Lifestyles – Are People’s Lifestyles Now Better Than 50 Years Ago?

Have Lifestyles Gotten Better Or Worse?

Let’s first look and some things about lifestyles that I’d say have definitely gotten worse.

Is life better today than it was 50 years ago?

Children have far less chance of being raised by both parents.

Teachers are now more often assaulted than valued.

Children now spend much less time with their parents and juvenile crime is up by 500%.

And now let’s take a look at a chart from the book entitled,

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families", by Stephen R. Covey.

Life seems worse than it was 50 years ago

From the above it would seem that things are much worse today than they were 50 years ago.

But obviously many things have gotten better.

So What Things Are Better Now Than They Were 50 Years Ago?

An article in the Washing Times states,

"If you think things are worse now than before, then you might be consoled by knowing that most things for most people on the globe were never better than in 2013", and you might want to check it out.

What Many People Believe Is Better Now Than 50 Years Ago

The Internet, television, phones, cars, medical treatment, credit cards and ATM’s, air travel, air conditioning, vending machines, DVDs, anti-depressants, disposable diapers, less corporal punishment and plastic.

But Some Things That Have Gotten Much Worse

Pollution, decline in personal freedom, destruction of the rain forests, terrorists, nuclear waste, education, the loss of community life in villages and much more.

So Have Lifestyles Gotten Better Or Worse?

I was born in 1944 and was a teenager in London in the ’60s and I think things have gotten much worse.

But that’s as seen from my personal viewpoint. I had money and a great lifestyle, but if I’d been poor, then I might remember things differently.

The Bottom Line?

If you think things are better or worse then it’s probably down to your present life experience.

If you think things are great then you’ll believe that things have gotten better, and vice versa.

That’s my take anyway ;-)

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19 Responses to Lifestyles – Are People’s Lifestyles Now Better Than 50 Years Ago?

  1. brightone69 says:

    We’ll I always had a kind of nagging feeling for a long that things have gotten worse and not better, but I always thought about local shops getting replaced by cash and carry stores etc. and maybe kids losing the ability to relate ‘live’ to other kids etc.

    I thought about the death of our small towns and villages and how what used to be a day out to a nearby town to buy shoes or whatever, meant sitting down with the seller and chatting about local changes etc – and how that no longer exists.

    Instead we’re confronted by somebody that we don’t know that wears a false smile, offers an ever falser greeting, and who’s only interest in us is whether well buy something or not.

    But a look at your chart makes it clear to me that we’ve gone backwards big time, and the stats on juvenile delinquency are mind blowing.

    • Jake says:

      Things are a lot easier now than they were fifty years ago, technology has given us more time to spend on leisure and enjoy the finer things in life.

      Medical breakthroughs have helped stop spread the diseases that once ravaged cities and countries, and people are living longer and are in better health as they age.

      Travel is easier and that’s help people’s opinions to evolve and to broaden.

      Life is generally getting easier, but the bad news is that relationships are becoming more strained and people are slowly becoming lazier and fatter due to the rapid increase in technology.

  2. knopfman says:

    “Are things getting better or worse” depends somewhat on if you want to answer the question subjectively or objectively.

    Objectively, things are getting better for some people but worse for others.

    Take a look at longevity for example.

    United Nations data show that from 1950 to 1990 human life expectancy at birth rose almost 30 years, despite some 150 bloody conflicts.

    Other data show however that human fertility is rapidly falling, which suggests that the population time bomb is going to defuse itself.

    So the population bomb might diffuse itself but couples that want children may be unable to have them.

    Subjectively I doubt that people are either more or less happy because of modern inventions.

    Before things are invented we have no yardstick to judge by.

    You only have to look at the chart to see that many more people are getting divorced now, and that children spend much less time with their parents, if in fact they even have two parents.

    Is a couple happier because there is electricity?

    Ask them when they’re having a romantic candlelit dinner.

    Are women happier now that they go to work and spend less time at home with their families?

    Modern machines such as refrigerators and vacuum cleaners obviously make modern life less physically demanding, but the automobile now means that many people spend hours every day driving to work and polluting the environment instead of working locally.

    I’d say that how you see your life is what is most relevant.

    If you live in a nice home with a good income and the future looks rosy then you’d most likely feel that “things are getting better”.

    If you’re sitting in a prison in Iran after getting flogged and maybe getting raped on a regular basis and are waiting to be stoned to death, then you’d most likely feel that, “Life is not getting any better”.

