Social Question

ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

What misconceptions did you have when you were younger?

Asked by ilvorangeiceblocks (860points) May 22nd, 2013

Recently, I’ve felt foolish because I’ve thought that hair-drying and blow-drying were different things, with hair-drying as what you do after a shower, and blow-drying something you get done at a salon and makes your hair nicer in some way, only to find out that they’re the same thing. What misconceptions has the Fluther community had in the past?

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76 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Due do the role model that my mother presented, that I was the center of the universe, and if I stayed thin and pretty and deferential, the universe would take care of me.

elbanditoroso's avatar

1) that life was, generally, fair

2) that girls, once they grew up, would enjoy sex

3) that parents were better behaved than their kids

4)that brushing your teeth twice a day would prevent cavities

All of these have, in my experience, been proven wrong

zenvelo's avatar

That people in general were good, and that acting bad was something that happened in the moment, not premeditated.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@elbanditoroso Some girls enjoy sex, don’t give up hope yet! Your fourth point is definitely a misconception. It doesn’t matter how much I try to keep my teeth clean, I usually have a cavity when I visit the dentist, I have to have one fixed on Friday in fact.

janbb's avatar

I thought that sponges lasted forever and that you never had to buy new ones. (I thought that way about marriages too.)

keobooks's avatar

I thought that if you lit toilet paper on fire, it would only light the outside layer and go around in a spiral. It turns out that the whole roll goes up in a big fireball.

Pachy's avatar

I thought I would never get as old as my dad. Well, he died at 53 and I’m well beyond that, still ticking.

gailcalled's avatar

@janbb: Funny. I am still surprised that I need to buy a few new sponges every two weeks. They’re on my list today, as it happens. But did you know you can throw them into the dishwasher for an afterlife, short but real?

janbb's avatar

No I did not.

Seek's avatar

@janbb @gailcalled Also, microwaving a damp sponge will disinfect it, and help it smell a little better.

dxs's avatar

I used to think that Santa Claus was real. Probably one of the biggest lies told to me.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I, like @elbanditoroso, was taught:

1) that life was, generally, fair
It has been, for the most part. Sometimes I’ve had to force the issue.

2) that girls, once they grew up, would enjoy sex
I honestly do not remember running into a woman that doesn’t enjoy sex, either with me or someone else. If I have, that’s probably why I don’t remember her.

3) that parents were better behaved than their kids.
It was a real shocker when saw adults behaving badly for the first time. Then later when I heard the stories of how some of my friend’s parents had neglected and abused them. And even later as a nurse treating abused SOs and children in the ER. I still have a hard time comprehending it. When it happens here on fluther, belligerence, etc., I just shut down. These people get nothing from me.

4) that brushing your teeth twice a day would prevent cavities.
Ha. Yeah. Very disappointing.

Pachy's avatar

@dxs, Santa was a lie, perhaps, but in my opinion neither a big nor harmful one. It’s not a bad lesson for a kid to learn early, in a rather benign way, that the world gives us lies as well as truths.

dxs's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I guess so. But it was pretty upsetting when I was a kid.

bookish1's avatar

I never thought that life was fair. Numerous experiences before the age of 5 disabused me of such naïveté. I did, however, used to believe that people are naturally ‘good’ and will want to do “the right thing” if they just know what it is. I don’t feel this way anymore.

LuckyGuy's avatar

That my parents only had sex twice in their lifetime, and that was to conceive my brother and me.

I’m pretty sure my adult “kids” think the same thing.

Judi's avatar

I used to think that the train on a wedding dress was a cradle to hold the baby.
like this:

ucme's avatar

When it rained, it do so over the entire planet.
Everyone alive in the olden days actually saw in black & white.
Expectant mothers gave birth out of their arseholes.
When people on the tellybox spoke to camera, not only could they see you, but were directing their conversation at you personally.

cookieman's avatar

That if you worked hard your whole life, you would be rewarded with a nice retirement.

I believed this because, at the time (70s & 80s), it was mostly true. I had numerous older relatives, after years at the bank or post office or insurance company, got a nice retirement party and a decent pension plus social security.

I haven’t seen that happen to anyone in over twenty years.

