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Pop Culture

9 of the craziest internet trends that are long forgotten

RIP, custom cursors.

2000s internet trends, early internet trends, ask reddit

Somewhere out there, a Neopet is still hungry.

As an elder millennial, I remember when the internet was completely uncharted territory. So many new things to discover and try out, with seemingly zero rules. The World Wide Web truly was the Wild Wild West, and we were its brave internet explorers.

With the ferocious speed at which information travels through social media today, we’ve become accustomed to internet trends simply coming and going. So much so that we’ve probably forgotten a few gems that were once considered the “it” thing.

Remember the unparalleled joys of making your Neopet happy? Or the instant self-esteem boost you’d get upon seeing that website hit counter go up on the bottom corner of your virtual masterpiece? (Remember, we didn’t have “likes” to lean on during this dark period.) These are just a few relics of a not-so-distant past—once cherished, but now buried in antiquity.

One Reddit user recently asked: “What’s something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?” and people’s answers were a wild nostalgia ride. Use this list for a stroll down memory lane, or to confound a Gen Z friend. Either way, it’s a bit of idle fun—something the internet will always be a good source for.

Without further ado, here are 9 of the weirdest internet trends no one remembers:


1. Downloading custom cursor effects for your computer

via GIPHY

Ah yes, who wants to see a boring arrow move around their screen when they can pretend to wave fairy dust around? Or rainbows, or snowflakes, or bubbles, for that matter. There really was something magically cathartic about animated cursors. Sure they were riddled with bugs, but sometimes that’s the price you pay for a little whimsy, right?

“I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber.” –@TW1103

2. Pre-Google search engines

before google, alternative search engines

One engine to search them all....

Giphy

Wow, hard to imagine a time when googling wasn’t an actual word. Believe it or not, kids, it used to be anything goes when looking up obscure movie trivia or long lost recipes.

Each search engine site had its own personality—Alta Vista chose a no frills approach, Dogpile offered a (never funny) joke of the day, and Ask Jeeves featured a savvy valet based on a character in a novel series by P.G. Wodehouse, ready to quench all curiosities that came in the form of a question.

Many of these separate quirks were quite revolutionary and, though eventually swallowed up by Google’s widespread success, have clearly inspired much of its overall format. Sure, other search engines do still exist, but I think we can all agree that Google reigns supreme.

3. AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)

via GIPHY

Hulu’s “PEN15,” which centers around two middle schoolers in the early 2000s, nailed everything about AOL chat rooms with accuracy—from the cringeworthy screen names, to the melodramatic away messages, to the obnoxious login sound that had a Pavlovian effect on teens, bringing their eyes involuntarily to the screen. It’s pure gold.

Of course, there are some aspects of AIM that might be best forgotten—primarily the dangerous way in which teenagers were easily exploited.

“I was 14 but playing a 17 year old because 17 was very “grown up” to me, but I didn’t feel it was enough of an age gap for the lie to be exposed.” –@KayleighJK

"I was 13 pretending I was 18 on AOL chat rooms. I was exposed to too much at a young age. Imagine if I said my actual age" –@Chickeneggsandlegs

4. Flash games

early internet games

Got Flash?

Giphy

Flash games—often free, super easy to play, and normally only required Adobe Flash. According to Comic Book Resources (CBR), one flash game in particular called “Club Penguin” was so well loved that when it shut down in 2017, “thousands of players logged on for the game's final moments, doing everything they could do in game before it was gone forever.”

5. Smart guestbooks

early internet trends

This was a nice one, for sure.

Giphy

Pretty straightforward, and a pretty sweet way to connect with people around the world. Visitors from all over could digitally “sign” and leave a personal message, usually things like “Hi I’m so-and-so and I really enjoyed your website, was a pleasure to browse.” See now nice that was? Not exactly like the aggressive Yelp reviews we’ve become accustomed to.

6. GeoCities

geocities

So few pixels, so little time.

Giphy

Into science fiction and fantasy? Head on over to “Area51.” More of a sports fan? Click on “Colosseum.” GeoCities offered virtual neighborhoods based on specific interests, all on sites filled with flashy graphics and some hot new thing called GIFs. This was a time when enthusiasm for the internet as a community-building and self-expression space was at an all-time high, even if looking back the execution was a tad rudimentary.

Though the days of GeoCities are gone, some remnants of its glory remain, like this.

