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"It’s Cowardly And Inconsiderate": 23 Things That Are Considered "Normal" Nowadays That Older Adults Are Tired Of Seeing

"This is only appropriate if you’re in a dangerous situation where your safety is at risk. Otherwise, it’s a cowardly and inconsiderate way to handle a situation."

From endless hours scrolling to tipping culture, there are a lot of things we do every day that feel pretty normal at this point. But I recently started to question some of these common practices when Redditor u/-----Diana----- asked the r/AskOldPeople subreddit to share the social norms that exist today that they disagree with. Here are just a few that Gen X'ers and Boomers can't stand.

1. "People posting their entire lives online. I'm probably excessively private, but it's really crazy how people are so willing and even eager to broadcast their personal lives to the world. I don't think people fully appreciate how possible it is to string together little details from multiple sources and form a detailed picture of someone's life. That should scare people."

Young person filming a makeup tutorial with a ring light

2. "Children having access to social media. I think nothing good comes of it. I have other parent friends who have no issue with their kids scrolling TikTok or being on WhatsApp groups."


3. "I'm really not comfortable with all the ads for betting and sports book platforms."

Two hands holding smartphones with online betting on one and casino app on the other

4. "Not being willing or able to just be superficially nice in social settings. Sometimes it's okay to just be pleasant instead of making your unique and specific viewpoint heard."


"I talk about this all the time. So many more people seem to have an Instagram or Twitter mentality that everyone NEEDS to know all of their thoughts and doings. But on the other hand, I’m all in favor of calling out bad behavior now instead of 'politely looking the other way.' The same social prohibitions against speaking out made things less confrontational and fostered lots of racist, sexist, and abusive behavior."


5. "Kids (and some adults, but I mostly see kids) with tablets or phones at full volume out in public. I have no interest in hearing other people's games, videos, music, or phone conversations."

Child in plaid shirt focused on using a tablet at a restaurant table with an adult nearby

6. "The widespread inability to spell words correctly or use them properly (e.g. their, there, and they're). And don't get me started on grammar."


7. "Being around others while you're obviously sick. It’s been normalized because we have a garbage safety net that doesn’t allow people to take care of themselves financially and not make others sick. Or allow them to be off work to care for sick children. Forty years ago, when unions were strong, there were lots of sick days in lots of jobs, and people were mostly able to stay home. There’s always been a segment of the working population that got screwed, but now more than ever, we need generous sick leave policies in place for EVERYONE."

A man in an office wearing a headset blows his nose while another man works at the back

8. "I disagree with people being dismissive because I am old. I have at least one more sucker punch left in me for the next ‘OK boomer’ comment I get in person."


9. "Ghosting people, both professionally and personally. This is only appropriate if you’re in a dangerous situation where your safety is at risk. Otherwise, it’s a cowardly and inconsiderate way to handle a situation. If you need to break away from any kind of relationship or commitment, you need to tell the person/people so they don’t waste time waiting on you or wondering what happened to you. It’s common courtesy, and ghosting shows a huge lack of consideration for everyone involved."

Person sitting by a window focused on a smartphone with a slightly sad expression

10. "Declarations of 'body count' to dating partners. I don't like the violent implication of the term, and I don't like intimate history being tallied like a score."


11. "Texting instead of sitting down and having an actual conversation, especially about difficult topics."

Person holding a smartphone with text messages on screen above a table with documents and a coffee cup

12. "Tipping on everything. Especially with those iPads that spin around and awkwardly ask you for 10% because someone got you a muffin from behind the counter. Make it end."


13. "Playing with your phone while in the presence of live conversation."

Two people seated at a table with one looking at a phone and the other looking at them while holding a mug

14. "Wearing pajamas and slippers to go shopping. If you can't be bothered to put on fresh clothes, don't go out in public. Also, do they then wear those pajamas to bed? Ew!"


15. "Mine is that nobody is taught cursive anymore, and they surely can't read it! My future daughter-in-law's little brother (19) couldn't sign his name for his driver's license and had to ask her to do it for him."

a child practicing cursive letters on a sheet of paper

16. "Intentionally lying, then doubling down on it."


"I hate it when people lie to my face and I know 100% that they are lying. When it's a family member or close friend I can call them out on it. But if it's a coworker or someone I hardly know, I just have to grin and bear it. Unless it pertains to me, then I'll set them straight."


17. "Never saying 'no' to your child. It sounds very 'boomer,' I know. But I have two kids born in the early 2000s and one child born in 2015, and so many more kids are brats now. Don’t get me wrong, kids have always been kids and act out, but now they are more rude."

chlid screaming while holding a shopping cart in a grocery store

18. "I wish people still dressed up a little more. I dine at some seriously nice restaurants and I guess it's OK if someone decides to dine there in a t-shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. But I gotta say, it sorta reduces my own experience, especially if we're celebrating a special occasion."


19. "Recording everything: fights, car crashes, traffic stops, people in the gym (yourself or others), and recording in public and getting mad at pedestrians for 'ruining the shot.'"

Woman records fitness vlog on smartphone with tripod, wearing workout attire, sitting on exercise mat

20. "Peak capitalism — the wealthy amassing even more wealth and not caring about a decent life for everybody."


21. "The biggest one by far is the earbud culture — it bleeds into a level of unsettling rudeness and isolation. You might find small talk tedious but I promise you, the connection to the outside world that small talk creates is a gift to you. Humans aren’t meant to be so isolated. As a parent, I give a lot of rides. I can’t tell you how many teens have gotten into my car without even a simple 'hi' or 'hello' and sat silently with their heads in their phones and earbuds in. Say 'hi.' Talk about the weather for a minute. It might be dumb, but we are human, and civility and connection matter. Otherwise, all you’ve got is that phone and your earbuds. It’s kind of a bleak existence."

Man in suit with earphones looks out airplane window

22. "Interrupting someone while they’re talking. Maybe it’s just me because it’s a huge pet peeve, but I feel like I’m constantly being interrupted or people are always talking over one another. When I politely say, 'Excuse me, I was in the middle of talking,' or, 'Hold on a sec, please, so I can finish what I was saying,' I get looked at like I have three heads or I’m totally out of line."


23. "Vaping in public really bothers me. I hated it when restaurants and bars were filled with cigarette smoke before 1990 (or whenever that changed). Now I hate seeing people vaping everywhere I go. I see it at concerts, in bars, restaurants, grocery stores, the gas station — everywhere."

Person using an electronic cigarette, with visible vapor

If you're a Gen X'er or Boomer, use the comment section below to let us know the social norms today that you can't stand. You can also fill out this form if you prefer to remain anonymous.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.