It’s official, life really was better in the ‘good old days’. Our study for animal charity, SPANA, found that 50% of adults over 50 preferred life when they were kids.

The lack of traffic on the road was named as the number on reason why the old days were favoured, followed by the fact that back then, things were built to last. Freedom to play out at an early age, people having more respect for each other and general all round good manners made up the rest of the top 5 reasons people were happier in the past.

But not everything was rosy. The survey also listed a number of things that people felt were better now. Number one on the list is the fact that drink driving is now illegal, followed by the advancement in medicines making many diseases treatable and car seatbelt laws.

One issue that represented both sides of te argument was the Internet. The World Wide Web was listed at number 4 on the list of things that are better in modern life, with many loving the fact that you can so much online, such as banking and booking holiday. However many people preferred the good old days because they liked the fact that not everything was broadcast on the web.

The 1970s was named as the favourite decade of those polled. 55% wish they could turn back time with 80% saying life was simpler in the past.

The survey was part of a campaign with our partners, 72Point, commissioned by SPANA to mark International Working Animal Day (15th June). The story achieved widespread print and digital media coverage including in both the print and online versions of The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and The Daily Mirror.

Click here to view the coverage in more detail

Top 20 Things Better in the Past

  1. Not so much traffic on the road
  2. Things were built to last
  3. The freedom to go out to play at an early age
  4. People had more respect for each other
  5. Good manners
  6. Bobbies on the beat
  7. Not everything was broadcast on the internet
  8. People were more patient
  9. Less throw-away culture
  10. Things were more laid back / slower pace of life
  11. More face-to-face conversations
  12. Families ate together around the dinner table
  13. The price of gas / petrol
  14. Life without being connected all the time
  15. Matrons on hospital wards
  16. Free university education
  17. Fresh produce – less chemical enhancers
  18. Property prices /more affordable housing
  19. People picked up the telephone
  20. Houses were made to last (e.g. they were made from solid brick)

Top 20 Things Better Now

  1. Drink driving is illegal
  2. Infectious diseases are largely treatable
  3. There are laws for wearing seat belts in cars
  4. The internet
  5. Smoking in public is banned
  6. You don’t have to hand wash all laundry
  7. We only have indoor toilets
  8. Email
  9. You will no longer die of something which is easily curable
  10. Online banking
  11. You can book a holiday online
  12. Equality
  13. Dads are more involved in childcare
  14. Digital cameras
  15. More annual holiday allowance
  16. Computing
  17. Cheap foreign travel
  18. TV on demand
  19. More international cuisine / less bland food
  20. Smart phones