Sometimes you just have to take a break. Whether you have to sit at a computer for work, studying, or whatever else, your brain sometimes needs to shift gears and take a load off what you are thinking about. There are many things to divert your time and attention away but one of my favorites and going down the rabbit hole of Youtube and finding things from the year I was born.
Some may find it boring, others may find it fascinating, but looking up what was going on in the world in the days you were delivered onto it can be a fascinating look into what was going on in life. So whether you are an old fart or a youngster, Baby Boomer or Millennial, take a look at everything that was going on in the world in the days when you arrived.
One of the easier things to find is what was going on in the news. There are plenty of videos from the news and news item of your day. It gets a little less easy to find the farther you got back but it is worth a look. Besides the news stories themselves, you also get a look at TV technology, fashion, and the style of the day. If you are REALLY lucky you can even find your own area’s local news broadcast to really get a flow of what was going on in your own area at the time.
Extending from that is movies and other parts of television. There are plenty of places that will tell you what was big in theaters or on TV at the time, right down to the schedule of TV channels when you arrived. What were people watching and talking about at the time can also set the cultural stage of what that generation had to deal with (besides you!).
It also helps you get perspective when you look at things that didn’t work. The flops on the big screen and the things on the small screen that didn’t last very long either. That very well turns into looking up the whys and hows these ideas flopped and without even knowing it, you’ve learned something! It may be completely useless information, but you still learned it!
And not just what people were watching, but what were they listening too. MANY Youtube videos are made about the music charts of different eras. What were your folks listening to back then? This also becomes helpful if someone from that generation likes to talk down about the things you listen too now or what is trendy with some good snark back at what they were listening too at the time.
And what may be the best way to gauge society in a certain place and time is the commercials. The things people were buying at the time. Everything from food to clothes, toys, media, consumer goods and everything else that made up society back in that day. Sometimes the consumer trends give us a clearer window into what things were like in the days gone by.
And maybe the most meaningful to you, what was going on in the things you find interesting now? Sports, drama, cars, toys, Tech or whatever else that you follow now? Did those things even exist when you were born? This is a good way to show you how far we’ve come in your lifetime.
Sure, an exercise like this may be a complete waste of time or an interesting pursuit you’d follow up on. But either way, it also gives you a perspective of not only how things were but also can show you just how much has changed. And if you want to think about it even more, how much the world may just change in the same amount of time into the future. Time progresses in funny ways.