Someone Wonders: “In 50 Years, What Will People Be Nostalgic For?” And 61 People Give Answers

Try to imagine the future a year from now. Barring some world-shattering Apocalypse of two (thank you, we’ve had enough!), it’s not all that hard to do. Now think of what life will be like in 5 years. Then 10. And finally, 50. Half a century from now, the world, society, norms, and technology may have changed very drastically. So much so that we’ll be nostalgic for a lot of things that we take for granted right now.

It’s tough to know what exactly you might miss in the future, but it’s great for feeling grateful for what we have now. Prompted by redditor u/klausbrusselssprouts, the folks over at r/AskReddit shared some great insights and opinions about the things that people might be nostalgic for, 50 years from now. Spoiler warning: people’s outlooks about the future are pretty grim. If nothing else, it’s a reminder of just how great life is right now, despite its challenges and imperfections.

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Read on for a perspective on the present through the lens of the future, and don’t forget to upvote the posts you agree with, Pandas. We’d also love to hear your own thoughts about what you think many of us will feel a deep sense of longing for in the decades to come, so be sure to drop by the comments to share your thoughts.

Bored Panda reached out to the friendly author of the viral thread, u/klausbrusselssprouts, and he was kind enough to answer our questions in detail. Klaus shared that he has a background in history and social science, and has been a high school teacher in Denmark for the past 10 years. He said that the inspiration for the r/AskReddit post actually came from an exercise he often does in his own history classes. Read on for our full interview with Klaus.


Owning something you don’t pay a subscription for

Image credits: JohnnyNumbskull

“In history, students are always asked to reflect on other people’s thoughts, ideas, and actions in the past as a way to understand the developments in the past societies. I also want to make the students aware that they themselves are a part of history. In class, I ask the question, ‘What from [the current year] should be put in a museum in 50 years?’ With this question, the students are forced to reflect on themselves, and the present as a historical period. They will identify what’s unique about the 2020s as opposed to the 2000s for instance. This is my way of doing a Reddit version of that question. So in that way, there’s a history lesson going on, on Reddit with that post,” Klaus told Bored Panda.


Clean air and water depending how things turn out for the planet.

If things get better, the Simpsons.

Image credits: Wage_slave


Being confident that the person they see on screen is a real person and not AI.

Image credits: XComThrowawayAcct

Klaus told Bored Panda that he didn’t even consider how popular the post might be. He said that it’s something he posted “more or less randomly.” However, the post clicked with a ton of people and the thread went viral.

“After a few hours when I checked Reddit again, I found out it had exploded—I didn’t see that coming. I think it gained so much popularity because it basically is a question about people themselves and their/our own time. It’s a very present question and not something very abstract. You can simply sit at your desk or in your room and just look around and find stuff that represents the 2020s,” he explained why the question resonated so much with so many redditors.

He shared that a couple of weeks ago, he was at a history museum where they had an exhibition on classrooms. There, he found a glimpse into his youth. “I was looking at what my own classroom looked like in the ’90s. It was in a way shocking that I could be examined, just like the 1890s or 1790s are being examined. So in that way, I think this idea of the current individuals and time being a subject of future museums is very fascinating,” he said.


Social media. Not because it’s good, but because whatever comes next will probably suck more.

Image credits: RockoTDF


Whatever stupid s**t is popular 30 years from now.

I’m nostalgic for a world without the entire internet being walled gardens. I miss independent blogs. I miss there being hundreds of discussion boards on the internet not all subject to lunatic Reddit admins with political agendas. I miss a world without social media.


Being able to be anonymous online.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

Image credits: Smegma_On-Demand

Predicting what the future will look like is a very tough challenge. One strategy that you could rely on involves looking at the investment space and seeing what technologies certain companies pump money into developing. That way, you can more or less gauge what our tech may look like a few years from now. But all things considered, anyone talking about the future with certainty is probably lying or trying to sell you something. Futurology is all guesswork, even if some of it is done very diligently and scientifically.

Klaus, the author of the post, told Bored Panda that, as a historian, he’s not really into trying to predict the future. “History has shown us time and time again how things can unfold in completely unexpected directions. Take for instance the movie series ‘Back to the Future.’ I’ve read interviews, where the scriptwriters and actors, to some extent, back in the mid-1980s actually believed that we would have flying cars in 2015,” he noted that our hopes for the future don’t always come true.