  3. big-believer says:

    Sadly, I don’t see any improvement in man’s/woman’s behavior.

    Even if you don’t believe in God then you’d most likely agree that numbers 5-10 would be a g(o)od code to live by.

    1. You shall have no other gods before me.

    2. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

    3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

    4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

    5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

    6. You shall not murder.

    7. You shall not commit adultery.

    8. You shall not steal.

    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    But how many people do you know that obey (or live according to) numbers 5-10 ?

    * The Ten Commandments were given in 1445B.C , according to the New Living Translation Study Bible .

  4. RegSpragg says:

    Is the world becoming a better or worse place?

    That’s a very, very difficult question, and I’m not really sure of the answer.

    But like Knopfman says it depends in many ways on how you look at it.

    One thing I am sure of however is that because of the increases in communications far more people are aware of all the bad events that happen in the world, compared to say, fifty years ago.

    So maybe it seems like a worse place, but maybe it isn’t, and it’s just that we are better informed.

    My bottom line is that in spite of seemingly overwhelming evidence, that I’d like to believe that the world is becoming a better, if not much better place.

  5. Peterson says:

    "Of the three great revolutionary -isms of the past two centuries, it is capitalism that has managed to secure a level of material affluence that has improved even the condition of the world’s poor from where it was fifty years ago".

    "Yet there is a widespread sense that things are getting worse. Capitalism’s great failure is to create or sustain a moral order that is essential to people’s well being".

    - Franz Schurmann, a professor emeritus of history and sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Capitalism’s great failure was to create and sustain a moral order, which is something that is essential to people’s well being.

    Many observers would most likely argue that things are getting better for some but worse for others, and it’s true that there is a growing gap between rich and poor.

    But even as the rich get richer, there is plenty of evidence that the poor are also far better off than they were a half century ago!

    United Nations data show that from 1950 to 1990 human life expectancy at birth rose almost 30 years, despite some 150 bloody conflicts.

    Human fertility is rapidly falling, suggesting that the population time bomb is going to defuse itself.

    Money, which was virtually inaccessible to vast areas of the world only fifty years ago, now circulates everywhere.

    At a 1974 Rome food conference Marxists joined the Pope in denouncing maldistribution of wealth as the main reason for persisting hunger and poverty, but capitalism can make limitless quantities of seemingly inflation-proof money that buys ever greater quantities of goods and services.

    Wheras post-modernists might argue that progress has lost its meaning, the real answer is that while capitalism has succeeded in improving people’s material condition, it failed to produce a moral order, and without moral order people feel deprived of the three human values essential to their sense of well being, love, work and justice.

    From its beginnings, capitalism has preached one fundamental value which is greed and its main philosophy, utilitarianism, argues that universal greed will produce universal affluence, but what it failed to account is the destructive power of greed.

    In the last two centuries revolutionary socialism and communism arose as violent reactions against the massive tilt by capitalism towards the self, and now the revolutionary torch has passed for the most part, to two fundamentalist religions, Islam and Evangelical Christianity.

    Whether from the left or the right, the revolutionary impulse is to wrench the pendulum back to some communal imperative, and as revolutionary communist and fundamentalist regimes have both discovered, as soon as morality comes into power, greed, which is the hunger for material affluence, returns!

    The world today takes its direction from forces at the bottom as well as at the top, which is perhaps proof that its condition is getting better and worse at the same time.

    The answer?

    Hopefully, when material affluence and moral order are available to all, at the same time, then the world will grow better and not worse at the same time.

  6. kaycee says:

    I guess people just behaved better 50 years ago than now. There are so many factors that have contributed to the decline in attitude and character of people. Materialism and Consumerism may be just a couple.

  7. We can see it on the chart above that life and community is better 50 years ago than now. Let’s just face it, as the technology takes place, the humanity disintegrates.

  8. Amy Smith says:

    Wow.That was nice.People before behave in a better way than people today.Today is worst.

  9. Mike Dela Cruz says:

    You can see the bad effects of technology in today’s community. Now think about what would happen 50 years from now? The youth are supposed to be the provider of good future but bow its just pure destruction. Thank you for letting me speak my mind. ^_^

  10. Crystal says:

    I think the answer to a question like this is often, “it depends”- the same technology that can create distance between families can also be the technology that keeps families bonded. Let’s say, for instance, we take a site like Facebook. Sure, the kids are always on it, and might not be spending time with Mom and Dad, but maybe Grandma and Grandpa enjoy the peek into their grandkid’s lives through Facebook as well. I guess what I’m trying to say is that technology itself isn’t good or bad- it’s how it’s used. Similarly, when we look at crime statistics, it’s hard to know if crime is really going up, or crimes are more routinely reported. Again, statistics can be shaped and read to mean almost anything. So it’s hard to know if we really are better- or not- or worse- or not.

