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upworthy
Pop Culture

77 percent of Gen Xers want to go back to the pre-internet days. Here are 9 things we miss.

Gen X wants to go back more than anyone.

gen x nostalgia, millennial nostalgia, 1990s

A box full of casette tapes.

A new Harris poll reported by Fast Company found that older Millennials and Gen Xers are the age group that would most like to return to a time before the internet and smartphones. Seventy-seven percent of Americans aged 35 to 54 wanted to return to the pre-internet era compared to 63% of those aged 18 to 34 and 60% of those over 55.

What’s interesting about the poll was that regardless of age, more people wanted to return to a simpler time when we weren’t connected 24/7. It’s like we ran headfirst into a technological revolution without considering whether we should. Now, we have some regrets.

That’s why it’s not shocking that multiple scientific studies had found that today’s mental health crisis just happens to coincide with the adoption of smartphone technology.


There have been a lot of gains that humanity has made since the dawn of the internet. But there have also been a lot of sacrifices. A lot of the things we’ve lost have been those that made us happy and carefree.

Here are 9 things that people miss about the pre-internet world.

Less exposure to negativity

The psychological concept of negativity bias shows us that the human mind is obsessed with focusing on adversity at the expense of the positive, creating an unbalanced worldview. The internet age exposes us to a barrage of constant negativity, whether that’s crazy comments on social media, a steady diet of negative stories from the news media or continuous coverage of a political climate that’s become more divisive and adversarial.

We didn't have to defend our sanity from being exposed to this level of anger and fear in the pre-internet era.

Living for the moment, not the like

It seems that many activities people engage in these days aren’t for the experience in and of itself but for the opportunity to take a photo and share it on social media. But there’s a big difference between enjoying the moment and filming it. When 20,000 phones go up because everyone wants to get a video of Taylor Swift singing “Anti-Hero,” are those people really enjoying the moment or missing it because they’re focused on documenting it to share on Facebook later that night?

No 24-hour news cycle

The 24-hour news cycle started in 1980 when CNN launched on cable TV networks nationwide. But that seems like the Stone Age compared to today when people obsess over the news and follow it as it happens on social media, especially Twitter. While staying informed is important, things have gone out of balance, leading people to be addicted to the news. Studies show that people who obsessively follow the news are more likely to suffer from stress, anxiety and physical ill health.

Further, in the world of social media, we don’t just follow the news; as we comment, like, and share stories, we help disseminate it, making it part of our social identities.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could go back to turning on the national news at 6:30 pm every night, finding out what’s happening in the world in 30 minutes and then turning it off until the next day?

Physical music

It seems that people’s attitudes toward music have really changed in the streaming era. In the pre-streaming era, it cost $12.99 for a new CD or a vinyl LP, but you cherished it more. You were invested in the music.

“With streaming, things were starting to become quite throwaway and disposable,” Finlay Shakespeare, a musician and audio engineer, told The Guardian. “If I didn’t gel with an album or an artist’s work at first, I tended not to go back to it.” But music as an art form is designed to grow on people after multiple listens. How many CDs have you bought that you didn’t like at first, and then after three or four listens, it really grew on you?

Privacy

Ever have one of those nights where you went out with your friend or significant other and asked them not to "post that we’re here”? You may have fibbed with other people about your plans and didn’t want to get caught by posting about it online. That’s the world we live in today. It’s easy for anyone to know almost anything about you and how to get in touch. It’s not just because we post things on social media; there are countless databases online where people can learn almost anything about you.

It’s a far cry from living in the ‘80s when the only way to know about someone was if they appeared in the newspaper or the phonebook. Now, if someone wants to find you, they can, and it’s a little scary.

Photographs

These days people take hundreds, maybe thousands of photos every year, many of which they never look at. Before smartphones, every photo you took was precious, and it could take up to two weeks to get developed by the Fotomat. Today's technology makes taking pictures and sharing them with friends much easier. But how many do we actually print out and frame in our homes? Even though we have all of these photos, they are all trapped in a digital vault, and maybe, just one day, we’ll frame a few.

