Older man looking shocked and holding his glasses

In this day and age, we have a lot of life luxuries at our fingertips. Want to talk to your family on the other side of the world? Pick up the phone and give them a call or send them a text message. It wasn’t too long ago that things like instant messaging or even the telephone even existed. Users in a popular online forum discussed everyday problems from hundreds or thousands of years ago that most people don’t know about today. Here are some of the most popular topics.

1. Food Preservation

Salted meats hanging from a rack
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One user said, “Food preservation was a necessary skill 200 years ago. Salted meats, knowing which vegetables would keep in a root cellar all winter, etc. Those skills are lost to the vast majority of people today.”

2. Seeing After Sundown

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“I remember hearing that out-of-house nighttime leisure activity wasn’t a thing until gas lamps came about around the 1800s. The nightlife that we enjoy wasn’t a thing until then,” one person said.

3. Land Borders

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“During the Middle Ages, land borders changed constantly. Usually, only the elite would have some sense of this change, but peasants were kept in the dark. That means that they could be living in one county or even country one day and another the next day. They might also be forced to pay taxes for multiple places in a year,” someone stated.

4. Treated Water

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“Before modern water treatment methods were developed, access to clean and safe drinking water was a major challenge for many people. This led to a higher incidence of waterborne illnesses and diseases,” one user noted.

5. Alarm Clocks

Alarm clock sitting on a nightstand
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Someone shared, ”Well, before alarm clocks, there were people who were paid to wake people up at a certain time, usually by hitting the window of the person’s bedroom with a large stick. They wouldn’t stop until the person came to the window.”

6. Cavities

Woman getting work done at the dentist
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Someone shared, “Cavities can and will kill you. We just get them taken care of today and have amazing dental hygiene. So it doesn’t happen unless someone truly just refuses to see a medical professional.”

7. Communication

Woman drinking coffee and talking on a cell phone
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“Communication gets taken for granted. Almost every person you know has a cell phone and can be reached at any given moment. This can be used for emergencies and has saved a lot of lives,” a user said.

8. Drowning

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“Drowning. When people (usually women) had to fetch water on a regular, falling in could quickly be fatal. Clothing during medieval times often consisted of multiple layers of natural fabrics, which get incredibly heavy when wet. Even if one could swim, that kind of weight could drag a person down quickly,” a user shared.

9. Childbirth

Woman in childbirth with father holding her hand
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“Childbirth was rough and life-threatening a lot of the time for the woman and the baby. Hence the invention of the chainsaw,” someone stated.

10. Ventilation

Cozy fireplace with chimney and wood
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“Fire/campfires were invented/discovered a few thousand years before chimneys. Finding a way to vent smoke for daily use, or even just knowing how to, must’ve been a pain,” one user shared.

11. Infection

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A user said, “Before the invention of penicillin, a common infection of a wound or cut could and very often did kill you. On a related note, the invention of reliable anesthetics for surgeries and dental work is a fairly new thing.”

12. News

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“Delivering letters, since we didn’t have instant message apps; getting to know what happened across the world, like disasters and things like this, only the newsletter maybe but how could people know what happened on the other side of the globe?” a user wrote.

13. Clothing

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A person said, “Making clothes. From scratch. But you had to make the cloth and thread first. According to an economic historian I heard on a podcast, the majority of your household labor was spent just making your clothes.”

14. Washing Clothing

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“Washing your clothes. It used it be so labor-intensive, in some times and places, “washer” was a whole profession. In addition to back-breaking, it was hazardous to your health — various caustic chemicals such as lye were used to whiten, release stains, and soften cloth, etc.,” someone said.

15. Car Repairs

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“When the automobile was first invented, if you were wealthy enough to own one, if it broke down, the only way to have it repaired was to know how to do it yourself or have it delivered back to the factory,” a user stated.

16. Traveling

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“Travel. With enough money, you can travel to any part of the world in about 24 hours. Back in the day, traveling to another state could take weeks or months,” a person said.

17. Food Variety

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Someone said, “Certain foods only being available at certain times of the year. These days we can eat whatever, whenever we want. Back in the day, you could only eat things that were able to be harvested at that time of year. As blackberries get harvested in July, apples in October. If it wasn’t the right time of year, you couldn’t eat it.”

10 Things People Have Done To Create a Better Version of Themself

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Sometimes it can be hard to know what next step you can take to best further your personal growth. One person asked on a popular online forum if others would share what things they either changed or started to do that helped them become better versions of themselves. Here are some of the best answers.

10 Things People Have Done To Create a Better Version of Themself

10 Things Millenials Love That Women Refuse To Get Into

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There are some things that get so popular in society it feels as though everyone is partaking. And, of course, social media spreads awareness so quickly it can feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t like the newest craze, viral product, or TV show.

10 Things Millennials Love That Most Women Refuse To Get Into

10 “Kid Things” That Adults Admit They Still Love

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When we are young, often all we are focused on is how things will be when we are older, on the freedom and coolness of being an adult. But as adults, we can look back on the years of our childhood with a better appreciation for how much fun kids have.

10 “Kid Things” That Adults Admit They Still Love

10 Cold Hard Facts Older People Have Learned Over the Years

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One of the best places on the internet is the SubReddit r/askoldpeople—people who are Gen-X (1980) and older answer today’s youth. Someone asked, “What are some cold hard facts you have learned over the years?” Here are the top-voted cold hard facts of life.

10 Cold Hard Facts Older People Have Learned Over the Years

17 Ways To Master the Art of Self-Care Without Draining Your Wallet

Young woman sitting on her bed using skincare products
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It’s normal to get so caught up in life that you forget to take care of yourself. Amidst taking care of the people around you, it’s important to prioritize your own physical and mental health. But constant trips to the salon and spa can quickly bust your budget.

17 Ways To Master the Art of Self-Care Without Draining Your Wallet

Inspired by this thread – photos for illustrative purposes only.

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