7. Webrings

retro internet

In the B.A. (Before Algorithm) era.

Giphy

As MIC contributor Brittany Vincent so astutely put it, “Webrings are a forgotten antiquity of the past, a solution created to resolve a problem that no longer exists.” Back when websites were both expensive and limited—not to mention search engines hadn’t hit their stride—having a little box on the bottom of a site you were already on, one that revealed even more magical places you could visit based on the site you were currently on … well, that was the ultimate luxury.

“Oh man, if you stumbled upon* a web ring that you were interested in it was like gold. Bookmark! Not to be confused with StumbleUpon, that was later and also magical.” –DanAykroydFanClub

Which brings us to…

8. StumbleUpon

ask reddit

Who knows where you'll stumble?

Giphy

Back in the day, the internet wasn’t such an all-knowing entity feeding off of algorithms. Endless exploring through obscurity was part of the fun. No better example of this exists than StumbleUpon, where visitors would click a button and land somewhere else at complete random. It was a game of internet roulette. And it was thrilling.

9. Poking on Facebook

early internet trends

Hey...still here...

Giphy

Sometimes, internet imitates life. This was the case with Facebook’s “poke” feature, where users could click a button to remind another user of their existence. Was it rather pointless? Yes. Was it intrusive? Also yes. Regardless, it was all the rage.

Like many of Facebook's features, “pokes” could disappear in the barrage of notifications, which could result in less than ideal realizations.

“I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back.” –@Klaus0225

internet trends

It's web surfin' time!

Giphy

Sure, today’s technology is faster, more efficient and far reaching, but we’ll always have a spot in our hearts for the early internet’s wonky charm. Sort of like those old yearbook photos…

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Woman refuses to change seats for mom and kids

Traveling with preteens and teens is a breeze in comparison to traveling with little ones but as a parent you still want to sit near your kiddos in case they need you for anything. If you've traveled on an airline in the last several years, you know it's much cheaper to chose the basic seats in the main cabin.

There's nothing different about these particular seats other than the airline sort of randomly selects your seat and if you're traveling alone, that's really not a bad deal. The risk gets to be a little higher if you're traveling with a party that you'd like to keep together - like your children. One mom took the risk and banked on a stranger accommodating...that's not quite how it played out.


People sit in the wrong seats on planes all the time, usually because they read their ticket wrong or accidentally sit one row ahead. Takes no time to double check your ticket and move along, but when Tammy Nelson did a double take at her ticket after seeing the mom in her window seat, she realized she wasn't mistakenly staring at the wrong row.

This mom boarded the plane with her older children and had taken it upon herself to sit in the same row as her children, essentially commandeering a stranger's seat. Nelson assumed it was a mistake and informed the woman that the seat was in fact hers but the response she received was surprising.

"She said, 'Oh, you want to sit here?'," Nelson tells Good Morning America. "She said, 'Oh, well I just thought I could switch with you because these are my kids.'"

That's an interesting assumption when seats are assigned and many people, like Nelson, pay extra to have the seat they prefer. Now, there's no telling if funds were tight and this was an unplanned trip for the mom and kids which caused her to buy the more budget friendly tickets or if she was simply being frugal and was banking on the kindness of a stranger.

Either way, Nelson specifically paid for a window seat due to motion sickness and though she paid extra, she was willing to sit in the other row if that seat was also a window seat. But it turns out, it was a middle seat.

Surely there's someone out there that loves the middle seat. Maybe a cold natured person that enjoys the body heat of two strangers sitting uncomfortably close. Or perhaps someone that doesn't mind accidentally sleeping on an unsuspecting passenger's shoulder. But that person isn't Nelson, so when the middle seat was offered in exchange for her bought and paid for window seat, she politely but sternly declined.

@myconquering

Having had only 90 minutes of sleep the night before and knowing I had to give a presentation to 500 people, I desperately needed some sleep, so I did not agree to switch seats. 🤷‍♀️ Before anyone comes after me… the kids looked like they were about 11 and 15 years old. And the mom was in arms-reach of both of them from the middle seat in the row behind us. The mom proceeded to complain for at least 15 minutes to the person next to her loud enough for me to hear. But the woman actually defended me – several times. It was so kind and I appreciated it so much because I was feeling really guilty. 🤦‍♀️ ##airplaneseat##seatswitching##airplanekarens

Her refusal to give in to the mom's seemingly entitled request for Nelson's seat has resulted in parents and child-fee people cheering her on after she posted the details on her TikTok page, MyCONQUERing. The video has over 3.4 million views.

