2 months ago, Reddit user fuzziblanket asked, “What is something considered to be ‘normal’ by society that you refuse to do?” We’ve gone through the responses and curated this list of some of the most interesting topics that you may have never even questioned before. Whether you commonly do these activities or not, enjoy reading through them and determining if you still consider them normal. Be sure to upvote the answers you’d like other pandas to see, and let us know in the comments what “normal” things you’d never be caught doing.
Then if you’re looking for another Bored Panda piece pointing out odd yet socially acceptable things, look no further than right here.
#1Forbidding my (straight male) partner to spend time with female friends. He's a grown-a*s man; he should know how to hold healthy boundaries. It shouldn't be on me to keep him from cheating. If he's really gonna fall into the pants of the first girl I leave him alone with, she can have him.
Similarly, blaming someone else for my partner's failings, and/or trying to "win back" someone who doesn't want me. He's a big boy who can make his own choices (even bad ones), and I want a partner who wants to be with me, not someone I had to talk into staying.
(For the record, my dudeman of 20 years is awesome.)
Image credits: sasstoreth
What’s considered “normal” is determined by society, but there are many societies around the globe that have their own quirks. In the United States, for example, it’s totally normal to drive your car anywhere you go, even if it’s just a mile away because there might not be decent sidewalks or crosswalks to get to your destination. In many other countries where roads are built to better accommodate pedestrians, this would be considered bizarre. It’s also normal in many European countries for kids to walk or bike to school by themselves, especially when they’re about 8-years-old or older. This would be very rare in the US. Even when in their own neighborhood, American kids are usually expected to have adult supervision at all times. When paying at a restaurant in the US, patrons typically hand the server their card, the server takes it to their computer, and then they return with the receipt. If a server in a European country tried to walk off with someone’s credit card, the customer might assume they were being robbed. Societal norms vary greatly based on where you are, so there's nothing wrong with questioning them. They might be more arbitrary than you think!
#2recording yourself doing an act of charity or a good deed in general. completely devalues it the second you hit post
Image credits: yzmasmomi
#3give a s**t about celebs. Sometimes they're fun to talk about for like 5 minutes but other than that? Aren't they just people? I don't get it.
Image credits: CoffeeAndPizzaRolls
One of the socially acceptable activities mentioned on this list is drinking alcohol. While alcohol has been around for centuries, it’s also the most commonly abused substance. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a couple drinks, especially in social settings. Alcohol is linked with many cultures, as sharing a bottle of wine with a loved one or enjoying some beers with your best friends can be great ways to bond. Holidays tend to be filled with booze in many places as well.
But regardless of how socially acceptable drinking is, it’s completely fair to question it too. People who have experience with alcoholics in their families or personal lives may decide that drinking will never be for them. Others decide to refrain from drinking for religious or health reasons. Drinking heavily can lead to developing heart, liver, or kidney issues and can even increase an individual's likelihood of developing cancer. It's completely up to individuals whether or not they decide to drink; no one should ever feel pressured to order a drink because its expected by society.
#4I don't know if it's been mentioned already, but I'll throw in my 5 cents.
The need to be available 24/7, i.e. always having your phone on you.
I like going for long walks and leaving my phone at home. I don't feel guilty for missing texts or calls, it's just stressful being expected to be available all hours of the day.
EDIT: Thank you kind strangers for the awards.
#5Work myself to death.
Edit: I commented this, passed out, and now it blew up. Thank you for the awards.
Also please use your vacation days. Your sick days. Take your dog out. Hang out with the family. Even if you're alone like me - Go do something you like.
Image credits: Onautopilotsendhelp
#6Hang out in a social setting where the music is so gawdam loud that you have to scream at the person next to you to communicate.
Image credits: Capnreid
Smoking is another habit that’s considered socially acceptable in some places but more taboo in others. We’re all well aware of cigarettes being carcinogens, and most of us have seen terrifying examples of what smoking can do to the body our entire lives. Yet for some reason, smoking is still incredibly common and accepted in many countries. In Greece, for example, about 38% of the population smokes, including 47% of men. According to cardiologist and tobacco control researcher Konstantinos Farsalinos, “Greeks aren’t highly motivated to quit. There is plenty of education, and we have smoking cessation centers, but they are not popular. There is not a lot of social pressure to quit smoking. Although there are laws prohibiting indoor smoking, those laws are not obeyed. So that reduces the social pressure. So, the smoker tends to forget the reasons why smoking is bad for you. Most Greek smokers only quit when they develop disease.” While the culture around smoking is different everywhere, it’s definitely worth questioning if it’s accepted wherever you live.
