On a recent scroll through a popular online forum, someone asked, “Fellow Gen Xers, what habits formed by growing up in the 70s/80s do you still have?” Here are their top confessions. Can you relate?
1. Leaving Phone Numbers
Countless Gen Xers admit that they still say their phone number twice when leaving a voicemail (slowly the first time, then slower the second time), despite the recipient having access to the number via called ID.
One forum member complains that Gen Z leaves voice messages at her job without phone numbers to call back, leaving her to attempt to pair messages up with time of the phone calls on the called ID.
2. Leaving Voice Messages
Speaking of leaving voice messages, who does that anymore? I rarely get someone to engage in a phone conversation since texting came onto the scene.
3. Typing Two Spaces — Period
Do you still leave two spaces after a period when you type? As someone who has worked as an editor, STOP IT! Double spacing made it easier to see the beginning of new sentences when writing with typewriters. But we use computers now with single spaces.
4. Cutting Six-Pack Rings
Were you taught about sea life, such as seals, dolphins, and turtles getting stuck in six-pack rings? I remember learning about it, and like these forum members, I cut the rings for our ocean friends (and pray they still don’t end up in the ocean).
5. Saying Dude
The word “Dude” has been kept alive and well with the Gen Xers. It’s the equivalent of today’s use of the word “Bro.” Everyone and everything can be, and still is — dude.
6. Using Respect and Manners
Being polite and responding respectfully with “Yes sir,” “No ma’am,” “Please,” and “Thank you” has gone by the wayside with Gen Z. Out of respect for gender bias, many people have ditched those sayings. My husband instructed as an army veteran who was also raised in the South — has not. It’s programmed into his DNA.
7. Not Flushing
Numerous forum members confess they do not flush the toilet if someone is in the shower for fear of scalding them with a hot water temperature change.
8. Stop, Drop, and Roll
Do you remember doing fire drills in elementary school that involved practicing the method of putting yourself out if on fire? Stop, drop, and roll! Hopefully, no one in the forum ever needs to use this 70s/80s habit. Additionally, who remembers hiding under your desk in an earthquake or nuclear war drill?
I grew up on the west coast, and I was terrified at the idea of “The Big Quake,” a long overdue earthquake they teach you about every year. It still hasn’t happened, and it feels like that deep-seated fear was unnecessary.
9. Clearing Your Plate
Did you grow up in a house where you cleaned your plate before being dismissed from the dinner table? Heck, even eating at the dinner table is a foreign concept for many today! Nonetheless, several Gen Xers recall being chastised about starving kids in India or Africa. Some were even subject to seeing pictures of the children as motivation to clean their plates.
10. Not Showering in Lightening Storms
Do you remember hearing not to bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing and electrocute you? Many others note that you also unplugged TVs and electronics and didn’t talk on corded phones during storms. Many still practice these habits.
11. Having Cash on Hand
Who still carries cash around in their wallets? Countless individuals confess that they still have a habit of keeping some cash on them despite the age of debit swipes and Apple Pay.
12. Washing Windows
Do you use Windex or window wipes to clean the glass? Several Gen Xers admit they still use newspaper and vinegar to get theirs to sparkle streak-free.
13. Reading Newspapers
Speaking of newspapers, are you still enjoying the cool, crisp pages between your fingers, or has online scrolling replaced physical newspapers for you? A few Gen Xers are reluctant to let go and still get hard copies delivered.
14. Using Paper Maps
Another lost art enters the chat. People are still out here reading physical maps. One explains that they want to know what is around them and follow along with the map on their road trips. I relate to all of these except this one. GPS is a godsend for me! I get lost in my own head!
15. Turning Lights Off
Do you remember the energy crisis and economic conditions of the late 70s? Many Gen Xers (myself included) admit that their fathers drilled, turning the lights off in their heads. As the one who pays the electric bill now, I am the one screaming, “Turn the light off when you leave the room!” And don’t forget to close the door. What? Were you born in a barn?
16. Using White Bread Universally
Memories — May be beautiful, and yet — haha. Several people are still using white bread as their go-to for hot dogs and hamburger buns. One adds, “And, on occasion, the crummiest garlic bread known to man.
17. Turning Handles Inward
Thanks to several public service announcements (PSAs), this forum still turns the handles to their pots and pans inward when cooking. This is so they aren’t accidentally bumped or grabbed by children.
18. Using Paper Calendars
Multiple people in the thread explain they still prefer hanging paper calendars on their walls. It makes it easier to write things down and have a visual reminder than it is to access an app on the phone.
19. Watching Movies With Full Attention
When my sister moved in with me, I remember being so annoyed when she would sit down to watch a movie I wanted her to see while also scrolling through or playing games on her phone. Several Gen Xers have a habit of tossing their phones aside and still watching films with their full attention.
20. Driving Old School
My husband and I recently discussed how neither of us uses the backup camera in our vehicle when backing up. A user agrees, “I always look in the review mirror and check my blind spots when backing my vehicle even though the car has all the cameras and attached warning systems.” Old habits die hard.
20 Nostalgic TV Shows Gen X Tried to Watch That Just Don’t Cut It Today
An online Gen X forum member recently asked, “What TV shows have you tried to watch out of nostalgia, and it just doesn’t work anymore.” Here are their top-voted responses. Do you agree?
12 Things Younger People Love That Gen X and Boomers Do Not Understand
Is there anything that Zoomers love that you do not understand? You’ve got company. After someone polled an online community for examples of said things, here are THEIR top confessions.
15 Things Boomers Love to Do That Young People Don’t Understand
A recent online discussion about things boomers love to do that younger generations don’t understand had many interesting points. Here are some of the key takeaways. Do you agree?
20 Little Things Young People Aren’t Ready to Hear According to Boomers
Do you have anything that you don’t think the younger people of today are ready to hear but need to? You’re not alone. Numerous folks from the older generations gathered in an online forum to share these life truths.
20 Little Things That Are the Most Gen X Things Ever
Times have changed since I was a latchkey kid fending for myself and spending the majority of my life outdoors. Kids today have no idea about anything from my childhood today. After someone asked a Gen X forum, “What are the most Gen X things ever?” They responded with a nice trip down memory lane.
Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.