35 Older People Reminisce About The Moments They Miss That Gen Z Will Never Get To Experience

Technological advancements can be great. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my air fryer or my smartphone, and I’m grateful every day that I don’t have to fiddle with paper maps when traveling. But the days before we had constant access to the internet weren’t all bad, and some Reddit users have recently been reminiscing on their favorite aspects of “way back when.”

Below, you’ll find a list of things that Gen Z and all of the generations to come will never get to experience, from answering the phone without knowing who’s on the other line to being unable to contact Mom and Dad while playing at the park. Enjoy scrolling through this nostalgic list, and be sure to upvote the experiences you wish your grandchildren could have!

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The freedom that comes with your parents not really knowing where you were. We just rode our bikes, all with out being tethered to a cell phone.

listenyall replied:
That whole ‘delaying the inevitable’ period of time when you knew that your parents were probably already mad because you were late, but you stayed out anyway because they couldn’t yell at you until you were home!

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Music festivals where everyone is just sitting and enjoying the vibes. No recording, no filming. Why can’t we do this again? Prohibit devices at live venues.

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here was a high standard in journalism. Striving for facts and objectivity was required. We had a limited number of channels on the TV, so all three broadcast news programs chose and reported pretty much the same news stories with identical, essential facts. Opinions of political parties over bills and whatnot were reported, not critiqued.

Back then, our journalists were actually held to a standard and would get fired if they knowingly lied. Yes, there were more gatekeepers, but there was much less divisiveness built into every damn thing.


Albums and perusing record stores. The posters, album artwork and the incense smell.

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Being able to buy tickets at concert venues without having to worry about associated fees and s**tty broker companies. KonaKathie replied: We met so many people while waiting in line to buy tickets. Oftentimes, they became good friends.

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Walking a loved one all the way to the departure gate and watching their plane take off.

chasonreddit replied:
And meeting them at the gate when they returned.

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Wing windows.

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Simple, cheap cars that any ham handed shade tree mechanic could fix.

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Phone booths. The feeling of privacy while making a call was unique to the time – being able to step out of the noisy world for a moment and still see it in motion, living, pulsating. The quiet desperation of taking notes on scraps of paper, or worse, on a page of a phone book, then ripping that page out to keep the note. 

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Analog controls in cars and appliances — touch screen and digital displays are far less functional than knobs and springs and stuff —

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The communal experience of television or radio entertainment. Growing up in the 70s and 80s we didn’t have cable. We had like 4 TV stations. Everyone was pretty much watching the same thing in the evenings and folks would discuss the shows at school or work the next day. Same with radio – as teens, we all tried to catch Rick Dees or Kasey Kasem on the weekend so we knew what was cool and new.

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Waiting for the mail to see if you had a card or letter

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Road maps. The person in the passenger seat would tell the driver where to go, etc. There was almost always a stop at a gas station for directions on long trips thru unfamiliar areas. Great times, always an adventure!

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Slamming the phone receiver down as hard as you can when you’re mad and hanging up on someone.

Party lines on the telephone. Literally sharing a phone line with someone else and being able to listen in on their phone conversations. It was also annoying when the ‘other party’ was using the line and you needed to make a call.

Being gone all day and no one could reach you.

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Encyclopedias and other reference books – not many left now except ones on subjects students might need. There used to be books for everything, and you’d always end up learning about more things than you opened the book to find.

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Sitting at a red light jamming to a good song on the radio and looking over to notice the neighboring driver is jamming to the same song, so you both start an impromptu jam session until the light turns green.

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They will never know the anticipation of waking up, seeing snow on the ground, turning on the radio and waiting for the announcer to say if your school will be closed or not. He’d have a list and be reading it and you’d wait for him to get to your school… almost there… here it comes… and then YESS!!!!!!!

My dad actually worked as a DJ at a radio station which did the school closings. They had a list of passwords given to each school, so that when the school called the radio station, they could verify it was not a prank. The passwords were literal words, like “daisy” or some such.