I'm a 38 year old woman with lots of experience with kids - I like kids! - but people think that is a reason to birth them.
Image credits: Queen_beeeeee
#8Talk to toxic family members
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#9Sacrifice a down payment on a house for a wedding.
Image credits: BlackLotus8888
Similarly to smoking, people around the world have very different views on recreational drugs as well. Marijuana is particularly controversial, as it has been legalized for recreational use in 6 countries, 19 states in the US, and parts of Australia. In places where it is legal, like the state of Oregon for example, it usually is considered socially acceptable. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but it’s legal and harmless, so people tend to mind their own business. However, in other places where it is heavily enforced, like the Philippines where it is considered a "dangerous drug", people are a lot less likely to openly discuss their marijuana use. How socially acceptable recreational drugs are depends greatly on individual cultures, but even in places where marijuana is common, there will always be those who simply have no interest in getting high.
#10Bore other people with photos of everyday stuff they see all the time anyway. For example, the meal I am going to eat, the shoes I bought, the place I am at.
Image credits: Stendhal-Syndrome
#11I don’t drink or do illicit drugs. Alcohol messes with my medication, and pot gives me anxiety. I am a sober person and people often give me s**t about it and call me boring.
Image credits: TheShining02
#12Walk in the house with shoes.
Why people want to track all the junk from the outside and smear it over the floors , bed, and couch?! No thanks
Image credits: msb1tters
Another thing mentioned on this list that some people swear they’ll never experience is dating apps. Online dating originally began in 1995 when Match.com launched, but as our culture has become increasingly obsessed with the internet since then, finding love online has only become more and more common. In 2020, the Pew Research Center found that 30% of Americans had ever used a dating site or app, including 48% of people between the ages of 18-29. These numbers have likely only gone up since the onset of the pandemic, though, and online dating is even more common among members of the LGBT+ community. Pew found that 55% of LGBT respondents had experience on a dating site or app, with 21% of them saying they had even been in a serious relationship with someone they met online.
#13Wear makeup. If I can deal with my face, so can everyone else
#14Push for the removal of homeless. They need help, not further persecution.
#15Adding “she” “her” “hers” or “he” “his” “him” in any form of bio in social media.
Image credits: xKINGxRCCx
When it comes to apps specifically, they did begin as a way for same-sex couples to meet. Grindr, a location-based app geared towards gay and bisexual men, launched in 2009 and started somewhat of a sexual revolution in the gay community. Since then, dating apps have become the norm for everyone regardless of sexual orientation. Tinder launched in 2012, and now has over 50,000,000 users. But just because dating apps are now socially acceptable doesn’t mean everyone has to use them. In fact, about half of Americans say that online dating has had neither a positive or negative effect on their love lives. If you prefer to meet people the old fashion way, there’s no reason to feel pressured into using the internet.
#16Yes. People are flabbergasted when I’m not informed on the latest celebrity news and honestly I just don’t see a reason to keep up with it
#17My dad just scolded me because I was unwilling to put in 60+ hrs/week at a new salaried job by saying 'I've worked 70/hr since I was out of college!'
Yeah dad, that's probably why you missed every important life event and smoke a juul at age 57
Image credits: Dogplantmom97
Social media is another thing that has become socially acceptable, but still doesn’t appeal to everyone. Since social media began in the early 2000s, it has dominated the internet. In 2004, MySpace was the first site of its kind to reach over 1 million monthly active users, but today, Facebook has 2.89 billion active users. Facebook has been the most popular social media site globally for over a decade now, but Youtube is quickly catching up, with 2.29 billion active users. Among the other most successful sites are Instagram, which currently has 2 billion active users, and TikTok, which has only been around since 2016 and already has 1 billion active monthly users.
#19brushing before breakfast:
doing that is basically wiping before you s**t and i refuse to do that
Image credits: BeegBeegGae
Image credits: Newt_Lv4-26
#21My wife and I had a very small wedding on a beach with only our parents there. Then, we drove to a mountain and hiked to the top with our photographer for our first dance.
It was incredible and people keep telling us they wish they could’ve done something that simple but social pressures made them spend more.
