+
upworthy
Culture

A note to the gym owner offering free memberships to people who refuse to get the vaccine

A note to the gym owner offering free memberships to people who refuse to get the vaccine

Dear Ian Smith, owner of The Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey:

I see that you are offering free memberships to your gym for anyone who refuses to get a COVID vaccine. In a Twitter post, you wrote, "In light of Krispy Kreme giving free donuts for receiving the CVD shot, here at The Atilis Gym we are giving out free memberships to all who don't get vaccinated. We believe in health — the real way — exercise, good diet, plenty of Vitamin D, Zinc, and an environment to destress."

First of all, I'm totally with you on the "believing in health" front. I eat well, focusing on a good balance of fruits and vegetables, healthy carbs and protein. I buy collagen powder sourced from grass-fed cows and eat as much organic produce as we can afford. I exercise six days a week, a mix of HIIT and pilates and strength training and yoga. I take vitamins, including a focus on Vitamin D and Zinc during the pandemic. I'm conscious of my stress levels, which is part of why I exercise. I also practice meditation and make sure I get outdoors for sunshine and fresh air.

I believe in a natural, holistic approach to health. I believe in keeping my body's systems and functions in tip-top shape.

I also believe that in no way conflicts with getting the COVID vaccine.


Keeping our immune systems strong is important. But even a robust immune system isn't foolproof. That's why we see a small but real percentage of young and healthy people die from the flu every year, and why we've seen young and healthy people die from COVID. While rare, having a strong immune system can actually backfire on a healthy person, revving up so much that it creates a "cytokine storm" where the immune system starts attacking things it shouldn't.

And this particular coronavirus appears quite adept at deranging people's immune systems. It's not as simple as "strong immune system = successfully fighting off the virus." Maintaining our body systems is important, but COVID infection isn't a result of weakened bodily systems. It's a foreign invader.

Part of a holistic approach to health is utilizing modern medicine when it makes sense. We've seen 545,000 Americans die from COVID and millions more sickened by it. Some have ongoing health problems from the infection. These are known risks, and there's still a lot that we don't know about the long-term effects. While COVID vaccines are new, the risks are statistically far, far lower than with the virus.

Think of it this way: The COVID vaccine is like a personal trainer for your immune system, prepping it for a specific event. If you're preparing to compete in a decathlon, you could exercise and eat well and hope your general being-in-shape will suffice, but you probably won't do all that well. You might be incredibly strong or have great endurance, but to actually be competitive in a decathlon, you need to prepare and train and hone your strength and skills for those 10 specific events. That's what the vaccine does. It trains and preps your immune system specifically for a COVID competition.

Therefore, I see no conflict whatsoever between keeping your body healthy and getting the COVID vaccine.

If you disagree, that's your prerogative, but what you're doing isn't just about you. I'm all for people having the autonomy to make their own choices, but encouraging people not to get the vaccine is a ludicrous move. Not only does it not make sense on a personal level for the reasons I just laid out, but it's grossly irresponsible on a societal level. (Especially considering the hotbeds of infection gyms and fitness classes can be.)

Vaccinations aren't just about an individual's protection, but about stopping the spread so the virus won't keep mutating in deadlier ways and keep infecting people who are genuinely at high risk. A pandemic is a group event, literally. Imagine being on a sports team and deciding that you don't need to train with your teammates because you feel like you've already got your position covered. Only in this case, the team sport has long-term disease and death as potential consequences of losing. Doesn't that seem like a terrible attitude?

One last point: If optimal health is as important to you as it is to me, I question why you would risk it on a virus that we know can result in ongoing health problems, even for people with mild symptoms. More and more evidence shows that long-haul COVID patients often have initially mild cases of the disease, but are still dealing with various symptoms months after their infection. Two common long-haul symptoms are breathlessness and fatigue—which would certainly make trying to work out a real drag, if not impossible. Doctors still don't know why that's happening, but even if you survive and don't get severely ill, you still could be impacting your health by catching the virus.