Focus

When was the last time you felt you could spend two hours working on something uninterrupted without being distracted by a text, ping, Slack message, Facebook update, SPAM call, pop-up on your computer monitor, or a compelling desire to stop what you’re doing and scroll through Twitter? If someone from 1995 were frozen in time and woke up with today’s level of distraction and digital harassment, they’d probably run to go live in the forest. But, like frogs in water that are slowly coming to a boil, the change has been so gradual that we didn’t realize that we were creating a world where focus now comes at a premium.

Less comparison

Social media has taken social comparisons to a whole new level. As humans, we naturally compare ourselves to our peers, whether looking up at those doing better or down at those who don’t seem to be faring so well. But in the age of social media, we see a constant stream of people getting to do the things we wish we were doing and buying the things we wish we had. They’re on vacation while we’re at work. They have a new house, and we’re in an apartment. Their kids are excelling at sports and ours will barely leave the house.

The problem is that social media presents a funhouse mirror view of other people’s lives because they only tend to share complimentary things. You don’t hear about people’s financial problems, marriage difficulties, or see if their kids get bad grades. You only see the good stuff.

In-person shopping

The poll that kicked off this article stated that 77% of those between the ages of 35 and 54 would like to return to an era before smartphones and the internet. That was a time when if you wanted a new shirt, you had to go to the mall to buy one. Obviously, with Amazon, things are so much easier now. But the world where we got our friends together and roamed the mall looking for a shirt and, along the way, bumped into our crushes and wolfed down a Cinnabon provided so many social opportunities that we’re missing out on these days. Convenience is great, but it’s no substitute for living.

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

Health

Her mother doesn't get why she's depressed. So she explains the best way she knows how.

Sabrina Benaim eloquently describes what it's like to be depressed.

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother."

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother" is pretty powerful on its own.

But, in it, her mother exhibits some of the most common misconceptions about depression, and I'd like to point out three of them here.

Misconception #1: Depression is triggered by a single event or series of traumatic events.

empathy, human condition, humanity

Depression isn’t just over sleeping.

Most people think depression is triggered by a traumatic event: a loved one dying, a job loss, a national tragedy, some THING. The truth is that depression sometimes just appears out of nowhere. So when you think that a friend or loved one is just in an extended bad mood, reconsider. They could be suffering from depression.

Misconception #2: People with depression are only sad.

family, parents, mom, anxiety

The obligation of anxiety.

Most people who have never experienced depression think depression is just an overwhelming sadness. In reality, depression is a complex set of feelings and physical changes in the body. People who suffer from depression are sad, yes, but they can also be anxious, worried, apathetic, and tense, among other things.

Misconception #3: You can snap out of it.

button poetry, medical condition, biological factors

Making fun plans not wanting to have fun.

The thing with depression is that it's a medical condition that affects your brain chemistry. It has to do with environmental or biological factors first and foremost. Sabrina's mother seems to think that if her daughter would only go through the motions of being happy that then she would become happy. But that's not the case. Depression is a biological illness that leaks into your state of being.

Think of it this way: If you had a cold, could you just “snap out of it"?

No? Exactly.

empathy, misconceptions of depression, mental health

Mom doesn’t understand.

via Button Poetry/YouTube

These are only three of the misconceptions about depression. If you know somebody suffering from depression, you should take a look at this video here below to learn the best way to talk to them:

This article originally appeared on 11.24.15

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

Pop Culture

A comic about wearing makeup goes from truthful to weird in 4 panels.

A hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

A comic shows the evolution or devolution from with makeup to without.

Even though I don't wear very much makeup, every few days or so SOMEONE...

(friends, family, internet strangers)

...will weigh in on why I "don't need makeup."


Now, I realize this is meant as a compliment, but this comic offers a hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

social norms, social pressure, friendship, self esteem

“Why do you wear so much makeup?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

passive aggressive, ego, confidence, beauty

“See, you look pretty without all that makeup on."

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

expectations, beauty products, mascara, lipstick

“Wow you look tired, are you sick?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

lizards, face-painting, hobbies, hilarious comic

When I shed my human skin...