Meanwhile, the historian shared his thoughts about what the people of the future might be nostalgic about. “I think social media and smartphones are very defining for the 2010s and 2020s. It’s likely that in the 2070s those things are long gone and replaced by something much more advanced. Though it can be hard to imagine what that would be,” he mused.


Wilderness spaces with little or no human settlement


The number of wild animals that exist and can be seen. They are already on the decline.

Image credits: SpikedBubbles


Privacy. Even babies are overexposed today.

Image credits: birdiewings

“With the current troubles that we see around the world with climate change that is on the verge of getting out of control, escalating tensions between NATO countries and Russia, China, and North Korea, just to name a few, I imagine that we are looking into a less secure period in world history,” Klaus said that he doesn’t see an overly peaceful future in the works. The sense of peace and stability that we’ve had for several decades is going away.

“Since the Cold War ended in 1991, we have to realize that we’ve been extremely secure. More secure than ever before. I think we may realize that this sense of security will be a parenthesis in world history, and it’ll be something that people could be nostalgic about.”

Klaus told us that he hopes that questions like his will make people reflect on themselves and the time period when they live. “With this question, it’s more about identifying objective truths about ourselves in the 2020s. There are many things that people have mentioned in the post, that almost all can agree will be something to be nostalgic about. I think this is the true power of Reddit—that positive vibe you generally find. This makes Reddit stand out to many other social media where I see a much more toxic community, for instance, Facebook and YouTube.”


Well I’ll be 110 so I’m going to say breathing.


“You know son, when I was your age we didn’t have a subscription model to make toasts every morning. We’d just put bread in and toast would pop out”

“You had to put bread _manually_, Grandpa?!?”

“Oh yes, but we didn’t have to listen to 3 mandatory advertisements. Oh and one more thing: We could use _any_ bread we want”

“Holy s**t!? Any bread?? And it would still toast them?”



Movies made 30 years from now. Nostalgia always runs in 20 year cycles.

Image credits: Rekthor

Nostalgia is a very powerful thing. It can remind us of the good old days and help us power through many tough situations in the present. However, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword because we can get lost in it: we might even ignore our current lives, letting them go down in quality. Besides, it’s often difficult to recognize the fact that we’re living in the best of days when we don’t know what the future will bring. There are certain things that we know for a fact we should focus on: our health, our loved ones, our passion projects, and our shift toward financial independence.

Financial expert Sam Dogen, the author of ‘Buy This, Not That,’ recently explained to Bored Panda that, as time goes by, we should give greater and greater priority to our health.

“Health is absolutely the main thing that will decline and hurt the quality of your life if you don’t focus on it. Therefore, you have to be dedicated to eating properly and exercising regularly, especially over the age of 30,” he told Bored Panda.


Early 2000s internet where you could search something on Google and your biometric data and search records weren’t sent to 50+ government agencies and data mining firms


Handwritten notes/letters.


Democracy. Non-lab created meat. Cars you drive yourself. 2.5 million species of life. Weather like you remember as a kid. Carefree use of fresh water. A time when youth respected their elders /s. Physical media of any sort. Having a keyboard and mouse for your computer. Todays slang like “yeet”.

“You cannot just wing it like you did as a teenager or a healthy 20-something years old eating pizza all day. Your waistline will expand and you’ll find more and more health issues pop up as you get older,” the financial expert said. At the same time, as you grow older, your perspective shifts and you start seeing some advantages compared to when you were younger.

“Your confidence will naturally grow as you get older and gain more wisdom. As a result, you will feel less insecure, less shy, and have more courage to live the life that you want. Remember, your financial independence number is not ready if you don’t have the courage to change a suboptimal situation!” he said.

“Further, as you build more wealth and grow your income, your fear of running out of money also declines. As a result, you can take more risks and not worry as much about what your friends, colleagues, and bosses think. The best benefit of being financially independent is to be able to speak your mind when you see something wrong. Also, I spend a lot more time being a creator, without fearing ridicule. It is so freeing!”


That one month when everyone was playing Pokemon Go

Image credits: Tomatillo212Bailey


Grandparents will say to their grandkids “When I was your age, I had to get off the screen and actually GO to school”.

Image credits: Truck_Stop_Sushi



We can’t be sure what the future will bring (though things do tend to get better over time, on average), so it’s best to be prepared for some unfortunate eventualities. Having a small financial safety net can help as you move forward.