It seems pretty clear that being a model of health would include getting the vaccine that trains your body to fight the virus that could damage your health. Yes, absolutely keep those bodily systems in good shape and take care of your overall health, but to rely on that to fight the virus is like heading into a decathlon with no training. It simply doesn't make sense.

Sincerely,

Someone who eats well, exercises, takes my vitamins, and thinks you're dead wrong
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

Education

A boy told his teacher she can't understand him because she's white. Her response is on point.

'Be the teacher America's children of color deserve, because we, the teachers, are responsible for instilling empathy and understanding in the hearts of all kids. We are responsible for the future of this country.'

Photo by John Pike. Used with permission.

Emily E. Smith is no ordinary teacher.



Fifth-grade teacher Emily E. Smith is not your ordinary teacher.

She founded The Hive Society — a classroom that's all about inspiring children to learn more about their world ... and themselves — by interacting with literature and current events. Students watch TED talks, read Rolling Stone, and analyze infographics. She even has a long-distance running club to encourage students to take care of their minds and bodies.

Smith is such an awesome teacher, in fact, that she recently received the 2015 Donald H. Graves Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing.


It had always been her dream to work with children in urban areas, so when Smith started teaching, she hit the ground running. She had her students making podcasts, and they had in-depth discussions about their readings on a cozy carpet.

But in her acceptance speech for her award, she made it clear that it took a turning point in her career before she really got it:

"Things changed for me the day when, during a classroom discussion, one of my kids bluntly told me I "couldn't understand because I was a white lady." I had to agree with him. I sat there and tried to speak openly about how I could never fully understand and went home and cried, because my children knew about white privilege before I did. The closest I could ever come was empathy."

Smith knew that just acknowledging her white privilege wasn't enough.

She wanted to move beyond just empathy and find a way to take some real action that would make a difference for her students.

She kept the same innovative and engaging teaching methods, but she totally revamped her curriculum to include works by people who looked like her students. She also carved out more time to discuss issues that her students were facing, such as xenophobia and racism.

And that effort? Absolutely worth it.

As she said in her acceptance speech:

"We studied the works of Sandra Cisneros, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Gary Soto, with the intertwined Spanish language and Latino culture — so fluent and deep in the memories of my kids that I saw light in their eyes I had never seen before."

The changes Smith made in her classroom make a whole lot of sense. And they're easy enough for teachers everywhere to make:

— They studied the work of historical Latino figures, with some of the original Spanish language included. Many children of color are growing up in bilingual households. In 2007, 55.4 million Americans 5 years of age and older spoke a language other than English at home.

— They analyzed the vision of America that great writers of color sought to create. And her students realized that our country still isn't quite living up to its ideals. Despite progress toward racial equality with the end of laws that enforced slavery or segregation, we still have a long way to go. Black people still fare worse than white people when it comes to things like wealth, unfair arrests, and health.

— They read excerpts from contemporary writers of color, like Ta-Nehisi Coates who writes about race. Her students are reading and learning from a diverse group of writers. No small thing when they live in a society that overwhelmingly gives more attention to white male writers (and where the number of employees of color in the newspaper industry stagnates at a paltry 12%).

— They read about the Syrian crisis, and many students wrote about journeys across the border in their family history for class. The opportunity particularly struck one student; the assignment touched him so much that he cried. He never had a teacher honor the journey his family made. And he was proud of his heritage for the first time ever. "One child cried," Smith shared, "and told me he never had a teacher who honored the journey his family took to the United States. He told me he was not ashamed anymore, but instead proud of the sacrifice his parents made for him."

Opportunities like this will only increase as the number of children from immigrant families is steadily increasing. As of 2013, almost 17.4 million children under 18 have at least one immigrant parent.

Smith now identifies not just as an English teacher, but as a social justice teacher.

ethnicity, responsibility, empathy

Teaching in a racially and ethnically diverse world.

Photo by John Pike. Used with permission.

Smith's successful shift in her teaching is an example for teachers everywhere, especially as our schools become increasingly ethnically and racially diverse. About 80% of American teachers are white. But as of last year, the majority of K-12 students in public schools are now children of color.

