Our grandparents (and everyone in their generation) are always complaining about how easy we have it compared to them when they were our age. They didn’t have things like laptops, smartphones, and the internet to make their lives more convenient and efficient the way we do. They had to either type up a letter on an old-school typewriter or hand-write one if they wanted to send something to a friend. They had to use whiteout or erase their mistakes by hand and redo them. They had to read through an entire encyclopedia just to write a research paper. They didn’t have Photoshop to edit out their zits and food stuck in their teeth. They couldn’t order dinner online and have it delivered within an hour. And they couldn’t stalk their best frenemy online without them knowing it. Oh, how they’ve missed out on so much.
The only thing is… they’ve dodged many bullets by missing out on the many awkward moments that also come with technological advances. And that’s because no matter how advanced the technology, nothing is ever fool-proof. Our grandparents should just be thankful that they’ve never been the victim of the following fifteen awkward or terribly inconvenient situations.
15. Becoming a Meme
Your grandparents didn’t grow up in an age where Facebook and Instagram were normal methods of communication. Therefore, they didn’t even know what memes were and certainly didn’t suffer the risk of becoming the subject of a viral meme. Nowadays, once you post a new photo on a platform like Facebook, you better make sure your privacy preferences are set before your photo is stolen and converted into a meme. In 2014, Keisha Johnson, also known as ‘the confused face girl’ sued Instagram for defamation after she became the face of viral memes. Although it is disputed whether or not it was really her fault for uploading the public photo to begin with, Instagram paid her out in a settlement of $10 million.
14. Sending the Wrong Message
Since they didn’t even have smartphones in their day and age, your grandparents also didn’t have to deal with texting and Siri. They picked up their land-line phone, wind-dialed a number, and had actual conversations without feeling like they had somewhere else to be. In this digital era, people are constantly sending messages on the go. They text while driving and cooking, all possible via voice texting applications. The only problem is that, while transcribing makes life super efficient and texting more convenient, it is not fool proof. What usually ends up happening is you’ll send a message that’s hard to understand, or even worse, filled with profanity and a completely different message you didn’t mean to send.
13. Getting Cropped Out of a Profile Photo
Because who likes being in a photo where just your left ear is showing? Your grandparents probably cropped people out of their black and white Polaroid pictures every now and then. I’m sure you have albums filled with tons of badly-taken 4×6 prints with people cropped off. The only difference is that those photos weren’t being viewed by hundreds of other people, real-time on Facebook or Instagram. Now, if someone posts a profile photo with half of your face cropped out, the whole world has the opportunity to see it. You might as well tag your ear or eye.
12. Bathroom Phone Convos
Who likes being in a public stall where the person in the stall next door is taking a serious dump? The slight sounds of controlled straining, the ker-plock of a splashing log, the stench reaching your taste buds. Now, you can have this experience multiple times a week without even knowing it via your loveable smartphone. Well, I guess you might pick up on some clues if the person sounds extra echo-y or if you hear the sound of a loud flush in the background. But your grandparents really didn’t have to deal with this kind of situation in their day.
11. Getting Unfriended
Now you see me, and now you don’t. That’s what happens when someone de-friends you on Facebook. You were once able to see their profile posts and activity via your news feed, and now it looks like you were never friends to begin with. It’s a 50/50 chance that either you did it and don’t even remember, or it was the other person who de-friended you. In your grandparents’ day and age, this situation would never happen. They’d keep faking a relationship or just completely disassociate with someone they didn’t like. They didn’t have to deal with the emotional effects of knowing they were de-friended by someone they thought they had a pretty sweet relationship with.
10. Accidental Skyping or Facetiming
Your grandparents didn’t have the option to Webex their way into a meeting while working remotely. With such luxury comes some inconvenience, particularly if you forget to cover the camera hole with a sticky note. The video settings in your Webex might be set to automatically turn on and anyone in the meeting would see you upon entry, which might be a terrible thing if you’re not necessarily groomed. And then we’ve all witnessed an online meeting where that one person forgets to mute their microphone and all you hear in the background is barking or, even worse, an argument.
9. Vaccination Debates
In the 40s, the only vaccines that were available to children in the states where the DTP and Smallpox vaccines. Today, children receive a plethora of vaccines every two months in the first months of their lives and then every year thereafter. Although vaccines are all thanks to scientific advancements, there has been much recent debate about whether or not they may actually cause some potential harm and serious other side effects in children. You’ve got the super conservatives who will skip as many vaccines as possible, claiming that they cause autism and other cognitive disorders. Then, you’ve got the camp that supports scientifically studied and medically recommended methods. Regardless of whether or not you decide to vaccinate your kids, you’ll still get a mouthful from someone on the opposing side.