KNOWITALL's avatar

That I knew everything and my mom was an idiot.

starsofeight's avatar

That modest people have much to be modest about. 23 – 3

Berserker's avatar

You know how you can ’‘feel’’ it when someone turns on a television in another room? Like even if you don’t hear the TV, there’s that little ’‘tingly’’ feeling you can feel from cathodic TV’s and monitors after they’re being turned on. Something about sounds that can’t be heard, but can still be sensed, or I’m not entirely sure what causes that, but I read up on it before, and several people can ’‘sense’’ high pitched old TV noises. But when I was a kid, I thought I was the only one who could experience this, therefore I thought I had special powers and shit. Haha.

This doesn’t work with modern televisions and monitors though, so I am now powerless.

Seek's avatar

I can hear them too! I can also hear those fluorescent or neon lights, like the ones in schools and offices. Gives me a headache after a while

ucme's avatar

@Symbeline On a similar theme, the wife has been known to make street lights flash/dip when she walks past them…doesn’t freak me out at all :(

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ucme Are you serious or joking, because when I drive by, street lights go out all the time, it freaks me completely out. I call it my ‘magnetic personality’...lol

YARNLADY's avatar

The only one I can think of right now is our trip to California when I was 15. I thought we were going to visit Nocks Berry Farm to eat Nocks Berries.

My parents never lied to us about Santa. They presented it as a game we loved to play.

Plucky's avatar

Lol @Symbeline

I know there must be many misconceptions I had but this is the first one I could think of. I thought when you finished college… a job was just, um, there waiting for you at the end. I actually believed this up until I was in college. I was very sheltered. :P

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

When I was about five, I had this idea for a very short period that, when I was out in the yard or in another part of the house, my parents would turn into monsters like you find in the book, Where the Wild Things Are. One morning, in a matter-of-fact way, I asked my mom about this and was totally taken aback by her reaction. She was calm about it, but I could tell she was quite worried. She kept asking me questions about it, wouldn’t let it go. That night after dinner my dad gently but thoroughly interrogated me on this. I kept saying it was no big deal, just an idea I had. But I could see it bothered him too. Let me say here that my parents were really good to us, very caring, loving people. I never heard about it again and the ideas were soon supplanted by some fantasy about being a dog or something and the only reason I remember this is because of the reaction it caused in my parents. I wonder if this is common?

ucme's avatar

@KNOWITALL Totally serious, actually being there when it happens is no joke, keep expecting that dwarf woman off Poltergeist to jump out of a bush yelling…“don’t go into the light Carol-Anne!” :/

Berserker's avatar

@ucme Heh…that happens with me. Sometimes I walk by them and they shut off. Thing is, it usually does it when I’m deep in thought, so it’s always a bit of a surprise. But when I try to concentrate and purposely get them to shut off, it never works. Yes, I’ve tried.
I’m always a bit shy of saying this to people because it sounds kind of unbelievable, especially coming from me, since I pass myself off as all dark and evil. lol
However after reading about this stuff, there’s a lot of psychological fuckery going on with it. It seems to happen to me too often to be the coincidence of a light just going off for reasons that have nothing to do with me. But studies show that it’s merely all psychological, as in, you’re obviously likely to notice a light going off, and you think you caused it. At least, no ’‘super paranormal activity’’ has ever been detected or proven about this.
Maybe streetlamps in my town are just really shoddy, I denno…so it’s either a phenomenon, or I’m really conceited.

But when I was drinking a lot, this phenomenon went away. Took some slight brain digging, but it ’‘went away’’ because instead of going out for walks at night as I often did, I just stayed indoors, drinking. I’m unclear as to what this streetlight thing is, (doesn’t happen with any other kind of light, either) but I am indeed one of those people who thinks lights turn off because of my presence.

Also, I would like to add, that-

Berserker's avatar

I was gonna add something else, but then all the power went down for a sec and turned my computer off. lol

ucme's avatar

Ha, start shitting bricks if the girl from The Ring climbs outta ya screen :D
That’s some interesting stuff you’ve read up on the subject, I just thought she was highly charged with static electricity, like when she undresses, so much crackling going off…like fucking popcorn.

Berserker's avatar

Well, I’m not stating any facts. I really don’t know which it is; a psychological matter, or something that really has to do with like, brain frequencies…waves…micro phantom…stuff. I denno. But if it isn’t real, it is pretty easy to believe it is when it keeps happening.

