The debate between Millennials and Baby Boomers continues to rage about who had (or has) it tougher. Millennials are usually deemed the bigger victims. Yet, growing up post-WW2 had its challenges, too. In fact, some argue it was even tougher than today. Here are 10 ways Boomers’ lives were harder than Millennials’…
10. Working Conditions Were Tougher
Baby Boomers were forced to work hard from the get go and many didn’t attend college before their professional lives began. Working conditions were definitely less cushy than they are today, too, and bosses were far more ruthless. Workers were just generally less coddled! You were expected to come in on time, every day, and slave away until shift ended. Any slacking earned you an earful.
9. Snow Days Were Unheard Of
In the 80s, schools started closing more often on heavy days of snow and cold temperatures so the kids could stay at home. When Boomers were young, this was much less common. No matter the temperature outside, they had to make their way to school. Kids today don’t know how lucky they are…
8. There Were No Mobile Phones
While mobile phones didn’t really start to take off before the end of the 90s, even the oldest Millennials owned one by the time they were 17-18. This was not the case for the Boomers, who had to go through their youth without an easy way to contact friends, boyfriends, and girlfriends other than their parents’ landline.
7. Travel Was Less Accessible
Another thing Boomers had much harder than Millennials is travel. There was no internet to research destinations; air travel wasn’t as affordable and available. Travel was more of a luxury back then. Furthermore, everything was done the old-fashioned way: you actually walked into a travel agent or phoned on the landline to book direct with the transport/hotels. Oh, and journeys to the destination were considerable less comfortable or convenient, too.
6. Long-Distance Relationships Were Far Harder
Long-distance relationships can be hard on anyone, but with mobile phones, texting, and even video calls it’s possible to keep the spark alive with relatively little effort nowadays. In decades of old, the only way to keep in touch was by sending letters that sometimes could take weeks to arrive – if they arrived at all. Calling between landlines was expensive if they were in different countries and if they did call, it was a gamble whether the other person was home to receive it.
5. The Vietnam War Happened
During the Vietnam War, people in the US were conscripted into the war; those who volunteered often did so because they expected to be drafted anyway. Once in Vietnam, your life was on the line in hellish conditions, far from the comfort and security of home. Millennials have never faced anything of that nature.
4. Luxury Goods Weren’t As Accessible
With improved technology and manufacturing processes, luxury goods have become far more available. Back in the day, there were lots of items that were hard to get hold of that Millennials take for granted, such as exotic foods and TVs.
3. Mental Health Wasn’t Talked About
When Baby Boomers grew up, they were taught to keep their feelings to themselves. Discussing mental health issues wasn’t accepted as it is now – especially for men. Sure, it wasn’t great for many Millennials, either. But once they got a little older, openness about mental health became encouraged more and more.
2. Access to Information Was Harder
Access to information was far more limited for Boomers in their childhood than it was for Millennials. Boomers went through school without computers and any online information. Instead, they spent time in libraries looking for books on the topic they researched. If others had rented it, they had to wait a week to get hold of it.
1. Everything Was Stored on Paper
Digitization is a modern convenience. In the olden days, everything from government documents to your personal information got stored in filing cabinets; “backing something up” involved making another physical copy of it. Boomers didn’t have the luxury of looking it up online. They had to go to offices and wait in an actual line whenever they needed proof of civil status, or other official documents.
Did Boomers Have It Worse?
Millennials can claim they had it worse than Baby Boomers, but is that actually the case? As a Baby Boomer, do you agree? Do you have other things to add to the list? Or are you a Millennial with any input? Drop us a comment below!
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