“Things may seem more difficult now as the stock market declines and layoffs increase. However, know that over the long term, economic progress is always up and to the right. Things will inevitably rebound and get better. Your goal is to survive through the downturn so that when the upturn inevitably comes, you will benefit,” financial expert Sam said.

“This means having 6-12 months’ worth of living expenses to hold you over, just in case you lose your job and lose alternative income sources. The average bear market lasts about 12 months. Then, brighter days inevitably appear,” he told Bored Panda.

“In a capitalistic society, people are always looking to find ways to make things better, cheaper, and faster. As a result, there will be continuous innovation in the name of profits. The key is to be thankful for what we already have and to appreciate how far we’ve come over the past 10, 20, 30, and 100 years! Don’t take the good things in our life for granted.”


Water probably

Image credits: marvelloumac


Bearable temperatures, forests, bees, biodiversity…


The abundance and availability of power, water, and food.

One of the ways to balance out our feelings of nostalgia for the past is to be more grateful for what we have in the present. You can start very simple, for instance, by focusing on the abundant things that you probably have right now: enough food to eat each day, a job that gives you enough financial stability to have a roof over your head. That’s not to mention the people in your life who love you, care for you, and support you.

Gratitude also springs from recognizing the fact that not everyone is as fortunate as you, and that you have accomplished quite a lot of things (even if others might have done more). Keeping a gratitude journal or making a gratitude list can help you sort your thoughts. It’s also not a bad idea to take some time to think of all the things you’re grateful for before going to bed or after waking up. It’s perfectly fine to miss the Good Old Days(™)… so long as you don’t forget to enjoy the present.


Driving. Imagine a world where all vehicles are automated. It would be so “retro” to manually drive a car down to the shops.

Image credits: Vilcunis


Human made art and music without the use of AI.
Or even just knowing it was made without the use of AI tools like DALL-E 2 or similar.
Kind of like how before autotune you knew for certain a singer could sing that way.


Coral reefs 🙁


I have a can of Frozen themed chicken noodle soup that I plan to sell when I’m 70 so hopefully that cause I don’t have a lot of money in my retirement fund

Image credits: Significant_747Bell


Freedom of speech……but they won’t say that out loud.


Being able to do basic maintenance on your car without needing a shop manual and a years salary worth of special tools

Image credits: kilroy-was-here-2543


The Netherlands


Everything about today’s art, style, decor, culture, movies, shows, music and news events.

It will seem old fashioned and from a simpler time, in 50 years.

Image credits: Bern_who_Learns


Net neutrality


Story. Narrative.

There is no build-up anymore. Nobody has patience to see a good plot being constructed. Everyone wants payoff in 10 seconds.




US democracy. It’ll be dismantled by then.


Owning a housing unit


Being able to walk on the street without police drones flying around watching them.


I’d say people will miss being uncontactable. Like back in the day, you could just go to your bedroom, and block the rest of the world away for a couple of hours. Now we’ve got video calls, phone calls, texts, emails. Urgh.

Image credits: mr_wernderful


Adblock/skippable ads. In the future decade I can see repeatable unblockable ads becoming mainstream in places like YouTube, Netflix, etc…

Image credits: Semour9


Keys. Even more specific vehicle keys.

Image credits: UpMain


Physically hanging out with a group of friends


Stable weather






Paper money.


Retail shopping. There will be these cutesy, extremely expensive retro shops selling things you’d find at the convenience store.


The price of energy, groceries and we will think fondly of the time we still had bees and other pollinators.


The phones, appliances that we are using.
Just like cd, dvd, nokia series, windows xp, retro kitchen appliances and such is very nostalgic to many people out there.




Graphic artists.

Taxis, trucks, and ride shares with human drivers.

Movies that don’t feature heavy computer effects.

The rich actually dying occasionally instead of being effectively immortal.

The United States before fascism really took over.


Wired earbuds with an actual headphone jack. Not USB version 93 delta.


The calm and sanity of the current times we are living in. The future is going to be intense.


Owning their own stuff


The smell of petrol/diesel.


Probably movie theaters.


Being able to afford to live (too high COL, high rent, low pay, inflation)


Flash games


Minecraft, modern games, battles royales, Reddit.

Modern-day music.




World of Warcaft Classic Classic


Smartphones. I think cyber chips will become a thing.




Non superhero/comic book movies.

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