As America's demographics change, we need to work on creating work that reflects the experiences that our students relate to. And a more diverse curriculum isn't just important for students of color. It's vital for everyone.

As Smith put it, "We, the teachers, are responsible for instilling empathy and understanding in the hearts of all kids. We are responsible for the future of this country."


This article originally appeared on 12.07.15

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.

popular

Men are asked what secrets they keep from their spouses, and the answers are surprising

A rare glimpse of what actually gets bottled up inside.

two men smiling near trees

Men sometimes get labeled as the gender more likely to keep secrets for selfish, manipulative purposes. But just as often, men might keep certain things to themselves due to the effects of gender norms: wanting to hide insecurities to appear strong for their families, hoping to shield their partners from hurt, not feeling safe to show emotion, and so on.

Reddit user Teen_dream91 recently asked: “What, if anything, are you unable or unwilling to share fully openly and honestly about yourself with your spouse?” and the answers are a prime example of this.

These long kept secrets—some hilarious, others heartbreaking—a rare candid glimpse into exactly what many men feel compelled to keep bottled up inside.

Check them out below:


“I keep the ceiling fan on at night because she farts in her sleep and it's so bad it wakes me up.” JackassWhisperer

"When I go grocery shopping, i often buy a fresh rotisserie chicken thigh for myself, and wolf it down on a parkbench on my way home like a homeless caveman. I have no idea why, but it's my little me-time ritual." -Sternsson

"My self-doubt is something I conceal. I strive to be her rock and revealing my vulnerabilities seems counterproductive." -AdhesivenessGlass978

"When she asks to go out with her girlfriends or away on an overnight with some friends, she thinks I’m upset I’m not included. In reality, I’m praising the lord for a day or two alone."Bobo_Baggins03x

men's health

A man sitting on the couch, alone.

Photo credit: Canva

"While I love my spouse deeply, I struggle to fully share my childhood traumas. The memories are painful and sometimes I feel like shielding her from that darkness."Slight_Policy3133

"My child (18 months) is legitimately well behaved, compliant, and enjoyable to be around when she’s not in the home and it’s just he and I. When she’s around he’s combative, whiney, rude, and a little terror."D00deitstyler


"Deep down, I really just want to be lazy.I don’t want to go to work, or cook that much, or change the bedding every week, or find part time income streams… Like, in my heart, I just want to lounge about, get a bit drunk and read books or watch youtube videos. I do as much as possible so that she’s comfortable and happy but don’t want to admit that I don’t really WANT to do anything useful."
-LeutzschAKS

"The sheer amount of stress I'm under. I do share, but I can't articulate how bad it is." -Herald_of_dooom

“Sometimes the things she says to me in arguments break my heart.” -justVinnyZee

men's psychology

A woman looking at a man with his eyes closed.

Photo credit: Canva

"I served in Iraq and lost my leg. As a result I have severe PTSD…A couple of years after I got out I met my wife. She is an Iraqi Lady and has helped me through the best and worst times. She's given me beautiful children and a reason to carry on. However…her parents moved from Iraq before she was born. Every time I go to her parents house or there is a wedding on her side of the family I attend whilst suffering in silence. Sweaty palms, heart palpitations, shredding feeling where my leg was etc. It drove me to be extremely disrespectful by secretly carrying a hip flask with spirits and cocaine in as it just took the edge off and made it all manageable. Her parents are extremely religious and alcohol and drugs of any kind are heavily frowned upon and banned from the house.The worst is going to her parents house as so much of the decorations reminds me of the house I got dragged into after stepping on an IED. I keep this hidden because what can I do? Make her choose between family and me? Absolutely not. Prevent my kids from having grandparents and extended family? Absolutely not. My mental health and my foolish decisions at 16 are not going to be any form of potential wedge." -Greenlid_42

"That I sometimes buy $20 scratchers when I do the shopping and occasionally throw $60 at large Powerball/MegaMillions jackpots even tho I publicly say 'lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.' I do this because I like to dream of a day we don’t have to work and we can follow our passions." -wembley

