Vintage

7 Small Blessings Only People Born In Generation X Will Appreciate

Cold_black_heart / Tporter2 - Reddit

Arguing over which generation you belong to is a timeless experience.

Just look at all of the bickering going on right now between Generation Z, Millennials, and even older "Xennials."

And there are still plenty of disagreements about Generation X, which is now used to describe kids born anywhere between the mid-50s and the mid-80s.

But despite the huge gap between "early" and "late" Gen Xers, it's true that they have a lot in common.

And their childhoods were the last to be blessed by these small differences that are only history for today's generation.

1. Riding Bikes Without Helmets

Riding Bikes Without Helmets
The long handlebars definitely made it go faster.Charmeinder - Reddit

Long before "free-range parenting" was a trend, parents in this generation knew to let their kids be kids.

In fact, Gen X were sometimes dubbed "the latchkey generation" because of the surprising amount of time they spent unsupervised.

But there are perks to not being smothered by helicopter parents 24/7. First and foremost, the lack of worrying raised a generation of fearless kids.

Generation X has happy memories of playing outside all day, and heading home when the streetlights turned on, that no other generation before or since can claim.

2. Indulging in Bad Habits

Kids smoking
It's a candy cigarette, but those weren't good for you either!Jim French - YouTube

People live longer than ever before, but with all the worrying about healthy diets, exercise, and sleep schedules, it's almost not worth it.

It's still amazing to think that anyone survived the amount of canned food, sugar-filled sweets, and rich home-cooked meals that Generation X enjoyed.

And let's not forget that they were prone to sneaking cigarettes and booze when their parents weren't looking - the kind of behavior that would give today's parents an aneurysm.

70s cooking
Who knows if this was healthy, but it was definitely bad for you.Contemporary Cooking

Sure, it wasn't good for them, but most kids made it out alive with a few cool stories to share.

If Generation X grew up happy and healthy without counting calories or carbs, then what's our problem?

3. Practicing Creativity

Pet rock
Hey, they were more fun than they looked.eBay

Do you remember any educational toys from your childhood? Probably not.

Aside from the standard issue kids stuff - a baseball bat and glove, Barbie dolls, maybe a Pogo stick - kids in Generation X had just a handful of toys, which were probably all made of lead and chock full of dangerous moving parts.

Instead, they had to pass the time by inventing their own games, building toys (sometimes using real tools, gasp) and letting their imagination run wild.

That's not to say kids didn't spend long days indoors playing Monopoly when the weather was bad. But they definitely did not pull out a cell phone every five seconds to surf the internet.

Speaking of which...

4. Growing Up Without Electronics

Of course, this was taken for granted back then.

But seeing today's children glued to their cell phones and tablets is enough to make Gen Xers long for their childhoods, when Pong was considered cutting-edge.

Sure, things were tough without the internet. For instance, you had to crack open a book to do your homework.

Transistor radio
A girl flips out over her new transistor radio.Bubsthechamp - Reddit

But if you think your attention span is bad from growing up in front of a color TV, imagine what cell phones will do to this generation.

5. Visiting Friends and Family

Family picnic
Go easy on the hot dog Uncle Mitch.deniscard - Reddit

The world must have seemed so much smaller than it does today.

When Gen Xers were kids, they were always dropping in on friends and neighbors. And if you were close friends, there was no reason to even knock.

This was especially true for kids, who would pile their bikes in front of their friend's house, telling everyone else in the neighborhood, "This is where the party's at."

Experts now say that seniors are suffering from an epidemic of loneliness, which would have been unthinkable in a time when someone was always coming over with leftovers or baked goods.

6. Keeping Memories Alive

There's something to be said for building a family photo album picture by picture, even if it wasn't always convenient.

These days, everyone is constantly snapping and sharing photos of themselves, but these pictures just get lost in the ether, joining a collection that's too large to really enjoy.

Taking pictures (or a home movie, if you were lucky), having it developed, and sharing those memories with friends and family was such a personal thing.

Photos
Girls look at photos they just developed.vagueyeti - Reddit

Since you had to make every picture count with a limited film roll, each one captured a special memory that could make you smile decades later.

Can you say the same thing about a selfie?

7. Learning the Value of Hard Work

Generation X was the first generation where most children grew up with a pair of working parents, and it had a big influence on the way they saw the world.

Most Gen Xers will admit their childhood was tough, and that it wasn't always happy, but they learned the hard way that success comes from struggling.

Part of that definitely came from living in a pre-digital age, when they didn't have the answers at their fingertips.

It inspired the get-up-and-go attitude that Generation X is still known for too this day.

That doesn't mean they all grew up to be callous, or that other generations are just "lazy." Generation X just learned the hard way that life isn't always fair.

Generation X, does this remind you of your childhood?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com