8. Seeing Inappropriate Ads Everywhere
Granted, I’m sure there were inappropriate billboard ads of other sorts in their times, but those were nothing compared to the spam pop-up ads that are all over the internet these days. And if you’re on a PC rather than a Macbook, you’re probably more likely to get exposed to even raunchier ads. And regardless of how innocent a Google image search, there’s always that one provocative photo that seeps its way into the results, making you wish you’d never seen it in the first place. With people more open about what they post online, our generation is more susceptible to seeing uncensored images.
7. Signing Up for Fake Sweepstakes
What’s worse than giving out all of your private information to a spam site? Actually getting a call from that spam site saying that you’ve won a fake vacation to your dream paradise of choice. All you’ve got to do is hand over your credit card information, your social security number, and then sign a 25-page “fine print” contract. Luckily for them, your parents didn’t have to deal with identity theft issues and credit card hacks weren’t problems they had to deal with. Today, statistics show that there are at least 15 million victims of identity theft every year. Yikes!
6. Catching Pokemon in Awkward Places
Your grandparents didn’t have to deal with seeing hot spots and major attractions overpopulated with young adults glued to their smartphones and trying to catch Pokemon. In fact, they probably don’t even know what Pokemon are. Nowadays, if you happen to see a teenager climbing over a dumpster, there’s a slight possibility that it’s because of this popular app that’s taken over their sanity. I’ve actually witnessed this first-hand. Kids these days have no shame for the love of their games. They’ll approach a random stranger and aim at even the most inappropriate places just to catch the Pokemon they’ve been waiting for.
5. Dating Someone Who Looks Nothing Like What You Expected
Your grandparents didn’t even have the option of engaging in online dating sites like Match.com. Now, people of all ages are hooking up online and with this comes some obvious problems. For example, you can never be too sure that you’re actually ‘mingling’ with a thirty-something-year-old professional looking for love. Also, with technologies like Photoshop, anyone could crop their face into a Kim Kardashian figure when in reality, they’re 180 pounds and not even close to average-looking. This is okay if you’re not into looks anyway, but will come as a bit of a disappointment when you actually meet in person.
4. Too Many Starbucks Options to Choose From
Our grandparents lived in such a simple world where there weren’t a plethora of options for everything imaginable. Back when Starbucks first started, your options were just between either whole or skim milk. Now, with all of the health frenzy, you can make your coffee completely dairy-free by substituting with your choice of soy, almond, or coconut as well. You can even tell the barista exactly how much milk, sugar, or foam you’d like as well. And if you’re not up-to-date with the latest options, be prepared to be asked several questions when you’re up to order, such as “With or without whipped cream?” Luckily for us, more options make the process more complicated.
3. Ruthless Kids
Sure, kids have always been naughty and it’s not like they were perfect in our grandparents’ generation… but nowadays, they straight up have no shame about what they say to anyone. There’s no concept of respecting the elderly (well, perhaps this still exists in other countries and cultures). But our grandparents were raised with the mentality that with the freedom to express whatever is on your mind comes great responsibility. There were always consequences for anything and everything you say. Nowadays, kids can get away with saying just about anything to anyone they want. Kids these days are much more irresponsible in general when it comes to expressing themselves.
2. Stalking Random Strangers for Hours
Our grandparents certainly didn’t do any of the virtual stalkings that everyone does these days via Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. Nowadays, it’s totally normal to sit in front of your computer and watch someone on Youtube do nothing but eat. Yes, if you don’t want to eat alone, you can pull up a channel and watch someone eat with you. They won’t interact or respond to you, but you’ll be entertained while eating. And if you really like a specific YouTuber, you can subscribe to their vlogs where they just record their daily routines. You can also stalk a friend on Facebook or Instagram without them ever knowing it. And you wouldn’t feel awkward doing it either because everyone does it these days.
1. Texting the Wrong Person
You gotta give technology a hand for making life more convenient, right? Unless you’re just in such a rush all the time that you accidentally send a text to the wrong person. It can so easily happen, especially if you’ve been texting both people simultaneously. Just make sure you don’t accidentally rant about your boss to your boss. Or reveal that you’re not wearing anything to your mom or dad. The worse part is it’s impossible to undo or delete emails and texts after they’ve already been sent. All you can wish for is that the other person doesn’t open and read what you sent.
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