"Nope. If it's not an upgrade it's a sacrifice," a commenter writes.

"You did the RIGHT thing. Folks need to plan their travel together. Lack of planning on their part does not constitute an inconvenience on yours," one person says.

"I have 3 kids and have sat in different rows when they were passed toddler age. I agree, book your flight earlier," another writes.

"You were right. As a woman with 3 children, I always pay extra so we're sat together," another mom says.

Nelson is also a mom so she knows how important it is to sit next to kids on flights. But since airlines have made that a luxury, as the parent, you have to plan to pay extra or accept that you likely won't be seated next to your children. Hopefully in the future, this unnamed mom is seated next to her children or pays extra to make sure it happens. In the meantime, people continue to support Nelson standing her ground.

This article originally appeared on 7.28.23

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Pop Culture

Simone Biles debunks misconceptions and assumptions about elite gymnasts

"I'm actually not very competitive at all…my goal is never to win—it just kind of happens."

Simone Biles sets the record straight on gymnastics myths.

Gymnastics is a somewhat unique sport in that the distance between the athletes at the top and the average person is far greater than in many other sports. Most people can run, just not as fast as Usain Bolt. Most people can dribble a ball and make some baskets, just not as well as Steph Curry. Most people can swim, but not nearly as well as Katie Ledecky.

But most people can't do a single flip on a balance beam or swing themselves over a bar once or do even the most basic gymnastics tumbling pass on the floor. Forget about the average person trying to fling themselves over a vault, much less do what Simone Biles or other elite gymnasts can do in any of those events.

Since few are able to do gymnastics at all and even fewer compete at the Olympic level, elite gymnasts are a curiosity for many. To help satisfy that curiosity, Simone Biles sat down with Glamour in 2021 and responded to some of the misconceptions and assumptions people have about top level gymnasts.


Biles, who will be competing with Team USA again in the 2024 Paris Olympic games, broke down the misconceptions into three categories: Sport, Lifestyle and Physique. Here are some highlights from her responses:

"Gymnastics is not a sport."

Umm, what? Biles said she hears this a lot, but pointed out that "every four years, everybody tunes in to watch gymnastics, so it's gotta be a sport at least."

Then she pointed out what makes it not only a sport, but one of the hardest sports in the world. "It's all sports combined in one," she said. "You can't just be fast, you have to have agility, you have to be able to jump, you have to be able to flip, memorize routines—it's kind of all-in-one."

"Gymnasts retire at an early age and have a short career."

At 27, Biles herself has defied the standard retirement age of elite gymnasts, so she may not be the one to come at with this. She pointed out that a lot of gymnasts get college scholarships and then retire around 22 or 23.

"You have to be rich to get into the sport, lessons are expensive."

Biles confirmed, "It is actually a very expensive sport. And it's also year-long. We don't have a season and then you can take a break. And you kind of have to train your whole life for it. So yes, it does get to be expensive.

"You can't start gymnastics later in life."

Biles shared that she started when she was almost 7, which is "late" in the elite gymnastics world. "Usually you start in 'mommy and me' classes or as soon as you can walk," she said.

"You can't be afraid of heights as a gymnast."

"You actually can," said Biles, 'but it doesn't affect you in the gym when you're flipping because you don't notice how high you are, so I feel like that one's sort of a myth." She added that her fear isn't a fear of falling from high up but a fear that she's going to jump from someplace high up. "I don't want to die, I just want to jump off," she said.

"They're not very nice and super competitive in all aspects of life."

"I'm actually not very competitive at all," Biles said. "In a gym or in a competition, my goal is never to win, it just kind of happens. But I also feel like whenever you're at the top everybody preys on your downfall, which is really strange to me."

She shared that her sister did gymnastics until she was around 17. While she was really good, she decided to quit because of the pressure and everyone compared her to her sister. When she would win competitions, people thought it wasn't fair that both sisters would win all the time, and she had enough of it.

"I feel like people also think gymnasts are really mean because most of the time we're so serious you don't get to see our personality," she added.

"All work and no play."

"Yes and no, I guess we can play after work," she said. "I've learned that I have to fuel myself outside of the gym too, whether that's hanging out with family, friends, going shopping or doing whatever. I still have to be happy at the end of the day without gymnastics."

