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Was life really better back then? Login/Join 
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Playing outside with friends until it got dark. Walking almost anywhere and not worrying about violence. Pride in the country and what it stood for. Half as many people in the U.S., so fewer nut jobs.

OTOH, the Cuban missile crisis brought us closer to the brink than anything since.
Posts: 774 | Location: NE Indiana  | Registered: January 20, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Chilihead and Barbeque Aficionado
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Life was better back then. Technology has advanced and to a certain extent, people have become slaves to it. Life was simpler back in the day and there was some semblance of freedom and privacy.

I was ok with black and white TV, cars you could work on, and listening to a baseball game on a transistor radio.

2nd Amendment Defender

The Second Amendment is not about hunting or sport shooting.
Posts: 10079 | Location: FL | Registered: December 29, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It was a better time.
You knew your neighbors and people had respect for others.
You learned the value of your effort and spent as much time exercising your body as well as your mind.
The Outdoors were more of your life than being in the house.
Comedy was funny.
Posts: 163 | Registered: January 07, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
slam fires
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Life for me is easy in my old age,I don't have to use our stupid mule to plow and there is that damn cow I had to milk twice a day,feed both plus the hogs and chicken had to be fed and watered.
The rest is quite numerous on things a sharecropper had to endure .
Oh yes there was the shortage of food some times.
Posts: 22206 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
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There were a few years - a precious few - after the fall of the Soviet Union and before the rise of the internet.

Perfect, or at least a damn sight closer to it than now seems to be.
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Much,much better, technology more advanced today, life better then.
Posts: 1569 | Location: Boston, Mass | Registered: December 02, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Happily Retired
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There is no doubt that life is better now but I still look back at the 1950's with fondness only because of how simple life was then.

.....never marry a woman who is mean to your waitress.
Posts: 4207 | Location: Lake of the Ozarks, MO. | Registered: September 05, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Any past time period before the advent of social media and wokeness is better than where we are today.
Posts: 3379 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They had Cheetos back then, but no white chocolate M&Ms.

Guess it largely depends on where you were at the time.

My other Sig is a Steyr...
Posts: 6579 | Location: Somewhere looking for ammo that nobody has at a place I haven't been to for a pistol I couldn't live without... | Registered: December 02, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spread the Disease
Picture of flesheatingvirus
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Some things are better, some worse.

Which overarching opinion you have depends upon what you prioritize in life.

For me, things are better, but I’m only 37. That most definitely has an effect.


-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
Posts: 15703 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by flesheatingvirus:
Which overarching opinion you have depends upon what you prioritize in life.

True, but what I didn’t expect were opinions based on the fact that people were younger in the past which is true of everyone. As the song goes, I was another day older when I got up this morning than I was 24 hours previously and I’m pretty sure there are very few of us who wouldn’t rather have younger bodies, and some of us, much, much younger. That’s pretty much a given for most people and not what I had in mind with my question. I, too, would like to have a much younger body, but that doesn’t mean I’d like to go back to living my life as it was many years ago. Of course, if I just reverted back to that time, age, and circumstances, then I wouldn’t know what the future was going to hold, and that would have made being happy easier—in some ways, but not in others. Not having weaker hands that hurt whenever I do certain tasks was not something I appreciated 50 years ago.

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
Posts: 43830 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood in the 1940's and 50's. Not long ago, having nothing better to do, I decided to see how many of the families I could remember by name. I came up with about 25 or more families. It dawned on me that we all had two things in common. None of the women worked outside the home and no one was divorced. That goes a long way to explaining the difference in the life we led versus the lives our children are living. Except for the technology that we enjoy, I do not think we are better off.
Posts: 2333 | Location: Central Virginia | Registered: July 20, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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SigFreund, I grant every advantage that you mentioned to the present age. But I would give them all up to be back in an America that was not going quickly down the road to totalitarianism, with every major institution falling in line, and those who don't fall in line can now be traced, surveilled and suppressed.

We are committing national suicide. And it is totally unnecessary.