"The fact that she wont let me put any of my hobby stuff (mostly miniatures and random knickknacks) in our shared spaces without it being in an approved location, meanwhile the entire house is her canvas for her aesthetic. Makes me feel really lonely and small sometimes and like she doesn't care. It's been a topic of conversation, she just doesn't get that delegating me a tiny shelf in her curio isn't the same as letting me actually decorate some." -Kimblethedwarf

“That she is bad at taking criticism, even about the most minor of things. And even saying so is itself a form of criticism she cannot handle. And this has very much hindered our ability to talk to each other.”Aechzen

men's health

A black-and-white photo of a mane and woman looking in opposite directions.

Photo credit: Canva

"I keep my regrets from her. I worry she’ll think less of me if she knew all my past mistakes."Suspicious-Factor362

“Literally anything that isn't within the realm of her personal interests. Otherwise, she makes it clear that she's not really interested in what interests me. Sometimes I do, because I can't keep everything to myself forever, but it just feels like I'm a child bothering their parents talking about how cool their toys are.” ChefBillyGoat

“I’m scared of not being able to provide a half decent life for her and my kids. Life’s getting so expensive and challenging.”Arent_they_all

men's psychology

A man in a suit with his head in his hands

Photo credit: Canva

"Sometimes, the food she cooks isn't great. I will never tell her this because she goes out of her way to cook, and I'm not ungrateful. I can live with bad food that night over her getting upset." -CaptainAwesome0912

"That if I speak to her the same way she speaks to me she would probably spend her whole day in tears. It’s definitely a case of “familiarity breeds contempt” as she does not speak to any of her friends like this (who come over to help with furniture moving, for example), and occasionally it comes out with her family, but the unfettered torrent of complaints and abuse is reserved only for me, regardless of what I do. It’s like she looks for imperfections and mistakes just to point them out." -MusicusTitanicus

“How sad I am that my life isn't a grand adventure but a series of choices i made in order to be able to form and provide for a family…I know there's adventure and excitement to be had still, but I wanted to continue my family line. And dearly love my family. Anything available in that vein will come at cost to my wife and children. So I'm stuck playing rise through the ranks, build the better mouse trap and look good to the suites for another raise or step up the ladder. It's going well, but as it goes well it feels more hollow. I could become head honcho, or start my own enterprise and find massive success, it'd still all been to just provide. Collecting wealth is such a boring pursuit, I hate our society.”BodyRevolutionary167

men's health

A man with a beard looking out a window.

Photo credit: Canva

"I let the kids play Roblox beyond their allowed time." -chelhydra

"She's always in the way. If she's in the kitchen when I'm cooking, she's always standing in front of the next place I need to be. If I'm working outside, she's always in the next place I'm going to go. If I'm fixing something, she's always standing right in front of whatever I'm going to be working on next. If I'm trying to leave a room, she's always in the doorway. I realize she wants to spend time with me, but I really wish she'd just get out of the way when I'm doing something." -Lonecoon

"That when I’m not with her, I put ketchup on my hot dogs." -bipolarcyclops

men's psychology

Someone putting ketchup on a hot dog.

Photo credit: Canva

@tabathalynnk/TikTok, Photo credit: Canva

They've still got the moves

Ready to get transported back to the Decade of Decadence? Cause this wholesome new TikTok trend is gonna put you right back in the attitude-filled, neon colored post-disco era otherwise known as the 80s.

Specifically, it’s going to take you back to an 80s dance club.

In the trend, kids ask their parents to “dance like it’s the 80s,” as the 1984 track “Smalltown Boy” by the British pop band Bronski Beat plays in the background. The song's high energy tempo mixed with heartbreaking, anguish-ridden lyrics make it a fitting choice to bring us back to the time period.

As for the parents—let's just say that muscle memory kicks in the minute the tune begins to play, and it’s a whole vibe.


Check out Tabatha Lynn's video of her mom, Leanne Lynn, which currently has over 8 million views.

