Never Have My Ancestors Ever….. Part 1

Never Have I ever, is a popular party game where people make a statement about something that they have never done in their lives. If someone else in the group has done that activity, they must perform an activity.

Let’s put a twist on this game and name some common daily activities that our ancestors “Never have they ever” to compare their lives versus ours in this modern time.

Never Have My Ancestors Ever…

1. Googled something 

Our ancestors actually had to go to a library or school and look things up manually in a book that could take hours.

That’s if they knew how to read. Literacy was something not often common in previous generations where children went to work at younger ages to support the family.


2. Played a video game 

Videos games technically were invented in 1958 in the form of a tennis game similar to Pong so it is possible that your more recent ancestors may have played a video game. However, in the world of video games, I don’t think they could imagine what we have today.


3. Talked to someone face-to-face on a video chat in real time that lived on the other side of the world 

The internet, video and voice technology lets us talk to people in real-time that are located anywhere in the world. We can even talk to soldiers stationed overseas in remote locations.


4. Binge watched something on streaming television 

If your ancestors had television during its infancy, they may have had limited channel options. No DVR, no TiVO and definitely not a VCR. VCRs didn’t become affordable until the 1970s. Until then, they no choice but to watch what was on. If they missed the first-run, they had to wait until syndication.


5. Driven or owned an electric car 

Actually, the electric car did exist in the 1880s but was nowhere near as economical and practical as they are today.

Advances in technology allow us to have a car that runs on rechargeable electricity with gasoline as a backup. We can travel hundreds of miles this way then just plug the car in for the next leg of a trip.

However, we can relate to our ancestors as they envisioned flying cars. It was even predicted that we’d have them before 2020. We’re still waiting…..


6. Had or used a social media account  

Since the internet as we know it wasn’t invented until the 1990s, it definitely wasn’t around for our ancestors. How do you think they would’ve taken to social media?

Would they post similar things as we do? Read this blog where I dig deeper into this question.


7. Used virtual reality 

Virtual reality has been a thing of comic books, sci-fi stories and scientific studies for decades but is just now becoming a thing that a lot of people still haven’t experienced for themselves. As technology advances, this technology has become affordable for people to purchase for home use. We can play video games or “visit” areas of the world we may not be able to do in real life.


8. Searched for jobs online or through a recruiting network 

Back in their day, ancestors made their own work through growing up as a farmer, an apprenticeship or being an entrepreneur. They may have picked up work through a newspaper or help wanted ad, word of mouth or just went out and hoped for the best.

Today, we can search for jobs online on a multitude of websites or through networking with colleagues or recruiters. Jobs are still posted in newspapers but job seekers are more successful with more modern job hunting tactics and recruiters.

Technology also allows people to work from home or remotely for their employer that may be located outside a desirable commuting distance or even in another country.


9. Built a website or online family tree 

Again, since the internet as we know it wasn’t invented until the 1990s, our ancestors didn’t have the opportunity to make a personal website nor an online family tree. If you find a family tree that an ancestor made, it was most likely on paper or parchment and included in the big family bible. Not necessarily easy to share with others and would get lost for future generations

How do you think they’d feel about seeing their family tree online that you’ve built?


10. Ordered groceries online 

Depending on the generation of your ancestors, they may not know the grocery store as we see it today, let alone having the ability to click a few buttons, shop on screen and then either have someone deliver a week’s worth of food directly to us or have our order waiting for us at the door.

Think about it as you read these activities that we may take for granted. How would your ancestors react to some of these things if they were able to experience them? Like them, hate them?

Tell us what your ancestors may think in the comments.