  11. Chris Ravanello says:

    I agree Crystal. Are things better or worse? I remember growing up with no relatives around and contact with them once every 3 years – Skype or low cost phone calling would have been a wonderful way to keep in touch. Now when grandma wants to visit with their grandchildren it’s easy and cheap.
    Do you remember the old wringer washing machines? I remember that one whole day a week would be set aside to do the laundry – in the old washing machine and hanging the clothes either outside in nice weather or inside in not so nice weather. It was really hard work. I would much prefer our new washer/dryers. It makes laundry day whenever you want it.
    Anyway, I think there are many positive things in our modern world. I wonder what my grandchildren will be saying in 50 years?

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  14. thanks for the comment, we take a site like Facebook. Sure, the kids are always on it, and might not be spending time with Mom and Dad, but maybe Grandma and Grandpa enjoy the peek into their grandkid’s lives through Facebook as well. I guess what I’m trying to say is that technology itself isn’t good or bad- it’s how it’s used.

  15. Richard says:

    “You know, the period of World War I and the Roaring Twenties were really just about the same as today. You worked, and you made a living if you could, and you tired to make the best of things. For an actor or a dancer, it was no different then than today. It was a struggle.”

    James Cagney

  16. Rick says:

    I think it’s all how you look at it. Sure, there are some things that are worse than 50 years ago. But there are lots of things that are better too. Some diseases that would have meant certain death back then can be cured now. Technology has made many things much easier. Civil liberties have changed considerably.

    You can find pros & cons either way, but whether we like it or not it’s going to be pretty hard to go back to those days.

  17. sandman says:

    Things are much worse.Technology has strong drawbacks. Watching child in war running thru a feild onfire on tv or online is far different than seeing it in reality.Its filtered reality.It desensitization to reality.Since you can make no difference you become callous.The worlds richest man in the worlds is rumored to be a drug lord.If the world is happier why so much self medicating legal or illegal.We house our crime epidemic in the worlds biggest prison system.Take them out of there prison walls and what would it real be like.

  18. Connor Bruggs says:

    I know teenagers are depicted as drug bingeing hoodlums, with have no respect for anybody, who shoot up schools at the drop of a hat and spend their entire lives glued to a computer screen, but please try to brush away those stereotypes and see us for who we are.

    I consider myself very fortunate to grow up in this age. Sure there are a lot of social struggles, economic decline and the constant comparisons to the lack of morals. But there is so much promise for the future, far more then anytime in the past. Diseases that have plagued mankind for centuries are beginning to show signs of cures, space is becoming more and more of a frontier for us, and technology is continuing to progress in ways and places no one has ever imagined. So is how we lived 50 years ago all that better?

    In the 1950′s Racism was a lot more prominent and deemed socially acceptable within society, women’s right weren’t any better at the time. Medical treatments were still extremely limited; polio, measles and smallpox ran rampant. If you got cancer you were a dead man walking. The spread of information was limited to radio and newspaper with TV still in development it was quite easy to be misinformed on any number of subjects, even if you did research a libraries you could be reading outdated or redundant materials. Appliances weren’t as good as they are today. Washing dishes, doing laundry, and even cleaning the house were far more physically demanding.

    I am a young man. I’ve only been alive 18 years, but looking back on the 50′s without the rose tinted glasses older people seem to carry I believe my generation has made considerable progress and is very fortunate not to grow up in an age. My generation may not be known for its morals or how kind or benevolent we are, but I’ve met some truly amazing people my age, free thinkers, aspiring entrepreneurs, and some of the funniest most creative individuals I’ve ever met.

    Sure, maybe ‘my generation’ may not been seen as saints, or genius or the shining messiahs everyone was hoping for the future, but at least we’re not ignorant bible beating racists who force others to conform to our ways of life and thinking. We have our issues, faults, and vices to deal with, but we will learn to deal with them and move forward.

    Then I hope people will begin to see just how much promise my generation has, see past the few individuals and incidents that have blackened our reputation and realize our truth worth.
    So please, don’t shun the future or the present. Things may not be the way they used to be, but take off the nostalgia goggles and think:

    Is that really so bad?