But lol, popcorn. XD must make you hungry in more ways than one! :D

Judi's avatar

@ucme, my sister and daughters do that too. A doctor once gave it a name to my sister and pulled out a book to show it as a documented condition but she can’t remember what it was called. They also can’t wear battery powered watches unless they have a plastic back and electronic devices burn out much faster for them.
@KNOWITALL, we call it magnetic personality too!

ucme's avatar

@Symbeline Ohhhhh yeahhhhh:D
@Judi She only has the light thing going on, had it for as long as she can remember.
If ever we break down on the motorway i’ll urge her to stay in the car, she’d most likely plunge the road into darkness, causing multiple pile-ups…& we can’t be having that, dear me no :(

rojo's avatar

That grownups knew everything and because of that life would be easier once I reached adulthood.

Pachy's avatar

@dxs, it was unsettling to me too—AND I’M JEWISH! A Baptist babysitter broke the news to me one Christmas Eve. I really had believed he was real.

Nonetheless, you and I turned out okay, right?

dxs's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room It made me start questioning everything my parents said and did. So yeah, I guess it worked out for the better.

Inspired_2write's avatar

That everyone grew wise and caring in later years of life.
No so, some STILL stay immature.
That people grow up eventually? No so. Some are still as they
acted when they were teenagers.
That old hurts would die as we age…no so for some. Some still
working old hurts out in old age?

talljasperman's avatar

That Labour day was for mothers only.
That Arbour day was a horror flick.
That All Saints day was Halloween.
That Valentines day was a horror because the angel had a bow and arrow.
That Easter was a good day for chocolate.

XOIIO's avatar

That happiness was real.

#teenagedepression

lol

Inspired_2write's avatar

@talljasperman
And that bees do not have knees!

Adagio's avatar

That everyone sat around the tree on Christmas morning and opened gifts, one person at a time, admiring everyone else’s gifts and enjoying the deliciously drawnout process, but I found out it wasn’t so.

That if you ask someone to do something they will do it exactly the same way you would without needing to explain… Well, that’s a joke!

OpryLeigh's avatar

I used to think there were lots of teeny tiny little people inside of my body making sure everything worked the way it was supposed. If I got ill or had pain somewhere then one of the little men wasn’t doing his job!!

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Leanne1986 – wasn’t that the underlying theme of one of Woody Allen’s pieces in the movie “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex”

rojo's avatar

I have a friend in his late 50’s who has believed from childhood that the entire world is constructed for and around him.
Some of the things associated with this are:
1. When lost things magically appear again somewhere you already looked because you knew that was where you left them.
2. When you catch movements out of the corner of your eye these are late scenery adjustments (kind of like seeing the mike above the actors heads).
3. Deja-vu.
4. That once you are out of his sight you cease to exist until you re-animate for you next appearance.

When I ask why he is not wealthy and wise(er) with gorgeous women hanging off of him his response is that he is just the actor, not the director and doesn’t get to approve the plot.

Such is life. his anyway

ucme's avatar

I shared @Leanne1986s view, but my inspiration was ‘these little fellas.
The dudes in the Woody Allen film were for adults only & the notion was fostered in my mind as a child, so…

cookieman's avatar

@rojo: That was kind of the plot to an old Twilight Zone episode.

A Matter of Minutes

“This episode is based on the short story “Yesterday Was Monday”, by Theodore Sturgeon first published in June 1941. It is also similar in concept to the Stephen King novella The Langoliers.”

OpryLeigh's avatar

@elbanditoroso I’ve not seen it so wouldn’t know. I am sure my ideas that little men were running my body came from somewhere but couldn’t tell you where!

Mariah's avatar

I used to hear about objects “burning up in the atmosphere” and I got it into my head somehow that “the atmosphere” was like…a shell of fire surrounding the Earth up in outer space. I thought this until I was embarrassingly old. I don’t even know.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^ Honey chile, you are so far from embarrassingly old, that even Milo is laughing.

Mariah's avatar

^ too old to be thinking really silly things about meteorology though!!

keobooks's avatar

My dad once told me as a kid that skipping stones was illegal because the stone bounced off the heads of fish when it skipped. I believed that longer than I should have.

Plucky's avatar

I remember my stepmother told us that eating dry ichiban noodles gave you worms, eating watermelon seeds would make one grow in your stomach and swallowing gum would stick to your innards (ultimately killing you). Yes, all of us believed it for the longest time.
On an even worse note, my dad used to call soy sauce (pardon my language) nigger sweat. For the longest time I wouldn’t even try it because the thought of ingesting someone’s sweat made me ill. I didn’t care what race the supposed sweat came from… it was just nasty. I didn’t believe him but the thought grossed me out.

