10 Social norms that prove how much times have changed

Nov 29, 2014 at 6:00 a.m. ET

From jeans in the workplace to potty humor, certain things that are considered acceptable these days weren't even appropriate in the past. Check out these faux pas turned total norms.

Work wear

Mad men fashion
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

Women were expected to show up for work in nothing short of shoulder pads and calf-grazing skirt suits. 'Cause apparently hem length is in direct proportion to professional, right?

Now...

Casual Friday? Shoot, more like casual Monday through Friday. Today, workplace wardrobe restrictions are few and far between. Jeans? Sure. Your favorite Chucks? Why not?

Prenups

Ariel signing contract
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

Well, since divorce wasn't really an option, prenups were a moot point. At the very least, they were considered to be in poor taste... a.k.a. tacky.

Now...

You can't swing a fake Fendi without hitting a prenup these days. Marriage vows might say happily ever after, but apparently the ever-after part needs a contingency plan.

"Nerd" glasses

Beyonce nerd glasses
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

Four eyes. Dork. Popeye. Take your pick. Wearing oversize glasses back in the day was sure to earn you a fair amount of getting picked on. If only you had perfect vision and didn't need glasses.

Now...

Everybody and their brother sports a pair of oversize spectacles — never mind that half of those spectacle-sporters don't even have a prescription. These puppies are purely decorative for many.

Arguing and conflict resolution

Angry texting
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

You settle your business in person, in private. Discretion is key.

Now...

Most tiffs — and even workplace-based disputes — can be settled with a string of texts. Or, you know, made worse because you have no idea if that emoji your friend just sent you means she's blushing in an "awe shucks, you're so sweet" way or a "my blood pressure is through the roof" way.

Celeb-stalking

Papparazi
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

Remember the days when it was considered rude to gawk at a complete stranger, much less sneak up paparazzi style and try to steal a picture of them? Yeah, we don't either.

Now...

We consider it our right, nay our responsibility, to tweet the whereabouts of any celebrity we see. Some people have built their entire careers on snapping photos of the backs of celebrity heads and sharing the barely distinguishable evidence online.

Hashtags

Hashtag nailed it
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

Sure, hashtags were proper in the past. On the phone. People called them pound signs.

Now...

Without hashtags, how could we possibly qualify our lives? How would we capture all the feelings we feel without that all-encompassing symbol? #hashtag #hashtagsfordays #arewetiredofthisyet

Dinner etiquette

Breakfast and coffee
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

Family dinners were all about bonding and communication. The most common dinner table conversation starter went a little something like, "So, how was everyone's day?" After dinner, the "kids" cleaned the table and washed the dishes once they thanked their parents for the wonderful meal. At dinner parties, guests would compliment the chef and host on their lovely serving skills.

Now...

To pay homage to the chef and host for the beautiful meal, food must be photographed and immortalized via Instagram. Hashtags like #bestmealever and @mentioning the chef and host are like a living, breathing thank-you card.

The politics of age

I'm a cool mom
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

Fraternizing with anyone wildly younger than you was considered a big social no-no. The only contact you might have with someone 10 plus years your junior would be in a professional way (you're a teacher) or parental way (you're a mom).

Now...

No one bats too much of an eye when your friends' 13-year-old daughter leaves a comment on your Facebook page. As long as you know the parents, it isn't considered creeper status to have a few much younger friends on Facebook. It might be less proper, in fact, to not accept their friend requests.

Potty humor

Baby fart
GIF credit: Giphy

Then...

Go to the bathroom and grab a bar of soap. Now stick it in your mouth. That's how proper it used to be to talk about anything related to bodily functions. Mothers, who you might think wouldn't be able to avoid it, discreetly dodged mention of such words as though they were tiny little word grenades. Or, you know, simply used filler phrases like "going tinkle" and "taking a loopsy doopsy" (*cough* MOM!).

Now...

Not only is potty humor acceptable, but it is actually considered to be pure, unadulterated hilarity that must be shared with the world. Words like poop are no longer considered linguistic pariahs — it's perfectly proper to bring them up in casual conversation when you're telling a joke or, well, if you're a mom.

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