Each generation raises their kids differently — and everyone thinks their generation got it right. That’s why so many baby boomers shake their heads at millennials, whom the older folks see as overly coddled and entitled.
Meanwhile, people who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s are wistful about a time when people connected face to face instead of on Facebook. After all, they were raised in the days before cell phones and iPads, when playing by themselves in the yard wasn’t cause for alarm. It was perfectly normal, and even encouraged!
There were not nearly as many regulations, and there was nothing wrong with drinking from the garden hose — something that might raise a few eyebrows today.
It may not have been the safest or healthiest of times. But if you up in grew up in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s, you probably have fond memories of the “good old days.” That’s why this video, which depicts what it was like to be a kid back then, is going viral.
Have a look for yourself and take a little stroll down memory lane:
The video was posted by YouTube user Augustus Charles, and it has garnered over 5.5 million views. The video applauds people who made it out of those decades alive — after all, you survived cribs made with lead-based paint and unsupervised dodgeball games at school! The video also pointed out that many inventors, innovators and global leaders came out of this era, despite all the “dangerous obstacles” that were in their way.
Is it a good thing that there are now laws protecting children from dangerous chemicals? Absolutely. But, as this video shows, even with some less-than-ideal conditions, the vast majority of kids still grew up to be healthy, happy and productive adults who figured out how to thrive on their own.
The Benefits of Nostalgia
We have made many societal and technological advancements since the times portrayed on the video, and while Charles makes some good points about then versus now in his video, one might still argue we are better off knowing what we know now.
Still, studies show there are real advantages to looking back and enjoying old times, though nostalgia can be bittersweet and is linked to sadness.
Researchers have found that nostalgia can counteract boredom, anxiety and loneliness. It bonds couples, makes people more tolerant, and actually physically warms people up. People who engage in nostalgia actually get more optimistic and inspired about future events and fear death less.
“Nostalgia makes us a bit more human,” Dr. Constantine Sedikides, a psychology professor from the University of Southampton, told the New York Times. “Nostalgic stories often start badly, with some kind of problem, but then they tend to end well, thanks to help from someone close to you. So you end up with a stronger feeling of belonging and affiliation, and you become more generous toward others.”
As a result, many scientists believe it’s great to indulge in the past sometimes. It’ll improve your mental health and raise your spirits.
So when people point out that the present day isn’t so bad — that our improved safety rules have saved lives and our society is more diverse and interesting than it ever has been, they’re right.
But your desire to look back to what seems like a simpler time and view it with rose-colored glasses is a great thing too.