14 Things Baby Boomers Did That Would Baffle Gen Z

People born in different times have different experiences. Today, we’ll look at two generations: Baby Boomers and Generation Z. They grew up in different worlds with different memories, customs, and ideas about life. Whether smoking everywhere or riding in cars without seat belts, these differences show how much the world has transformed. Here are 14 things Baby Boomers did that might shock Gen Z.

Watching Black and White TV

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Imagine watching your favorite show, but everything is in shades of gray. There were no mind-blowing special effects, no vibrant colors to bring the scene to life – that was the reality of television for many Baby Boomers. Back then, entertainment came in black and white, with only a handful of channels. And forget about instant gratification – a fuzzy picture meant fiddling with the antenna until the characters weren’t just blurry shapes.

Trampolines Without Safety Net

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Trampolines used to be a total blast for Baby Boomers but with one shocking difference—no safety nets. Imagine jumping sky-high without anything to catch you if you missed the center. It sounds terrifying now, but that was just the way it was for many Boomers. Thankfully, trampolines have come a long way, with nets and padding keeping today’s generation safe while they soar through the air.

Drinking from The Garden Hose

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Believe it or not, Baby Boomers often quenched their thirst straight from the garden hose. Back in the 60s, it was a common way to cool down. Today, with concerns about water quality, the thought of drinking unfiltered hose water would make most Gen Zers shudder.

Rationing Long-Distance Phone Calls

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For Baby Boomers, long-distance calls were a luxury. Weekend nights were prime phone time, with conversations meticulously planned to stay within a strict budget. Imagine Gen Z’s disbelief at having to ration phone calls, a stark contrast to their world of unlimited texting and free video chats with anyone on the planet.

Walking To School Unaccompanied

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Baby Boomers routinely walked to school alone. Back then, unsupervised walks were the norm, fostering independence and exploration. Free from the constant adult presence, Boomers created their adventures to and from school, starkly contrasting today’s organized carpools and watchful eyes. This independence would likely shock Gen Z, who are accustomed to a more structured and adult-driven approach to daily activities.

Seat Belt Safety

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In the past, seat belts in older cars were rudimentary, and many drivers didn’t take safety seriously. Baby Boomers would cruise in the back seat, bouncing freely without a seatbelt. Road trips were a carefree adventure, not a safety-regulated journey. This casual approach to car safety would undoubtedly shock today’s seatbelt-wearing generation.

Daily Family Dinners

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Baby boomers have warm memories of daily family dinners. It was a cherished tradition where everyone gathered around the table, sharing stories, laughter, and bonding over meals. However, these gatherings have been pushed to special occasions in today’s fast-paced world. Busy schedules, work commitments, and digital distractions sometimes make family dinners less frequent.

Corporal Punishment

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For Baby Boomers, a swat on the behind or a paddle from the teacher might have been a normal consequence for misbehaving. Back then, corporal punishment was widely seen as a necessary tool for discipline. But times have changed. Gen Z would be shocked by the idea of physical punishment. They see it as harmful and unnecessary.

Running Errands

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In the past, sending kids on errands was a routine practice. Children would eagerly head to the store with a handwritten note from their parents and some money. Shopkeepers, trusting and familiar with their young customers, readily assisted them. It was a simpler time when community bonds and trust prevailed. Today, however, selling items to minors requires more scrutiny. Age-related products like alcohol, tobacco, or certain medications are strictly regulated. Shopkeepers now verify age, often asking for identification to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Buying Gender Specific toys

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Even toy stores have changed since the age of Boomers. Gone are the days of endless blue aisles for boys (trucks, building sets, action figures) and pink paradises for girls (dolls, kitchens, nurturing toys). Today’s toy stores are bursting with inclusivity. The shelves overflow with gender-neutral options, diverse characters reflecting the real world, and STEM-focused toys that spark curiosity in all kids.

Not Using Sunscreens

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Baby Boomers enjoyed sunny days without sunscreen. They spent carefree days basking in the sun, oblivious to the long-term risks. Back then, sunscreen wasn’t a beach bag staple, and a good tan was a badge of summer, a stark contrast to today’s sun-safe practices.

Smoking Around Children

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In the past, parents casually smoked around their children without a second thought. Cigarettes were a common sight in public places, from restaurants to airplanes. However, times have changed dramatically. Gen Zers, armed with knowledge about the hazards of second-hand smoke, would be appalled by such behavior. The data on respiratory illnesses, cancer, and other health risks associated with passive smoking has reshaped societal norms.

Participation Trophies Didn’t Exist

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In the past, participation trophies were nonexistent. Boomer kids didn’t receive accolades for showing up; they had to earn their place at the top. Winning was the ultimate validation, and anything less left them feeling disheartened. However, in the Gen Z era, participation trophies aim to boost confidence, recognizing effort and perseverance even when victory isn’t guaranteed. It’s a stark contrast to the Boomer experience of win-or-nought competition.

Lead Paint Was Common

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Gen Z wouldn’t believe their ears if they heard about lead paint. Back then, Boomers lived with lead everywhere – walls, toys, furniture. It was just ordinary paint! The dangers were unknown, and what seemed like a colorful childhood could actually have hidden health risks. Thankfully, times have changed. Today’s stricter regulations mean homes are much safer, with lead levels in paint minimized to protect young generations.

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