@tabathalynnk My moms 80s dance moves, I wanna be her when I grow up 😍 our kids better not ask us this in 30 years 😂 #80s #momsoftiktok #dancemoves ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Leanne and Tabatha told TODAY that since going viral, the dance is now a common “topic of conversation in the family text group.”

There are two factors here that folks really seem to connect with.

One: 80s dancing was simple. Just moving to the rhythm, maybe a head bob for some flair or a robot if you’re feeling adventurous. Of course, the 80s had ambitious moves like the worm and the moonwalk, but for the most part it was just about groovin’ to beat.

@marynepi One thing about Ms. Suzanne, shes gonna slay. #fypage #dance #slay #80s #yasqueen #trending #trend ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Then there’s seeing the parents light up at the chance to go back to the days of their youth.

“I can literally see the young women in these women spring out in fluidity. Love this trend,” one person commented.

@lavaleritaaa Love her 😭 “Se me espeluco el moño” 😂 #80s #momdancechallenge ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Another seconded, “I love seeing moms remember when they were just themselves.”

Of course, dads are totally rocking this trend too. Check it out:

@chrisbrown711 I dont normally do trends but i got in on this one. How did I do? #fyp #blessed #80sdancechallenge #80smusic #80s ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

The 80s was a time of rapid expansion for music. Much of this we have the birth of MTV to thank for, which subsequently dropped music videos, CDs and a vast array of sub genres straight into the heart of pop culture.

Plus, the 80s brought us the synthesizer, which remains a strangely satisfying sound even in 2024. So while the era might have brought some things that most of us would prefer not to revisit—like acid washed denim and awful, awful hairstyles—some of its gems are truly timeless.

The trend also shows how, even though the weekly outing to a dance hall might be a thing of the past, people inherently want to bust a move. Luckily, there’s no shortage of clubs that cater to someone’s music tastes, no matter the era.

Speaking for 00s teens everywhere…just play the Cha Cha slide and we’ll come a-runnin.

Do kids these days even know what "rewind" means?

Every generation has its slang and catchphrases that eventually become outdated. But in the modern age, there are also some totally normal, everyday phrases that become totally obsolete by the time the next generation comes along.

Millennials are still viewed as young by a lot of the boomer generation, but they're solidly hitting the middle age stage where the Gen Zers and Gen Alphas don't know what they're talking about when they reference their own childhood in the 90s: "What do you mean your phone was attached to the wall when you were a kid? And you really had no idea who was calling you?" Yep and yep, youngsters.

In the digital age, with technology moving incredibly fast, this generational phenomenon has become even more marked. Just for funsies, millennials on Reddit are sharing phrases they heard growing up that kids today will never hear, and it's quite a nostalgic trip.


"We'll look it up when we get home." – Wazzen

Ah, the days before smartphones and cellular data. That's right, kids. We only had internet at home and at internet cafés, so if we were curious about something, we had to wait to look it up. (And we also had to wait for the dial-up internet to connect, complete with the screechy-scratchy garbley noise we'll never forget.)

Speaking of which:

"You've got mail!" – Nate16

There was a whole movie based on this phrase, which was how AOL (America OnLine—one of the big internet companies of the 90s) let you know that you had email in your inbox after you got connected to the internet. A cheery voice announced, "You've got mail!" Can you even imagine? So quaint.

man on a landline phone

Cell phones as we know them were just a futuristic idea.

Photo by Jimmy Jimmy/Pexels

"“I got it!!!” When the house phone rang. – KatyDid749

See, the "house phone" was the landline telephone—the one connected to the wall—that the whole family shared. When we knew a friend was going to call, we'd clamor to be the one to answer because otherwise your friend had to go through the mortifying experience of saying, "May I please speak to so-and-so?" Saving our friends from such horror was a mark of true friendship. Plus if it was a love interest that called, there's no way you wanted your mom or dad to answer.

Someone is "calling long distance" – shakeyjake

Back in the olden days of the 90s, if you wanted to call someone outside of your town, you had to pay extra money for it. And the farther away they were, the more expensive it was. It was called "long-distance calling," and it was a standard feature of our lives. Want to call someone internationally? Might have to sell a kidney to pay for that. The ability to not just call but video call people in other countries, and without paying anything extra, the way we do now? We barely even dared to dream we might see something like that in our lifetimes.

