When you were little, how old did you think people used to get, and at what age did you consider a person old?

submitted by u/lukmly013 💾 (lemmy.sdf.org)

I used to think that age equated to percentage of life lived, thus I thought that most people live to close around 100.
But it also made me think that people only get old when they're like 80.

I mean like actually "old". The "old" adults were referring to. At that age I considered those 14/15 year old 9th graders old, just a bit different "old".

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It's well known in my house that "old" means "4 or more years older than my mum". Whenever my mum gets a year older, the definition of "old" moves one year up.

Also, my dad is 5 years older than her.


My mom is in her 70's, but she doesn't want to live in an elderly community because "they're full of old people". To be fair, my mom does act younger than other people her age, other than the complaining about health issues part.

👍Maximum Derek👍 , edited

I thought my grandparents were old, but old has legitimately changed a lot. In the 80s my maternal grandparents (then in their late 40s or early 50s - about the age I am now) looked like today's late 60-somethings. Neither had any of their own teeth as it was somewhat common for dentists to recommend full replacement at the first signs of trouble for their generation. I don't think either had ever worn sunscreen before I was a kid. My grandfather's appearance was affected by diseases I never had to deal with like Scarlett and Rheumatic fevers. My grandmother got her hair set with nasty chemicals on a weekly for 30 years (I don't know how it wasn't so damaged it disintegrated).

My grandfather became the breadwinner for his siblings at 13 too, that's gotta age a person. FYI: In those days you just had to mail in a form to get your Illinois driver's license and the state never checked the details.

u/lukmly013 💾 (lemmy.sdf.org) [OP]


I also heard that dentists used to recommend hard toothbrushes and "If your gums don't bleed you're not brushing hard enough."
Although that may depend on region.


When I was in grade school in the 60s, we had a math problem... "how old will you be in the year 2000?" I calculated 42 and thought "OMG, I'll be nearly dead by then"...


That definitely makes you one of the older Lemmy users. How was life in the 60's? Was it as fun as it seems looking back?


Everything looks better looking backwards. But now is easily better. We had to go to the library and check out actual books, we had to research in the physical encyclopedias, cars were less comfortable... Heck, I'm on a hand-held computer we call a smartphone... :)


We had to go to the library and check out actual books, we had to research in the physical encyclopedias

That was true into the very late 90's. Heck, even in the 00's a lot of professors wouldn't accept internet sources for reports.


I was pretty young in the 60's but I always think that I'd going back to that time. Even if I could bring a laptop with me, I could use it to compile local applications but can't use it for any communications.


I always think that I'd going back to that time

I think you accidentally a word.


Years ago my dad and I were working on something and he stood up after having been kneeling on the ground. He made a series of moans and grunts on the way up and I asked "Dad how old are you?". "Thirty" he said. After that I thought life was over after thirty. Boy, was I wrong. Also I've been making the same groans when I stand up for the past twenty years regardless if something hurts or not


A couple of my favorite aging quotes.

"A man has three ages; childhood; young adult; don't worry you look fine." No idea who said it.

"A man isn't old until there are no women his own age he finds exciting. A woman is old the first time she looks for a dress to make her look younger." Xaviera_Hollander



I remember as a child having more than one family member who were in their 90s. So old to me was 70s+


I remember my grandfather's 50th birthday party and all the balloons and such saying "over the hill", and I took that to mean that 50 was when you turn old. Had no idea how long most people lived, but I probably would have guessed somewhere in their 60s (fairly accurate for the time).


I had a pakt with a friend in high-school, that we are going to jump out of a plane without a parachute when we turn 35. We couldn't imagine wanting to live being *that* old. I'm kinda glad we lost touch, although it might be that she didn't make it till 35.

She turned 35 and jumped out of a plane with tears in her eyes because you weren't with her.


Unfortunately she most likely OD'd. Last I heard years ago was hard drugs and rumours of prison, prostitution and other rock bottom shit. She was with 16/17 already on a course to destruction and were actively and willingly pursuing a career as drug addict who ignored or spit on every effort to help her choose another path.


When I was 5, I thought the teenagers bagging groceries were old. But old is always grandma's age (while you have a grandma)

  1. I thought "middle aged" was 30. If 30 is the middle, 60 is the end.

I like to call anyone older than me old because it's funny and I perpetually feel like a child.

When I was little I thought my parents were old, now they are in their 60s and I think they are young, and I am the age they were and still feel like a child. Otherwise I'm not sure I really had a concept of age as a tie to mortality when I was younger.


Everybody older than me is old and basicly dead, while everybody younger than me is a child.


As a really young kid I thought everyone was born their age. I was not a smart kid.


Old old? Was my great grandmother who got to...80 or 90. Must have been at least 80, given my mother's and grandmother's ages. She was old old.

Grandmother was old, but not so much.

Mother and everyone in her age range were "adults" but not old. Adults did things. Old people cut out papery dolls for me and my twin, that was their jobs!


I don't remember but my kids say:

Under 30 is young

30-60 is middle aged

60-90 is old

Over 90 is fucking old

I don't plan to be old until 70 though, afraid I'll live till over 90 and don't think it makes sense to say you are old until close to the end.

Allonzee , edited

As a child, I came to consider 40 to be basically dead and pointless, a withered husk clinging to life and a sense of relevance like the flagpole of a sinking ship.

As someone about to hit that mark, I still haven't seen any new information that changes my opinion on that.

Our cognitive ability peaks around our late 20s. We humans *love* to delude ourselves about our mortality with comforting thoughts like "well my *experience* makes up for it, herp derp," but that's just something to help us sleep at night as we degrade at an ever accelerating rate.

imaqtpie , edited

I don't disagree. But between experience, resources amassed, and relationships built by the time you turn 40, it's often possible to have a greater actual capability despite your slightly reduced theoretical capability.

Basically when you're in your 20s you might have a bit more cognitive horsepower, but you typically lack some emotional and financial tools to leverage that horsepower more efficiently.

shani66 , edited

I genuinely don't get how people delude themselves into thinking aging is perfectly fine, we've always known it's a terrible process and we've sought to defeat it for thousands of years. It's also wild to me that we aren't putting a truly stupid amount of money towards that goal either, emperors used to understand that finding the cure to it was worth literally everything. Yet here we finally are with the ability to meaningfully and exponentially progress our knowledge and we aren't devoting our entire society to it.

Allonzee , edited

I mean, our owner class is sinking stupid amounts of money into it.



Though I promise you that is one product, whether it's a drug that costs pennies to manufacturer, or clone replacement body/organ vats, that they won't allow to fall into the reach of the bottom 99% of us mortals.

Is there anyone who doesn't see people like Zuck, Musk, and Bezos as hardcore wannabe gods?