Category:Comics to make one feel old

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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One effective way to make a person suddenly feel a lot older is to point out the passage of time with reference to a cultural or pop-cultural event dates. This is a recurring theme in xkcd (see also this xkcd blag post).

In each case, the joke is derived from the shock that many adults feel upon realizing that events that feel relatively recent actually took place many years or even decades ago. For example, you likely can't appreciate how your parents feel about music from their childhood (which you consider "oldies") until you reach an age where music from your own childhood is considered "oldies" to the next generation. Similarly, you might not appreciate until it's explicitly pointed out that the music that was considered "oldies" as a kid is now decades older (e.g. for a child today, music from the 1960s is as old to them as music from the 1940s was to someone in their 30s).

This becomes especially acute when it's pointed out how old someone born during that time would be. Perhaps this is because for many people, there are fewer significant events and changes in their lives after they reach adulthood where there are no grade numbers and annual class changes to mark the continued passage of years. It can also be hard to realize until its explicitly pointed out how different generations will experience/remember different events. Hearing how many years have passed framed in the context of the age of a child allows you to realize how long the period really is as you recall how much had occurred in your own life and how much you had grown by the time you were that age by imagining what it might be to reach that age all after the event in question.

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