Now, we’ve just had to spend more than the entire cost of our wedding just to buy the plane tickets to attend my sister’s big wedding.
Despite how popular social media sites are, it’s understandable why some people would want to avoid them. One of the biggest reasons people cite for staying off these apps is because they can be a huge waste of time. The average global user spends about 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media per day, with average users in Nigeria and the Philippines spending over 4 hours per day. It’s easy to rack up hours on these sites though, as they are typically designed to be addictive. With features like “likes” and feeds designed to constantly show users new content, these websites are aimed at getting users hooked.
Image credits: AzuSteve
#23Shave/wax my pubes. I actually really like having pubic hair. It doesn't bother me or my partner, and I find waxing and/or shaving extremely uncomfortable and not at all worth it.
Image credits: ladymaenad
#24Call my coffee something other than small, medium & large.
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Social media is also notorious for causing users to compare themselves to others, which can negatively impact their self esteem. One study from the University of Pennsylvania even found that reducing social media use to only 30 minutes a day resulted in a reduction in anxiety levels, depression, loneliness, sleep problems and FOMO (fear of missing out). Like everything else, there’s nothing wrong with using social media in moderation. But just because it’s considered “normal” to spend hours a day on these sites does not mean you need to create an account today. If your life is perfectly fine without social media, I’m sure it won’t be any better with it.
#25Ironing. Life is too short. I don't even own an iron and my clothes are just fine.
#26Smoking. I can't stand cigarette smell.
#27Have never and will never use a dating app.
Image credits: nicoleduret
I think this list has taught us that just because something is considered "normal" does not mean we have to go along with it. We all have the right to make our own choices, and what's socially acceptable totally depends on where we end up living. Enjoy the rest of this list, and remember to upvote the answers you most agree with. Then let us know in the comments if you think of any other "normal" activities you would never do that didn't make it onto this list.
#28One Night Stands
Sex doesn't mean anything to me if I can't build a connection first
#29Going in debt $30k-$70k for a vehicle.
#30Text while hanging with friends, or out to dinner, or driving, or in a movie theater.
#31The Hustle Culture. Although I like the idea of bettering your life but always thinking of doing something or the other will leave you with burnout. Taking a break regularly is nessecary
Edit: It's good if you are in a bad place. But it's not always about working your a*s off. What's important is taking a break and keep it from becoming toxic
#32Buy fast fashion (or pretty much any fashion whose supply chain is questionable). I used to. Then I found out not only how and where those clothes begin their lives, but also how and where those clothes end their lives.
It was so horrific, I decided I was done. I now buy secondhand, or I save and buy pieces from independent tailors from sites like Etsy. And I research the tailor too.
I also took some of the money I saved from clothes shopping and got a sewing machine. I am learning to sew and make my own summer dresses (I'm not good enough yet to take on complex clothing, but I'm learning)
#33Wearing a bra, I completely hate the feeling
Image credits: Keilaivy
#34Don't follow sports
#35This might be oddly specific, it's wearing flip flops.
I grew up in a tourist beach town, I have never owned a pair of flip flops in my life. I find them wildly uncomfortable and people in my hometown look at me like a crazy person when I tell them I don't own a pair.
Image credits: Killarogue
#37Have tons of social media accounts where I'm constantly posting pictures of what I'm doing every day. Remember, if it's not photographed and posted online, it didn't happen.
#38Buy copious amounts of dishes, Why the f**k do you need 27 plates for the two people in your household. Im looking at you mom.
#39Do “lives” on social media. Since when did vanity and narcissism become so acceptable?
No one cares about your dining experience or “get ready with me” moments.
#40I refuse to pay for an autograph of any kind. I've been a book signing or two, but that was because I liked the author. Every famous person I've met has been by total accident.
#41Making my husband have a man cave. It’s his house too. He shouldn’t just be banished to one room
#42Didn’t see it here so figured I’d share. Live in a city. I was born in a large city, lived there until I was 11. Then moved to the woods. I’ve lived in the woods since then and although I have visited cities since, I could never live there. Too many people, too much noise and I just don’t feel comfortable. I feel more comfortable taking walks at night in the woods than I would in a city.
#43Upload pictures of yourself online
#44Credit card debt… like… why?!?!
Nah, just kidding, I’m American, I have cc debt
#45Eating a*s! I remember when everyone thought it was f*****g disgusting and now people are turned on by eating literal s**t and have their a*s eaten. