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Ten Things Your Grandparents Didn't Have to Worry About

Updated on July 31, 2012

Life Now has its Advantages

There are many things about modern society that are of great benefit such as labor saving devices, advanced communications technology, fast trains and planes, fast food, advanced healthcare, the list goes on and on.

There are however also more things to worry about. Some worries that either didn't exist fifty years ago or if they did, no one thought to worry about them.

Here is a list of ten things that generally weren't a problem for our grandparents.

Counting Calories

If you look at sitcoms from the sixties you may have noticed that most of the people in them are thin, in fact you could probably call them lean. Yet the diet then was pretty high in fats and sugars if you measure it by the cookbooks of the time. Something happened, whether it was less activity, more processed food, pollution or something else. The fact is that at least in Western societies, in most cases we weigh a lot more than our grandparents did and watching our diet is much more at the forefront of our minds.

Personal Trainers

Unless you were an athlete, it was not known at the time that it was desirable to have good muscle tone and in many professions, it would have been a side effect of their work anyway. Some women in the past regarded the personal acquisition of muscles with horror. Things have changed to the point where we pay professionals to help us get fit and toned.

The Attention of Friends at Lunch (and other times)

When our grandparents socialized with friends and family in the past whether at home or out somewhere, they didn't have to compete with cellphones for attention. Social occasions for our grandparents consisted of engaging with the people they were with, rather than those on the end of the phone.

Too Much Attention from Friends (and even people you don't know)

With cellphones, laptops, tablets, email, Messenger, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn and similar, it's very difficult now to be out of touch, even at those times when you might wish to be. If our grandparents decided to ignore the phone and the doorbell, those who wanted to talk to them would be out of immediate options to contact them (although they could send a letter or a telegram). Of course we could also ignore the phone, the doorbell and electronic interruptions however few of us can resist checking text messages, Facebook updates and similar communications, no matter what time it is and where we might be.

Hand Sanitizers

In the past people could go out without taking hand sanitizing lotion with them (except for Howard Hughes of course). I'm not sure if there are more or less germs now than in the past, certainly there are some superbugs and more people moving around the world so maybe soap and water just aren't enough and perhaps that's why gloves were popular at the time.

Wedding Planners

Probably there were some people who had large weddings to organize and needed some help to do it. In most cases though the happy couple's nuptials were organized by the family or they did it themselves.

Forgetting to Add the Attachment to the Email

Our grandparents sent letters, cards and sometimes, telegrams. Maybe in the workplace there were occasions when documents that should have been put in the envelope weren't however it would be a lot more obvious in solid format than it is in electronic.

Remembering the Surnames of Family and Friends

Nowadays you can easily find three or four surnames in one family group because of several marriages, women who don't change their names upon marriage, men who do, people who hyphenate their names or simply blended families. Not to mention people who just don't like their name and decide to change it. For our grandparents there was probably less to remember as family groups were more likely to share a surname.

Knowing What is in Your Food

For our grandparents it was pretty straightforward. Food was food, there was some of the processed variety however generally you knew exactly what you were eating. Now it is not so clear as there are a multitude of additives such as colors, flavors and emulsifiers. You can't even count on fruit and vegetables to be ordinary food as they may well have been genetically modified. Meat and poultry may come from farms where they are fed antibiotics and growth hormones. Unless you grow your own, you just don't have the certainty about what you're eating that our grandparents did.

Silly Moments: Preserved Forever on the Internet

Undoubtedly our grandparents had some moments in their lives that they'd rather not remember. Then, photos of embarassing clothes, haircuts, and occasions involving too much alcohol were retained only in family albums. Now, they're on the internet where the audience is a great deal wider.


These are of course just a few of the changes wrought by time. Who knows what the list might look like in another fifty years? It's definitely food for thought.

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