OpryLeigh's avatar

My grandmother told me that the currants in garibaldi biscuits were dead flies! I still can’t eat them.

janbb's avatar

@Leanne1986 “Sqaushed fly biscuits” my friend used to call them.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@janbb I obviously wasn’t the only one who was told that then!!

mattbrowne's avatar

We should send used clothes to Africa even when there’s no disaster.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

If you put a seashell to your ear, you can hear the ocean. My mom used to bring seashells along on trips inland to our cousins as gifts. If we got homesick, she would put one up to our ear and tell us if we listened quietly, we could hear our beach and if we listened really hard we could hear our dog barking at the seagulls on the beach. Never heard either one, but while we kept trying, mom got a break from our whining.

One day while I was holding a shell to my youngest sister’s ear so she could hear from home, my big brother started taunting me about it. He got a coffee cup, held it to my ear, and showed me it wasn’t the sea at all, it was just the blood rushing in my ears. I was a little disappointed, but at 13, I really should have figured it out by then.

mattbrowne's avatar

@dks – It was a misconception that sending used clothes to Africa, even when there was no disaster, was a good idea. Instead I later realized it was a bad idea.

talljasperman's avatar

That the government is on our side…and is trustworthy.

mattbrowne's avatar

@XOIIO – It destroys local businesses. When there’s no disaster, the only thing we should send to Africa for free is know-how and education. Exporting inexpensive subsidized food is wrong too.

dxs's avatar

@mattbrowne Can you give a link or reference to something? I still don’t get why it is wrong.

Judi's avatar

Westernizing their culture has done more harm than good. (At least I think that’s what @mattbrowne is saying.

gailcalled's avatar

That everyone loved school.

dxs's avatar

@judi What do you mean…Colonization? Are you saying we should leave Africa the way it is now? Are they okay with their current status?

Seek's avatar

Giving a group of people free clothing puts the clothing-makers out of work.

Judi's avatar

@dxs, I am the first to admit that I don’t know African history or current politics as much as I should. I don’t have sources lined up to cite but I have heard that the western worlds efforts to bring our religion and exploit the cheap labor, driving people into cities to get on the capitalist bandwagon has done more harm than good.
Our cheap, basically disposable clothing is nothing compared to indigenous clothing that is passed on for generations. Most cultures have lost skills to make quality in our new consumption based economy.

dxs's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr @Judi Got it. Poor Africans. They should’ve been left alone. Is there anything we could do to help them instead of giving clothes, etc.?

rojo's avatar

@dxs It depends on your world view;

Give a man a suit and he’ll wear it when his wife makes him.

Teach him to make a suit and he’ll put his name on your ass pocket for a buck.

mattbrowne's avatar

@dxs – Suppose you’re an African taylor in a small town. Your customers come from this small town. One day a large truck shows up full of free used clothes (in good condition) from Europe. Many people stop buying from this taylor.

I searched for links for the “helping people help themselves” principle, which seems a bit difficult. Maybe this is useful:

“The best people to help poor communities are community members themselves. That’s because no one understands their problems better than they do.

Poor people can take control, solve their own problems, and rely on themselves – with the right support. That’s where we come in.

Helping people help themselves is about realising people’s right to earn a secure sustainable living.

We do this by giving people the skills, tools, confidence and access to markets they need to fulfil their potential and work their way of poverty. Whether it be growing cabbages in Papua New Guinea or making pots in Bangladesh, we work with poor communities to find a way that works for them.

The quality of their working life is also important to us. We fight for better working conditions and better protection of the natural resources on which poor communities depend. And we campaign at a global level for fair access for poor people to national and international markets.”

https://www.oxfam.org.au/explore/helping-people-help-themselves/

mattbrowne's avatar

@Judi – You wrote: “Westernizing their culture has done more harm than good”. I would put it this way: “Westernizing their culture has done more good than harm”. Here are some examples for harm:
– corporate greed
– predatory pricing (dumping)
– predatory lending
– raw material exploitation
– corporate pollution
– drug experiments

But Western culture also brought this to Africa
– democracy
– rule of law
– human rights
– medicine
– science
– technology
– innovation
– education
– governance
– infrastructure
– anti-corruption policies
– transparency
– tourism
...

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