Image credits: Bidi_Baba


The satisfaction of flipping open a newspaper and bending it just so, so that it would stay open in front of you while you held it, crinkling slightly (and turning your fingers black.) I didn’t realize I missed this until recently when I needed to use some newspaper at work and there was a stack of them, and I flicked open a double-page expertly despite not having done it for…decades?

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Going to a cell phone free concert

pbrooks19 replied:
No cellphones at theme parks, or any place of interest, really. So many people nowadays just shoot self-absorbed videos or just get in the way and distract everyone by being annoying with them.

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This is actually from the late 90/early 2000s, but I still really, really miss it:

cell phone manufacturers competing over who could have the SMALLEST cell phone. It was REALLY NICE to have a phone you could actually put into your pocket!

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Stereos weighed a lot back in the day, for sure. But they sounded fantastic. People today think earbuds are high-fidelity sound.

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Taking most of Sunday to read the Sunday paper with the big crossword puzzle. Having to look up clues in the encyclopedia or dictionary. Reading all the sale inserts. Now I get the paper in an iPad don’t work the puzzles and no Sunday inserts.

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No caller ID that allowed me and my punk friends to do some amazing telephone pranks.

Image credits: pakepake


I bought a homemade ice-cream maker — the old kind with a cedar bucket that leaks salt water over the porch, and a hand crank. I’d been telling my kids how much better it was, so they told me to just get one. Lo-and-behold, found one on an auction site. We pull it out a couple times a summer, and the ice cream IS as good as I remembered from childhood.

Image credits: burning_spear_rtp


I kinda miss the 80’s – early 90’s computer era. It was fun to try and figure stuff out without having the internet to help you. Plus people really figured out how to squeeze some fun games out of those computers. Trading games with your friends was fun.


I miss the early internet in the mid-1990s, when there weren’t all these ads!

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The newer generation will never know the feeling of slamming a phone down when someone pissed you off on a call, then slamming it two or three more times for good measure. Hitting a button on a touchscreen to hang up on someone’s stupidity just doesn’t give the same satisfaction.


Sitting alone in your room sobbing over some guy when you are 16, moving that needle to play the same sad song over and over again on your record player while your Bonne Bell black eyeliner and Yardley of London white lipstick melts down your face, until your father screams at you to “come downstairs and eat dinner for Chrissake and stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!”

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Typewriters. Carbon paper. Mimeograph machines.

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It’s a weird one but I miss not being able to hear songs or knowing what they are. Any song you want now is a click away, but it used to take sometimes decades to find a track or even how to start to look for it.


Using your kids as the tv tuner and remote.


Never knowing who was calling until you picked up the phone. Back in 60s and 70s, there weren’t even answering machines, so if you didn’t pick up, no idea who called.

And on the other side of that coin, when you called somebody and they didn’t answer, you know it’s not because they didn’t want to task to you. It’s because they weren’t available.

Image credits: DjDozzee


Hitchhiking to out door concerts back in the 70’s.Freedom. When we had to get somewhere- we would hitchhike. Violence made it obsolete.


Cleaning the carburetor and adjusting the points on a truck engine with an engine compartment big enough you could stand inside it.

Smelling mimeographs.

Getting that distant FM radio station tuned in *just right*.

Checking your answering machine when you got home.

Folding up a manual convertible top in the rain. (or leaving it at home and driving in the rain getting stared at by all the other cars thinking you were the idiot that you were)

The cha-chunk sound an 8-track made in the middle of a long song.

Collecting points for the Radio Shack Battery Club.

(maybe not totally obsolete, but not done) Drinking water out of any random neighbor’s hose in the summer.

Making Christmas wreaths out of folded punch cards and spray painting them gold.

Souping up your bicycle with baseball cards attached to the wheels with clothespins.

Shoot, to remember any more I would need a bong hit. Oh! Home made Bongs. Cleaning pot on record covers.

Image credits: chasonreddit


Notes left on the kitchen table.

Image credits: CoolAbdul


I miss the friendly arguments that we used to have about who was the better ballplayer. Nowadays you can look up statistics immediately, but in the 70’s and 80’s it was your word again your buddies as to who was better.

Image credits: myshirtisonfireagain

Source: boredpanda.com

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