Describing the internet as an "information superhighway" – TheKnightsTippler

Oh, we had several ways to refer to the internet: the information superhighway, the Worldwide Web (or just "the web"), cyberspace, etc.. If we could go back and tell ourselves that in the future the kids would just call it the internet, we could save ourselves some now cringey phrases.

"Gotta check the want ads for jobs" - Didntlikedefaultname

Yep, jobs were listed in the newspaper in the "classified ads" aka "want ads," and that's how you found out who in your local area was hiring. Some localities had a separate publication just for such a purpose, while in other places it was part of the standard newspaper.
ash tray full of cigarette butts

Smoking used to be ubiquitous

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

"Smoking or non-smoking seats?" – heatherista2

This might be one of the biggest shifts from the 90s to now in terms of being out in public. It used to be that every restaurant had a smoking and non-smoking section, frequently only separated by a wall of glass that didn't even go to the ceiling. Smoking was allowed on airplanes, too, up til it was phased out from 1988 to 2000. Yes, we used to inhale a heck of a lot of second-hand smoke and considered it just part of life. Wild times.

"Did you remember to print the directions to our destination?" – dexterstrife

Ah, MapQuest, the revolutionary direction-creating website that marked the beginning of the end of road atlases and fold-out maps, but preceded Google Maps and real-time GPS. It was a specific era some of us will always remember fondly.

"Check the Yellow Pages" – muchlovemates

I think the Yellow Pages still exist most places, but kids these days likely never see them. Every business in town was listed in the Yellow Pages under different categories. So if you wanted to find out what movies were playing at the local theater, you'd open the Yellow Pages, look under "movies" or "theaters," find the theater and get the phone number. Makes you appreciate how much easier the internet has made our lives.

vcr with vhs tapes piled on top of it

If you didn't rewind your video rental, you sucked.

Photo by cottonbro studio/Pexels

"Be kind, rewind." – Gubble_Buppie

Oh my. The days of the VCR and renting VHS tapes from Blockbuster. Not only did we have to physically take ourselves to the movie rental store to rent a movie on tape, but if you watched the movie and didn't rewind it before turning it back in, you were deemed a bad person. Period.

"You won't always have a calculator." – Wizard_of_Claus

This phrase was drilled into kids in math class and turned out to be the biggest lie of the 20th century. Who knew?

@lexnielson/TikTok

He's just groom.

Coles Prince stood up in front of his wedding guests and announced that his bride, Jordan, told him that she would like to be serenaded by him once on their big day.

And because his mom “didn’t raise no fool,” he happily obliged with a completely groom-ified version of “I’m Just Ken,” famously sung by Ryan Gosling in the “Barbie” movie.


A clip showing the performance was captured and posted to TikTok by the ceremony’s photographer and videographer team, Lex & Trev Photo + Film, and it has quickly become an internet sensation.

Complete with a sparkly cowboy hat, backup singers, and some impressive wordsmithing, this groom left no stone unturned when it came to delivering an unforgettable performance.

Watch:

@lexnielsen IM JUST GROOM 🤵🏻‍♂️📢🤠 #weddingtiktok #imjustken ♬ original sound - Lex Nielsen

Isn’t that the greatest thing ever? Others thought so too.

"This is glorious, glorious Kenergy," one person praised.

"Marry him again" added another.

Prince shared with Good Morning America that he chose “I’m just Ken” as his cover song because it “conveyed what it was like to get married, specifically from the groom's point of view."

"Being Ken is very similar to being [a] groom. I think I can make this work. So I started by changing the lyrics 'I'm Just Groom, number two person in the room' and it kind of took off from there," he told GMA.

Seems like Prince has some pretty good instincts here, because his song brought so much joy not only to his bride, or his wedding party…but to thousands of strangers as well.

And now the real question on everyone's mind: how can we get Gosling to see this?