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    24 Modern-Day Inventions That People Over 30 Would've Given Anything To Have Back In The Day (And Exactly Why)

    By Claudia Santos,


    It's easy to reminisce and be nostalgic about the good ol' days. But sometimes, you have to admit that certain modern inventions would have made life way easier back then. Recently, we asked older adults of the BuzzFeed Community to share the present-day item they wish they had in their younger years. Here's what they had to say.

    1. "The chickenpox vaccine. I caught it when I was 12. What a wonderful way to almost die."


    Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images

    2. "As a child who loved to read, e-readers! I could rarely take more than one book on trips, and I would wind up reading it and then not having anything else to read. Now, as an adult with a Kindle, I wish I could send one to little me."


    3. "Email. My poor grandmother HATED writing letters but sent out at least five to seven each week. Then, she discovered reel-to-reel tapes and started recording letters instead. Cassettes were even better. But I know if email had existed, she would have been THRILLED, not only because she could write shorter messages but because she would have heard back within hours instead of days or weeks."


    Epoxydude / Getty Images/fStop

    4. "I would have loved to have access to any music I wanted at the touch of a button. People like to be nostalgic about record stores, but I don't miss having to buy an entire album for one or two good songs."

    —Jen, 53

    5. "It's small, but the ability to pre-purchase and select specific seats at a movie theater is a game changer, especially for big movies on opening weekend. Before, you would arrive super early, deal with long lines, and still end up sitting in the front row aisle."


    Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

    6. "Every time I drive by a big modern playground with two to three levels, multiple slides, and a rock climbing wall, I get jealous. Our playground growing up was four swingsets, one jungle gym with steel bars, and a teeter-totter."


    7. "My kids have Celiac disease, and, looking back through what I know about family history/stories, I'm pretty sure some of my relatives suffered for years and even died from complications without ever knowing that just not eating gluten was the solution. I wish they had the access my children do to good medical care and necessary food."


    Daisy-daisy / Getty Images

    8. "Special education services. I grew up in the 1970s/80s and was undiagnosed as autistic because, back then, all special services meant going to the same isolated classroom. I was gifted but would've been placed in a room with kids who had learning disabilities. My parents chose not to test me for that reason. The variety of services available today would've made life much easier."


    9. "For me, it would have to be a GPS. I always had a hard time reading a map and got lost constantly. I dreamed of having something like the GPS."


    Oscar Wong / Getty Images

    10. "Standard A/C in cars. I grew up in southern Arizona and remember hearing a car salesperson ask my parents if they would like A/C in our new vehicle. Um, yes. However, I recall that at the time, we were too poor for it, and let me tell you, driving around in 115°F heat with just the windows down does NOT cut it!"

    —Anonymous, 39, Texas

    11. "Modern skincare for acne-prone skin. When I was a teenager, three-step routines just became a thing, and the few targeted products available were almost pure alcohol. It was horrible because they just dried out the skin and ended up making acne worse."


    Maskot / Getty Images

    12. "I love the Flawless shavers! When I was a teen, I had a stache! There were only three options: razors (it grew in just as thick or thicker), hair removal cream (Nair, which irritated my skin), and waxing (so painful). If I had a Flawless in the 1980s–'90s, I'd probably be more confident!"


    13. "Drive-thru pharmacies! That would've been a game changer for my mom when I was a kid, and now I think it's the best thing. There's no need to find someone to watch the sick kid or to drag them into the pharmacy — just go in the car and pick up the prescription. Kids not wanting to get out of the car when you need to pick up a prescription or something else at the pharmacy? No problem — just go to the drive-thru."


    Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

    14. "Curbside pickup and grocery delivery. I so badly needed these things when my kids were babies, but I'm grateful to have them now!"

    —Nikki, 40, Texas

    15. "An air fryer. Microwaves were just becoming mainstream when I was growing up in the '80s, and they weren't that great. Burritos, for example. The tortilla would come out dry and crumbly, the outer filling would be so hot it would singe your taste buds, and the center would still have ice chips in it. So, it was either that or a conventional oven, which would take forever. If we had an air fryer back then, it would've been the only appliance I ever would've used."


    Rafa Jodar / Getty Images

    16. "I've been waiting for wireless headphones FOREVER. I'm so glad they're here, and I would have loved to have had them when I was in my teens (2003–2008)."


    17. "Cell phones. It would have been useful to be able to call for help when my tire went flat in -10ºF weather and I had my infant and toddler in the car. Cell phones are a wonderful safety measure."


    Tim Robberts / Getty Images

    18. "Wikipedia. During my school years, my mom had 20-plus-year-old encyclopedias. When reports were due, I had to either find a ride to the public library or wing it."


    19. "My Fitbit. I'm super curious about how many steps I used to do in a day as a teenager. I bet it was a whole hell of a lot since I used to walk very far to get to school."


    Sdi Productions / Getty Images

    20. "Central air conditioning in school. My elementary school only had A/C in the administration offices since they were in the center of the building with no windows. The classrooms had windows, so there was no A/C. My high school only had A/C in some classrooms. My French teacher had an air conditioner in her classroom but CHOSE NOT TO USE IT. I'm convinced she was a sadist."


    21. "Having access to the internet in high school might have made studying easier for me. It might also have made it easier for me to pursue some of my creative passions and have a wider reach since I didn't have easy access to any resources for them."


    Maskot / Getty Images/Maskot

    22. "Speaking for my parents, Google Translate. They were stationed in a foreign country where English wasn't commonly spoken, and my mom always talked about how isolating it was and how hard it was when you couldn't even ask for directions. I went back to that country this past year, and it's a whole new world when you can communicate directly with people, even if you don't speak their language."


    23. "It's always going to be Venmo. I was a student abroad 10 years ago and regularly had dinners with 10-plus students. Getting a bill at a restaurant was, with no exaggeration, a headache inducer between doing conversions, figuring out who owed who (and there were plenty that tried not to contribute to the confusion), and who would put the money/card down. Even eating out with a big group of friends back home in the US was tricky since fewer people started carrying cash, and very few restaurants were willing to split a bill in multiple ways (understandably!)."

    "I always think back to that, knowing Venmo would have solved that problem almost immediately. I rarely split a bill at a restaurant now, and either Venmo a friend or have them Venmo me, and I pay."

    —Sage, 30

    Oscar Wong / Getty Images

    24. "Cooking ingredients. I grew up in the '60s and '70s in a small city in a very non-populous state. My parents started teaching my brother and me how to cook by the time we were 10 years old. But we only had the Betty Crocker cookbook to learn from. It had some fantastic recipes and helped teach basic techniques, but it is very limited, and there was no discussion about the differences in rice (I keep four in stock now), spices like garam masala or sumac, or that white mushrooms aren't the only mushrooms out there."


    What modern invention do you wish existed when you were younger? Let us know in the comments, or fill out this anonymous form !

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