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

Not everyone is able to turn into a badass lizard when someone asks about their face-painting hobbies. Don't you kinda wish you could? Just to drive this hilarious comic all the way home, here are four reasons why some women* wear makeup:

*Important side note: Anyone can wear makeup. Not just women. True story.

Four reasons some women* wear makeup:

1. Her cat-eye game is on point.

mascara, eyes, confidence

Her cat-eye game is on point.

Via makeupproject.

2. She has acne or acne scars.

acne, cover up, scarring, medical health

She has acne or acne scars.

Via Carly Humbert.

3. Pink lipstick.

lipstick, beauty products, basics, self-expression

Yes, pink lipstick.

Via Destiny Godley

4. She likes wearing makeup.

appearance, enhancement, creative expression

Happy to be going out and feeling good.

Happy Going Out GIF by Much.

While some people may think putting on makeup is a chore, it can be really fun! For some, makeup is an outlet for creativity and self-expression. For others, it's just a way to feel good about themselves and/or enhance their favorite features.

That's why it feels kinda icky when someone says something along the lines of "You don't need so much makeup!" Now, it's arguable that no one "needs" makeup, but everyone deserves to feel good about the way they look.

For some people, feeling good about their appearance includes wearing makeup. And that's totally OK.


This article originally appeared on 05.28.15

Joy

Adorable 'Haka baby' dance offers a sweet window into Maori culture

Stop what you're doing and let this awesomeness wash over you.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.



The intensity of the haka is the point. It is meant to be a show of strength and elicit a strong response—which makes seeing a tiny toddler learning to do it all the more adorable.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Danny Heke, who goes by @focuswithdan on TikTok, shared a video of a baby learning haka and omigosh it is seriously the most adorable thing. When you see most haka, the dancers aren't smiling—their faces are fierce—so this wee one starting off with an infectious grin is just too much. You can see that he's already getting the moves down, facial expressions and all, though.

@focuswithdan When you grow up learning haka! #haka #teachthemyoung #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou #kapahaka ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

As cute as this video is, it's part of a larger effort by Heke to use his TikTok channel to share and promote Maori culture. His videos cover everything from the Te Reo Maori language to traditional practices to issues of prejudice Maori people face.

Here he briefly goes over the different body parts that make up haka:

@focuswithdan

♬ Ngati - Just2maori

This video explains the purerehua, or bullroarer, which is a Maori instrument that is sometimes used to call rains during a drought.

@focuswithdan Reply to @illumi.is.naughty Some tribes used this to call the rains during drought 🌧 ⛈ #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp ♬ Pūrerehua - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

This one shares a demonstration and explanation of the taiaha, a traditional Maori weapon.

@focuswithdan Reply to @shauncalvert Taiaha, one of the most formidable of the Māori Weaponry #taiaha #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

For another taste of haka, check out this video from a school graduation:

@focuswithdan When your little cuzzy graduates and her school honours her with a haka #maori #māori #haka #focuswithdan #fyp #graduation @its_keshamarley ♬ Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Ruanui - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

Heke even has some fun with the trolls and racists in the comments who try to tell him his culture is dead (what?).

@focuswithdan Credit to you all my AMAZING FOLLOWERS! #focuswithdan #maori #māori #followers #fyp #trolls ♬ original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

Unfortunately, it's not just ignorant commenters who spew racist bile. A radio interview clip that aired recently called Maori people "genetically predisposed to crime, alcohol, and underperformance," among other terrible things. (The host, a former mayor of Auckland, has been let go for going along with and contributing to the caller's racist narrative.)

@focuswithdan #newzealand radio in 2021 delivering racist commentaries 🤦🏽‍♂️ #māori #maori #focuswithdan #racism DC: @call.me.lettie2.0 ♬ original sound - luna the unicow

That clip highlights why what Heke is sharing is so important. The whole world is enriched when Indigenous people like the Maori have their voices heard and their culture celebrated. The more we learn from each other and our diverse ways of life, the more enjoyable life on Earth will be and the better we'll get at collaborating to confront the challenges we all share.


This article originally appeared on 01.28.21