"They have to wake up at 4:00 a.m."

"I don't wake up at 4:00 a.m. I wake up at like 6:15 just because we start practice at 7:00," she said, adding, "If I had to wake up at 4:00 I wouldn't go to the gym."

"They don't have time to take care of their mental health."

Biles shared that she goes to therapy. "I think it should be talked about a lot more, because it's not something to be ashamed or afraid of," she said. "Everybody has something that works for them and that's what I just found works for me."

"They have body image issues."

"I feel like that's not a misconception about gymnasts, I feel like that's everybody in general. Everybody struggles with body image issues, wanting to look different, thinking you're not skinny. I feel like that's everybody in life."

"You have to have a certain body type to do gymnastics."

"Back in the day, everybody had a more slim body and was really flexible and skinny," Biles said. "But now, you can be a little bit shorter and more powerful like me. So, I definitely think it's evolved. So I think that's false, as well."

"I feel like whatever your body type is you just have to be in shape to do gymnastics," she added. "I think it's different now. Everybody thought bar swingers were a little bit taller, leaner. And then if you're a tumbler, you're a little bit shorter and thicker. But now, it's been proven that you can kind of have both body types and do all of it. So, it's doesn't really make a difference anymore."

"They're very flexible."

"No, not all gymnast are flexible," said Biles. "Me and Aly Raisman, we're actually not that flexible for gymnasts because our muscles kind of overlap that. But, we're flexible enough to do what we have to do."

Watch the full video on Glamour's YouTube channel.

Here's how to be 30% more persuasive.

Everybody wants to see themselves in a positive light. That’s the key to understanding Jonah Berger’s simple tactic that makes people 30% more likely to do what you ask. Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the bestselling author of “Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way.”

Berger explained the technique using a Stanford University study involving preschoolers. The researchers messed up a classroom and made two similar requests to groups of 5-year-olds to help clean up.

One group was asked, "Can you help clean?" The other was asked, “Can you be a helper and clean up?" The kids who were asked if they wanted to be a “helper” were 30% more likely to want to clean the classroom. The children weren’t interested in cleaning but wanted to be known as “helpers.”


Berger calls the reframing of the question as turning actions into identities.

"It comes down to the difference between actions and identities. We all want to see ourselves as smart and competent and intelligent in a variety of different things,” Berger told Big Think. “But rather than describing someone as hardworking, describing them as a hard worker will make that trait seem more persistent and more likely to last. Rather than asking people to lead more, tell them, 'Can you be a leader?' Rather than asking them to innovate, can you ask them to 'Be an innovator'? By turning actions into identities, you can make people a lot more likely to engage in those desired actions.”

Berger says that learning to reframe requests to appeal to people’s identities will make you more persuasive.

“Framing actions as opportunities to claim desired identities will make people more likely to do them,” Berger tells CNBC Make It. “If voting becomes an opportunity to show myself and others that I am a voter, I’m more likely to do it.”

This technique doesn’t just work because people want to see themselves in a positive light. It also works for the opposite. People also want to avoid seeing themselves being portrayed negatively.

“Cheating is bad, but being a cheater is worse. Losing is bad, being a loser is worse,” Berger says.

The same tactic can also be used to persuade ourselves to change our self-concept. Saying you like to cook is one thing, but calling yourself a chef is an identity. “I’m a runner. I’m a straight-A student. We tell little kids, ‘You don’t just read, you’re a reader,’” Berger says. “You do these things because that’s the identity you hold.”

Berger’s work shows how important it is to hone our communication skills. By simply changing one word, we can get people to comply with our requests more effectively. But, as Berger says, words are magic and we have to use thgem skillfully. “We think individual words don’t really matter that much. That’s a mistake,” says Berger. “You could have excellent ideas, but excellent ideas aren’t necessarily going to get people to listen to you.”


This article originally appeared on 2.11.24

Ryan Reynolds at the "Deadpool 2" premiere in Japan.

“Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds shared a fascinating take on anxiety and parenting in an interview he did with Hugh Jackman for PEOPLE. He believes that instead of making it harder to be a parent, it’s made him more compassionate and present in the lives of his children.

Reynolds and actor Blake Lively have 4 children: James, 9, Inez, 7, and Betty, 4. They welcomed a fourth child in 2023, whose name and gender haven’t been revealed. Back in 2022, he told CBS News he had struggled with anxiety “my whole life.”

