Are We Regressing? 11 Things We Were Smarter Doing 100+ Years Ago

Even though we live in a modern world with technology that our ancestors could only dream of, it’s not always a sign of progress. There are certain areas that we used to excel in, but have since forgotten about or dismissed because of our blind faith in “modernization. An online community looked into these areas and they found 11 aspects of life that our ancestors used to do better over a century ago.

1. Recycling

Woman sorting through trash glass and carton recycling
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

If you think recycling is a modern invention, think again! Over a hundred years ago, people in the Mediterranean region were masters at repurposing broken glass into new items. Similarly, ancient Romans astutely converted their bronze coins into ornaments. They didn’t have disposables like us, but they sure knew the value of recycling. In fact, their recycling game was arguably better than ours, with one knowledgeable forum commenter even noting, “Mainly because they didn’t have disposable things, compost was a fact of life, and people would use things until they absolutely couldn’t.” 

2. Repairing Clothes

selling clothes online
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Repairing clothes instead of just buying new ones,” recalls someone who must have lived back then. Nowadays, we are more likely to throw a damaged item out, which is shameful behavior. “Fast Fashion is helping ruin the environment faster than we ever imagined,” adds a skeptic. 

3. Making Furniture

Furniture making
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“I’m still using some tools that my grandpa gave me,” shares a furniture-making hobbyist. He was 94 when he passed last year, and some of these tools belonged to his father. Maybe this is why older furniture was better. 

4. Electrical Goods

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“My parents’ microwave lasted 34 years,” says a contributor. “I bought them the same style microwave in 2013, and it lasted two years.” Okay, maybe not quite 100 hundred years, but not far off! 

5. Learning Social Skills

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Sometimes, we Gen-Xers would just call up a friend for the sake of it — just to say hello! Mobile phones became commonplace in the late ’90s, and the dreaded text message came with them. This morphed into social media, and now young people are losing the ability to talk. It is no wonder social and emotional intelligence is declining.

6. Minding Our Own Business!

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I read a post recently that decries how his children will never know what it feels like to live in the ’90s — the “apex of Western civilization,” according to the post. The worst thing about living today is people’s shameless curiosity about those with whom they disagree. I believe political polarization is to blame, among other factors.

7. Air Travel

Woman siting in airport
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Yes, we can fly to another city for a fraction of what it used to cost. However, when you read the description of Britain’s first commercial flights, it sounds so romantic. Imperial Airways in the U.K. had “short empire flying boats” that would take off from the sea at Southampton and whisk travelers off to the corners of the British Commonwealth.

8. Children’s Playtime

baby playing with toys
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Life before digital technology for children meant they had hours of time on their little hands, hours that needed filling. Boredom was never a problem for kids back then. The community was stronger; kids could play outside with the neighborhood looking out for them. I feel sorry for some children today, especially those living in cities without access to safe outdoor spaces. 

9. Writing Letters

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Email killed this beautiful art form finally in the early ’90s. However, for many hundreds of years, the letter remained the only way to communicate with anybody. Moreover, letter writing encouraged neat handwriting and improved English skills. Furthermore, the feeling of receiving a handwritten letter was wonderful.

10. Architecture

London, England
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I lived in London for three years, and my favorite aspect of being a Londoner was long walks through historical districts such as Bank, Pimlico, and Southwark. “Comparing things like cathedrals and palaces to the stuff we build today,” agrees another architecture fan. “Modern stuff isn’t even close.” 

11. Reading

woman reading a book
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The ratio of book readers to non-readers is shrinking every year. Reduced attention spans and overwhelming distractions are part of the problem. Moreover, some people believe our reading skills are declining. “It’s surprising how many people can “read” but not understand what a text is saying,” laments one bookworm in the thread. 

More From Savoteur

Attractive girl in Procida, Italy. Beautiful fashion woman with polka dots red dress and hat walks along the harbor of Procida Island, Italian Capital of Culture
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Zigres

Am I the only one who sometimes questions the American dream? With issues like expensive healthcare and rampant homelessness, believing you’re living the dream life is hard. Someone on an internet travel platform asked Americans for common things that Europe residents have that they consider a luxury. Here are their best answers.

10 Things Europeans Have Everyday That Americans See as a Luxury

10 Cities People Refuse to Ever Visit Again

Blonde face is laying on her hands. The concept of frustration,fatigue, sadness. studio photo on white background
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Golubovy

Fargo, North Dakota, is somewhere I will never visit again. The food is delicious, especially the wild rice soup, but Red River Zoo gives me the creeps. I felt like I was entering a cult considering all the head mounts of deer and buffalo decorating the walls as we peered into the enclosure of red pandas. Travelers on a popular internet forum share their least favorite travel experiences below.

10 Cities People Refuse to Ever Visit Again

Top 10 Countries With the Absolute Worst Cuisine in the World

Professional Chef Working in a Famous Restaurant Kitchen. Starts Preparing His Specialized Dish, Turns on Stove and Puts Pan with Oil on it.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff

Have you encountered a country of terrible foods in your traveling endeavors? You’re not alone. After someone asked travelers, “What country has the worst cuisine overall?” These are the top-voted responses.

Top 10 Countries With the Absolute Worst Cuisine in the World

15 of the Worst Cities in America To Avoid at All Costs

Man walking along the riverwalk in Portland city at autumn, Oregon, USA.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/haveseen

The United States is home to many of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world. Unfortunately, it’s also home to cities in steep decline due to increases in poverty, homelessness, and violent and property crimes.

While there are many safe towns and cities in the U.S., some online users from a social media discussion board believe there are some you should avoid.

15 of the Worst Cities in America To Avoid at All Costs

The Most Famous Person In Your State Will Surprise You

Harrison Ford arrives for the ÔStar Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerÕ Premiere on December 16, 2019 in Hollywood, CA
Image Credit: Shutterstock/DFree

When you think of certain states, famous residents immediately come to mind. From The Oracle of Omaha to Jon Bon Jovi, Prince, or Will Smith, their names are synonymous with their home states. But what about the other states in America? Take a look at The Most Iconic Person from Each State to see if you agree with our picks!

The Most Iconic Person From Each State

These 11 Unusual But Affordable Items Will Make Your Life Easier Story Discovering 6 Underrated Gems for Your Next Getaway Story Vacation – 6 Terrible Travel Fails Every Tourist Should Learn Story Instagram Gold – 6 Selfie Spots in These Breathtaking U.S States Story Islands – 6 Strangest Islands Beyond Your Imagination Story