for dinner when it got dark. Nowadays, kids are expected to use their phones to text their parents every once and a while so they know that they are fine.

To be fair, it's also a lot less likely for kids to be playing outside at all. When I was a kid we were like wild animals in the summers, roaming where ever our bikes could take us. Now it seems like it's just not acceptable to do that.

5. Calling someone for no reason

If you call my phone right now, there is a 99% chance you will be sent to voicemail. You can text me if you need me, because I do not want to get stuck in some crazy conversation.

Talking aimlessly was the highlight of our days when we were young though. It was almost easier chatting on the phone than talking in person. Who else would spend all day talking to their bff at school, only to go home and immediately call them and continue talking?

Nowadays if I get a phone call I assume something terrible has happened or that it's a telemarketer trying to sell me a so-called "free cruise."

6. Waiting in the car while your parents go inside

If it was supposed to be a quick run-in-run-out journey into the grocery store, sometimes our parents didn't want to go through the hassle of pulling us out of the car.

Chances are, depending on our age, we either had a car seat or some kind of booster set, or if not, we probably took off our coats and boots because we were just annoying like that.

Even if we had been ready to go, we always made every trip a little bit more stressful because we didn't know how to use our inside voices and we constantly asked for toys or candy. It would just be easier if they could go in without us.

However, they've obviously realized that it really isn't safe to leave a child unattended, so now you really can't do that.

7. Smoking

The "cool kids" were always sneaking cigarettes out of their moms purse when they were young and smoking in the bathroom, but now, that would never be tolerated.

Darlene Smoking
ABC

It's been a slow change, that's for sure, because our parents' generation were still not as certain of the effects of smoking. I remember learning about all the new discoveries at school and trying to explain to my mom and dad why they should quit smoking, but they wouldn't listen to me for years.

Now we know just how dangerous smoking is, and while there are of course still people doing it, it's a lot less socially acceptable. They no longer allow smoking inside in most places, and if you do want to smoke there are designated areas for you to go, even outside.

8. Printing out directions

If you pull out printed directions to a travel destination, you are probably going to get made fun of. Do I still do it? Yes, because I am paranoid about failing technology, but for the most part people just use their phones or GPS to get to all the places they need to go.

Even if you just want to check on traffic, I find using the GPS can help. I've saved myself from being stuck in so many traffic jams because I know which route will get me where I need to go faster.

But when we were young, everyone had to go on Map Quest and print out their instructions, and make sure you either have a navigator, or try to remember the important turning roads because it's not like you can easily read while you drive. It's just easier to have the navigation system up and pointing everything out without you needing to read it.

9. Memorizing phone numbers

Before you had a little computer on your person at all times that does all your remembering for you, your mind was a steel trap for phone numbers.

Your mom would tell you that Jessica called, you knew the number. If you had to call grandma, you knew the number, even the local pizza place was on your personal speed dial in your mind! But if you asked me my own mother's phone number right now, it would take me a second.

We all stopped bothering to remember phone numbers when we could log them into our phones. Thanks to technology we are able to just type in the name and it remembers for us. Why would I waste brain space on phone numbers?

Well, I feel like I need to know at least one or two in case I ever lose my phone or get arrested or something...

10. Applying to a job in person

When our parents were getting jobs, they would just walk around the area and see who was hiring. When we were young and getting our first jobs, you could still get away with it in some places, but now, if you walk into any establishment and ask for a job they are going to laugh in your face.

There is no way that any job will accept applications in person anymore, despite what your grandma says at Christmas dinner.

Now there are hundreds of jobs sites, recruitment agencies, and many hours of research that goes into finding a job, especially if you want it to be good. It also always feels like there just aren't enough good jobs.

11. Talking about a show in public the night after it aired

If you were trying to keep up with the popular shows of the time, then you had to watch them when they were on. There was no way to record it so you better make sure you're paying attention to that TV Guide because otherwise the water cooler was going to be a nightmare.

Everyone would talk about the episode the next day, without a care in the world about spoilers. Spoilers weren't a thing. That just wasn't a word people heard unless it was about twist endings in movies.

The Office Water Cooler
NBC

I feel like the first big spoiler warning I remember was for The Sixth Sense and even then, people didn't really try to avoid talking about it at all. If you weren't going to watch it when it came out, that was on you.

If you try to talk about TV shows that came out on Netflix even a year ago, people will start flailing and covering their ears. Even though every second Facebook article completely spoils everything in the headline alone, everyone assumes their friends will keep them safe.

12. Calling collect

Who else used to use the whole "You've received a call from MOMCOMEPICKMEUP, would you like to accept the charges?" trick? It was the best and easiest way to use up that last quarter on candy but still get a ride home!

I don't think I've heard the collect call message in a long time. Does it even still exist?

Now we all have our own phones so there really isn't that same issue of needing to use a pay phone. Even if you don't have your own phone, there is probably 15 people within arm's reach who could let you make a quick call.

13. Being expected to show up to your plans without changing them

When we were kids, if we made a plan to hang out with someone on Sunday afternoon at 3 pm, at the mall, you better believe that we were standing in front of the Cinnabon as we agreed no later than 3:02 pm.

Now, chances are you don't even wake up until 2:57 pm, then you text your friend and saying, 'sorry on my way,' even though you are literally still in bed.

And that's only if we decide to actually show up. Half of the time we wake up that morning and decide that we would rather not, there's no real reason for it, but we realize that we don't want to leave the house and cancel.

We've all been on both sides of this. We've all been cancelled on or cancelled on someone, but either way, it's not something we would have been able to do when we were kids.

We also used to have to make a lot more concrete plans in advance because you weren't able to locate your friends once you arrived somewhere. It's not like you could walk into the mall and know exactly where they were going to be, so you had to either plan in advance or go to the customer service desk and ask them to page them to meet you.

Obviously times have changed quite a bit in the last couple of decades, which one of these has been the strangest one to adjust to?

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com