Gen X'ers Are Sharing The Coolest Part About Being A Kid In The '70s

Gen X'ers Are Sharing The Coolest Part About Being A Kid In The '70s

Every generation looks back at the time period when they were a kid with rose-colored glasses. This is especially true of us millennials who love to look back at the '80s and '90s as the greatest time to grow up (especially the '90s).

Teens baking in a kitchen, with one putting muffins in the oven and the others eating. The fridge is adorned with photos and magnets
Richard Hutchings / Getty Images

Recently, I came across a Reddit thread that was clearly aimed at Gen X'ers and their childhood. In the thread, user wanik4 asked: "What was the coolest part about being a kid in the '70s?"

A collection of childhood photos featuring various moments, including a baby by a cake, children playing outside, and kids wearing different outfits. Names unknown
Shanina / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Of course, the thread got hundreds of replies from people who were happy to share why growing up in the 1970s was the best. Below are some of the top, best, and most-often repeated comments:

1."Playing outside with your friends."


"This is an excellent answer. And in summer it was until like 9 p.m."


2."We could create fun with almost anything as our imaginations were up to the task."


A person rides a bicycle on a residential sidewalk while three children ride tricycles behind them. Brick houses and greenery are seen in the background
Scott Mcpartland / Getty Images

3."The music!"


"There it is. I know people from each generation always think the music they grew up with was 'the best,' but I honestly and objectively can say the '70s actually was the best decade of music. I don't think I went a minute without a radio, 8-track, cassette, or record going around me except at dinnertime. I feel like I had a soundtrack to my life for the entire decade.

Music was always just 'there.' Almost every song from the '70s brings back specific memories of where I was, or who I was with, or what I was feeling. Everyone listened to the same couple radio stations, so if you dedicated a song to someone chances were they would actually hear it. You brought your records to house parties.

Concerts were the biggest party of all. You spent half your summer either trying to make enough money to buy tickets or trying to score tickets. Camping out in front of record stores or department stores the night before tickets went on sale, everybody partying and listening to the music of the group you were trying to get tickets to. Good times."


4."No cell phones."


"Cellphones are fine. It’s the smartphone addiction that’s the problem."


5."Saturday morning cartoons were like an event that started at 6:00 a.m. and culminated with Looney Tunes at 10 or 1. Looking back, I realize it was all just a grown-up conspiracy so parents across the land could sleep the hell in."


Two children with updos are watching a vintage TV in a retro living room with orange carpet and wood paneling, evoking a nostalgic setting
H. Armstrong Roberts / Getty Images

6."Latchkey kid here. We had three house rules: 1.) Leave a note. 2.) Be home before dark. 3.) If you're going to be late, CALL. Other than that, like the preacher in Blazing Saddles said, 'Son, you're on your own.'"


7."As a kid, you could pretty much do whatever you wanted. We had the freedom to basically raise ourselves. During summer vacation, your parents were lucky to see you."


"As long as you come home for dinner 😁."


8."Seeing Star Wars at the drive-in when it first came out."


"Seeing Star Wars for the 13th time in a year after it came out because it was still in movie theaters!"


"Getting to see Star Wars at the theater when it was first released. It changed my life. Then, getting to play with all the action figures and toys. Good times."


Black-and-white image of a crowd lined up outside the Coronet theater in San Francisco, California in 1977 to see "Star Wars" as shown on the marquee
San Francisco Chronicle / Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

9."Neighbors looked out for each other and also watched EVERYbody's kids. Yes, we ran all day and half the night, mostly unsupervised… But every neighbor saw you at one point during the day and either gave you a sandwich and a nice cold Coke or told you to knock off the horseshit, or they were gonna call your parents. 🤣"


10."Having the room to make mistakes without someone posting them online. Not having to answer decades later for everything young and stupid you said or did."


11."An immune system strong enough to neutralize all ingested gunk every time I drank from the outside garden house."


"Drinking from the hose GAVE you that immunity!"


Three children drink water from a hose, enjoying a playful summer moment
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

12."Going to bookstores or the library to browse and find something interesting to read. Reading lots of magazines and newspapers. Finding the movie section in the newspaper to read reviews and find out movie times. Saving up money, buying a new album, and reading the liner notes while playing it for the first time. Having a relatively quiet and spacious mind."


13."Back then, $5 went really far."


"A bleacher seat at the Cubs game cost $1.50, and the bus was maybe 40 cents. Ditch your last class to make it to the 1:20 p.m. start time."


14."Most entertainment was outside the house: local sports, roller skating rinks, and movies on the weekends. It was a simpler time, and many would say it was the best of times!"


Two teenagers roller skate indoors while holding hands, dressed in 1970s fashion with wide-leg pants and patterned tops
Hum Images / Hum Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

15."Unsupervised play in the woods. Hours of adventures, every weekend."


"We laugh about camping, too. The kids got a flashlight and were told not to get into trouble. The parents got Kahlua and Uno."


16."Collecting discarded soda bottles and taking them in to get the $.05 return deposit, then buying candy and more soda — it was life!"


17."Familiar faces in familiar places, i.e., the cashier at the store, the teller at the bank, the hardware store guy, etc. Five and dime stores and neighborhood theaters."


A shopkeeper and a customer are chatting at the counter of a store stocked with various medicine and cigarette products in the background
Afro Newspaper / Getty Images

18."Listening to the radio back in the '70s was just so much fun! Both the AM and FM dials played a huge variety of great songs day and night in every city and town. And the disc jockeys were outstanding, too. Plus, there were also fun and fascinating radio talk shows in the '70s."


"FM radio was a free-for-all back then because it wasn't yet commercially viable, and owners were willing to experiment; they had nothing to lose."


19.And lastly, "Talking to people on the landline felt special, especially long distance."


A young girl with blonde hair styled in bangs smiles while speaking on a rotary phone in this vintage photo
Harold M. Lambert

You can read the original thread on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.