“We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.”--Thomas Sowell
Posts: 16525 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Waiting for Hachiko
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Once had a friend , he always said "Ain't nothing like it used to be ." And I told him he was wrong, Slinky's have always been the same.
He was always also talking about the old days..Those days where if your got an infection, you could die, because there were not antibiotics to save your life.
I don't live in the past. Years ago, if you had cancer, they cut it out, and hope you lived. And those cars everyone has mentioned being able to work on...lucky to get 100,000 miles out of them, and even at that, most had motor rebuilds before that. Now, vehicles go 300,000 miles.

Everyone has negative views of social media , including me. But I also have positive views of my choices in modern times, such as Sig Forum, which is a great medium for information.

I could go on. I won't disagree, that life was simpler in the 40's-70's, but if you look back at your life back then and not through rose colored glasses, didn't you have just as many problems in life as now?

Posts: 6174 | Location: Near the Metropolis of Tightsqueeze, Va | Registered: February 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Of course life was better back then. People were more courteous, kind and genuine. People are behaving more and more like animals.

Improving technology and health care can never replace how people treat each other. Never.
Posts: 3468 | Location: Northeast Georgia | Registered: November 18, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
of Service
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I think most of us have fond memories of our youth and therefore think it was "better" back then.

I also think that's largely because we were kids and had no clue what was going on around us, nor any reason to care. Like many of us here, I grew up in the 50's and 60's and have many fond memories of it, but looking back through adult eyes, I see Korea, Viet Nam, the Cold War, Riots, much cruder health care (compared to today), blatant and pervasive prejudice and the ever-present fear of Atomic Annihilation. Another factor is the absence of the 24 hour news cycle. You didn't hear about every peccadillo of every minor celebrity or politician. Not that they didn't happen, you just didn't hear about it.

Yup, I have good memories and I surely miss a lot of the people, family and neighbors, that aren't with us any more. Don't think I'd care to go back tho.

I do think we were much more likely to be happy with what we had as opposed to today's consumerism/materialism/keep up with the Joneses lifestyle. I see that in my kids and CERTAINLY see it in my grandkids. They don't seem to be able to grasp why I won't go ass-over-teakettle in debt for the latest gotta-have.

Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
Posts: 13427 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by PHPaul:
I also think that's largely because we were kids and had no clue what was going on around us, nor any reason to care.


“Back then” versus now obviously means different things to different people. It might mean various stages in one’s life, from secure or abusive childhood to hopeful or stressful adulthood to comfortable or lonely retirement, or it could mean specific periods in history that most people never even experienced because they are too young. And “life” also means different things. When I posted the question I was thinking of the things that we had no control over, including politics and society in general to technology in its countless forms. What I was not thinking of was how our father’s job might move us to new cities, states, and countries every few years or whether we would choose to become addicted to Facebook or other social media.

In addition to the things I mentioned above, “back then” for me included things that I didn’t really appreciate any more than not having the Internet to help me with my high school science projects. We knew in abstract about the threats of nuclear annihilation or catching polio and why certain measures were necessary to help mitigate those threats, but even as a teenager about to graduate from high school and enlist in the Army, I really didn’t understand them. And speaking of military service, there were more young men then who dreaded the draft and being sent to fight in an unpopular war than were prepared to volunteer. It would be interesting to know how many of my contemporaries view that period of their lives as “better” than now.

And I wasn’t alone just because I wasn’t yet truly an adult prepared to make my own way in the world. For example, there was a lot of coverage of the Cuban missile crisis at the time, but literally only a handful of people knew how close that came to resulting in a nuclear conflict that could have destroyed civilization. The same was true of at least one later event such as when the faulty Soviet missile defense system and procedures and the ingrained the-west-wants-to-destroy-us-by-any-means paranoia of the USSR military came within minutes of a “retaliatory” nuclear attack on the US.