“Oh mate, you’ve been pretty open with your anxiety struggles, which I really applaud you for,” Jackman told Reynolds in the PEOPLE interview. “Do you find being a dad makes it better or worse?”

Reynolds said it makes him a better parent because he can relate to their anxious moments and respond compassionately.


“Now I love that I have anxiety, I love that I’ve had anxiety,” Reynolds said. “Because when I see my kids experiencing some of that—which is probably genetic—I know how to address it in a way that is compassionate, that actually allows them to feel seen in that anxiety. I know that I can’t just fix it. And I can communicate all that stuff to them and with them. So, I’m always kinda grateful for it.”

Ryan Reynolds & Hugh Jackman Interview Each Other | PEOPLEyoutu.be

He also said that parents need to share not just their wins but also their losses in life.

“I think Sean Levy actually told me something that stuck with me forever; its that people only talk about their wins, but I think it's really important for your kids in particular to know that you lose,” he shared. “You don’t get what you want all the time; something you worked on really hard didn’t work; you said something embarrassing today; you did something that didn’t sit right with you. It’s so important that they see that and they don’t just hear about ‘Oh dad nailed it,’ because you lose so much more than you win.”



For Reynolds, parenting is all about teaching through example.

"Part of it is that I have three daughters at home and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors and model what it's like to be sad and model what it's like to be anxious or angry. That there's space for all these things," he told PEOPLE in 2021. "The home that I grew in, that wasn't modeled for me really. And that's not to say that my parents were neglectful, but they come from a different generation."

Back in 2023, Reynolds talked publicly about his struggles with anxiety, saying that now and then, he feels like he’s spinning “out of control.” He added that he uses meditation to “take time” for himself.

Reynolds’ story shows that even though he has anxiety, he's turned it into a positive by using his struggles to enrich the lives of others. The pain of anxiety has taught him a valuable lesson in compassion that he can pass on to his children.

American sales people making deals happen.

Americans are known as some of the best salespeople in the world. The country has been the home of some of the most influential business communicators of all time, like Steve Jobs of Apple or filmmaker Walt Disney. America is also the birthplace of people who became legends for their ability to excite people with their incredible, audacious promotional skills, such as P.T. Barnum or Muhammad Ali.

There’s also a dark side to the uniquely American gift of gab. Americans have the reputation of being masters of BS. Hunter S. Thompson, a writer with a fondness for exaggeration, once referred to America as a “nation of 220 million used car salesmen.”

An X user named Alz, born in Hong Kong, was curious about why Americans are so great at sales, presenting ideas, and (less favorably) BS-ing than people in other countries. The tweet went viral, receiving over 1.4 million views. Nearly everyone agreed that Americans are the world's best salespeople, but there were many different answers to why.


“Why are Americans, on average, so incredibly good at presenting/selling/ (you could uncharitably call it) BS-ing? Is it something about early/middle/high school education? Culture? Parents teaching their kids?” Alz asked.

“I troll, but this is an incredibly important skill, and for some reason observationally, America, which has an early education system few are generally jealous of, seems to systematically produce ppl with a much higher distribution of presentation ability than anywhere else,” Alz continued.

Some respondents believe Americans are great at sales because so many work in the service sector. Over the past 50 years, globalization has altered the labor landscape, with many jobs moving from manufacturing to the service sector. Thus, Americans have learned to place a significant value on those who can communicate one-on-one, such as people who work in hospitality, retail, or personal training.

Others believe Americans have the gift of gab because its education system highly values communication skills, which are favorable in the business world. However, some believe this emphasis comes at the expense of STEM skills, which are seen as more important in other countries.

Many people think Americans are great communicators because it's crucial to be able to sell and persuade in a competitive, free-market capitalist system. If you aren’t able to sell the goods and services you provide and produce, then it doesn’t matter if you’re in business at all. Further, American business culture is also seen as more relationship-based than in other countries, where buying and selling is merely transactional.

It could be that it’s all part of a culture that values openness and confidence which bleeds over into other aspects of American life. Persuasion and sales come a lot more naturally to people who've been raised with zero fear of calling attention to themselves. Outside the business world, Americans are also seen as friendly in social situations and have no problem engaging in small talk with strangers. Americans’ extroverted nature can sometimes shock people who travel to the U.S. on vacation.

Or, it could be that Americans just have a ‘rizz that’s the envy of the world.