Every generation has things unique to themselves. However, this doesn’t save younger generations from hearing ‘back in my day’ somewhat regularly.
Here are 13 things millennials may not realize were a thing for their boomer counterparts.
Table of Contents
Driving Into the Movies
Today, you can watch a movie right on your phone. It definitely hasn’t always been that way. In fact, older generations had to go to the drive-in theater to watch the latest flick.
Plus, you stayed in your car to watch it. Reports show there were over 4,000 drive-ins in the 1950s. Today, there’s less than 400.
Using an Actual Phone
When our children stay at a hotel and see the phone on the desk, they believe it’s a foreign relic.
No, those are telephones. Boomers and others used them to actually call people. They weren’t used to provide hours of entertainment.
Following Loving V. Virginia
Yes, there used to be laws that banned interracial marriage. It’s sad but certainly true.
Boomers remember this, and many had to watch as the Loving v. Virginia case opened the door to interracial marriage in 1967.
Using Electronic Calculators
Today, your phone has a calculator. You can also opt for a powerful handheld calculator that can do numerous in-depth types of calculations. That’s not to mention calculators available online.
Boomers remember using electric calculators. They were clunky and needed to be plugged in. Oh, how far we have come.
Smoking On Airplanes
There’s a reason airlines give smoking warnings when you fly. It’s because it was once possible to smoke in flight.
Boomers remember this well, and it didn’t end until the 1990s.
Before we had the internet, you had to use big Encyclopedias to look up answers. It was more time-consuming, and you often had to go to the library to access them.
That is unless your parents bought a set from a door-to-door salesperson.
TV Channels That Sign Off At the End of the Day
Most TV channels run 24 hours a day today. Most Boomers remember a different time.
Many stations would sign off at the end of the day and go to a graphic that looked like snow. Some even played the National Anthem before going dark.
Today, you can type something up on your computer and have no issues. That wasn’t the case for boomers.
You got to use a typewriter. If you made a mistake, all you could use was liquid paper to fix your problem. If you didn’t have liquid paper on hand, you got to start all over.
Talking to an Operator
Younger generations don’t know this, but you used to need to dial “0” to talk to a live person if you didn’t have a phone number.
The internet has largely eradicated that need.
Boomers and Gen Xers remember getting the phone book at their home at least once a year. Younger generations have no clue what this book is.
If you needed a phone number, you went to the book to get it. Making it worse was being unable to locate the number or not knowing where the person lived so you could identify the correct number.
Using Tin Foil On Your TV Antenna
One of the more seemingly odd things boomers and other generations did was put tin foil on the TV antenna.
This helped improve the signal and, potentially, the picture quality. Younger generations would think we didn’t know what we were doing if they saw us try that today.
Another relic of a bygone era is the pay phone. You could find them on most street corners. For a quarter or less, in some instances, you could place a call.
At their peak, there were over 2.5 million pay phones in the U.S. Reports indicate that number is well below 100,000 today. You don’t need a pay phone when you have a phone and computer in your hands.
Breaking News Was Old
Boomers remember a day when breaking news was typically old news, especially if they saw it in the newspaper.
Thanks to the 24/7 news cycle, we’re inundated with what’s seemingly breaking news.
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I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.