The period between the end of the First Cold War and the 9/11 terror attacks might seem to have been an idyllic political and social period for many of us, but some gun owners might also recall that the so-called assault weapons ban with its restrictions on magazines and other features was the first major effort to infringe our rights by controlling and limiting totally innocuous firearms accessories—something that has continued unabated to this day. That period also saw the first demonstration in my lifetime that large segments of our society were prepared to excuse personal malfeasance by a sitting president for purely political reasons, and it was also the period when “active shooter” entered the common lexicon.

But what about now? There is no reason we cannot know our neighbors better. There is no reason why we must spend our lives glued to the teevee, computer, or smart phone—or why we must let our minor children do the same. There is no reason why we must eat at fast food restaurants—or any restaurants—rather than cooking our meals for ourselves. I succumb to temptations that I know I should avoid, but at least I don’t blame the temptations or anything else for what are my own personal choices.

None of that is intended to be an argument against whatever “back then” and “life” and “better” mean to different people, but it’s a little about what they mean to me. (I also realize that there are some contradictions in all that.)

As always I appreciate the insights I get from the discussions.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
Posts: 43830 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Practical things from the past-
While there have been undeniable improvements in gun and optics tech, I would have to argue that quality revolvers were just as reliable then as they are now, and I don’t recall a single misfire round in my lots-of-shooting childhood (but ok- the old corrosive ammo I could do without).

Tires lasted for many years, on trailers, trucks, cars, bicycles, you name it. Now many not-so-cheap tires begin cracking after a few years. My hipster friends tell me “you should replace the tires after four years anyway”, blah, blah. Sure. Sure.
Can’t tell you how many WWII surplus vehicles I saw in those days with their original 25+ year old tires that looked great.
So progress? I dunno.

Gasoline- none of this modern “improved” @#&*$% ethanol garbage. I have seen vehicles that sat for years in junkyards/fields where you could pour some gas in the carb (yes, carb) and they would start and run on years-old gasoline with no damage to the fuel system. Try that now.
-Not all cars of that era got poor gas mileage, either. I had a 1972 Volvo 142 (B20F engine, 4-wheel disc brakes, three-point seat belts, 5-speed w/OD) that got around 20-24 mpg.

What I miss the most is being able to “work” on something when something fails, be it car, boat or motorcycle, etc. Most parts were overbuilt (and yes, that did make the cars weigh more). Cars with points had their occasional problems, but you could fix most things with a basic toolkit.
Yes, distributors with points are primitive compared to pinkie finger out modern cars, but generally you could get yourself home with a dime to put some silver on bad points or wipe carbon/moisture out of the distributor cap. (After around 1974 you often had more issues with the emission system itself than the actual engine parts and the systems didn’t help mileage).
But you could easily troubleshoot things, and a potential EMP means nothing to a car with no chips or logic.

We used Willys 4wd Jeeps and other military surplus vehicles in our past businesses. Most vehicles of the time had zerk grease fittings on moving parts and the Jeeps had over 29 zerk grease fittings. Things lasted because you could lubricate them, not the “progress" that led to “permanently lubricated” components with no way to grease them. (eyeroll).

Simplicity... That’s definitely another one of the things I miss.
Posts: 1406 | Location: PA | Registered: March 15, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by YooperSigs:
Was it better in years past? Maybe. But it was damn sure simpler. The main thing I miss is actual common sense.

And situational awareness has evaporated as well.

Today is very different. It used to be just the TV, and ads/marketing that people were hooked like crack on. Controlling their minds and actions. Today it’s that + social media and the phones. Common courtesy is just nonexistent. And few think for themselves these days and go their own way. They have to do what the rest of the clowns are doing.

I don’t want no teenage queen. I just want my M14. If I die in the combat zone, box me and ship me home. Pin my medals upon chest. Tell my mom I done my best.
Posts: 10735 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Medical care is absolutely light years ahead obviously . I had a Grandfather that I never met . He died when my Dad was very young . Pneumonia . When was the last time you heard of an otherwise healthy man die from Pneumonia in his 40's ?
Posts: 2100 | Location: The deep South | Registered: February 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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