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10 'common knowledge' practices from the past that Gen Zers don't understand at all

People from the older generation reveal things that used to be common practice back in the day but are shocking to the new generations.

10 'common knowledge' practices from the past that Gen Zers don't understand at all
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay, Reddit | u/LosBrad

Everything changes over time 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Miguel A. Padrinan
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Miguel A. Padrinan

The passage of time brings a lot of change with it. Many things that we consider routine or normal today might become completely nonexistent a few decades or years from now. This is a very normal process and usually brings about change for the better. Although a few things are looked back upon with nostalgia by older generations. Reddit user u/MrDNL wanted to know more about things that had become lost in the post and asked older people in the community about it. Here are 10 of the most insightful responses that they provided.

1. The presence of ashtrays 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Bob Price
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Bob Price

Ashtrays everywhere. Homes, businesses, restaurants, hospitals, malls, schools (designated area), etc. Even if you didn't smoke you had ashtrays, at least on your coffee table, for guests. u/oldcatsarecute. My favorite game at the boardwalk was throwing dimes into ashtrays behind the counter. If you landed a coin in one and it didn't bounce out, you won the ashtray. Imagine a carnival game today where kids could win smoking paraphernalia. u/StrangersWithAndi

2. Telephones were more prevalent 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

There were telephones EVERYWHERE. Streets, shops, sidewalk corners, etc. You paid for calls with coins. u/PawzzClawzz. Starting at $.10 and ending at $.50 per call before becoming obsolete. And the long distance was a lot of money. Should you run out of $/time, the automated operator would chime in and ask for "50 cents, please." u/littlemissnoname-

3. Limitations of the initial days of the internet 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Vojtech Okenka
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Vojtech Okenka

When the internet first came out, you couldn't talk on the phone and be online at the same time. u/LosBrad. You could if you had two lines, though only the very fanciest people had that. u/boulevardofdef. Oh yes! I also remember how if someone tried to use the phone in another room, it would cut your connection to the internet. I would always cuss because it took so long to get back on. u/ClimbingBackUp

4. Drunk driving was not taken too seriously 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | energepic.com
Representative Image Source: Pexels | energepic.com

Drunk driving wasn't a serious crime until a group of moms got together and advocated. (MADD). u/MizzGee. A drunk driver, who was racing, swerved to avoid an oncoming car and crashed clear through our living room at 2 am one morning when I was 6. He got 9 months license suspension. This was in 1984. u/shavemejesus

5. Navigating during travel was different 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Dominika Roseclay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Dominika Roseclay

My 20-year-old son liked this one: When driving anywhere new, you had to get directions or stop at the gas station and ask for them. Or you could buy a map/atlas. u/littmemissnoname-. And you had a bunch of maps/atlases in your car for areas/cities you regularly visited. u/hetsteentje. Yeah, kids today are aware that you couldn’t look it up electronically, but it surprises me greatly that they don’t seem to be aware of paper maps. u/Bjarton

6. Milk delivery

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

Milk was delivered to your house every week in a gallon glass bottle. u/walkawaysux. Wow. The Milkman. Suburban Long Island. 1970s. We had this metal box in our backyard right outside our back door. For years it took something semi-magical to open the box up and find 6 glass bottles of milk. Then one night, I was 8 years old and sick. It was like 4 in the morning. I finally saw The Milkman delivering the milk. For some reason, I found it weird and scary. We stopped milk delivery sometime in the early 80s. u/Suggest_a_User_Name

7. Gas station attendants 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Harrison Haines
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Harrison Haines

Gas station attendants would put gas in your car, clean your windshield, and check your oil as a part of buying the gas. Then you paid him through your car window without getting out of your car. Pop/soda came in glass bottles. Grocery stores only sold food and the stores were about a quarter of today’s sizes. When you needed wood and such for a home project, there was no Home Depot. You went to the lumber yard for wood and anything else, a small local hardware store. u/Reddit

8. Married women and credit cards 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

My adult children and all their friends didn’t believe me when I first told them that married women weren’t allowed to have a credit card in their own name until 1974. Before that, they could only have one through their husband. u/jmac94wp. And when the law was passed, I quickly learned what the requirements were and set about qualifying. It was a process. You couldn’t just apply for a Visa off the bat. I had to apply for a department store card first. Then prove I was good at managing money before I could apply for a Visa. u/craftasaurus

9. Most people didn't wear seat belts 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kelly
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kelly

Seat belts weren't taken seriously by most people until the 90s. u/Top-Philosophy-5791. That’s crazy! In Australia, it’s been illegal to not wear a seat belt since 1971. It must have taken a while for child restraints to become serious because apparently I was taken home from the hospital in a bassinet on the floor of the backseat (in 1976). u/Eloisem333

10. Existence of coal rooms 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Caio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Caio

There was a room called the “coal room” in the basement of our house. We’d shovel coal from that room into a coal furnace to heat our house. The coal was delivered by a truck that had a coal chute that was inserted through a basement window in the coal room. u/Logybayer. I was born in ‘85, but I grew up in a house with nothing but wood and coal heat. (Coal was a rarity for us though.) We had to cut down the trees, chop the logs, put them in a wagon, split them, toss them through the basement window, stack the pieces, and stick some in the fire late at night and throughout the day. All that is just for basic heat. u/SoHereIAm85

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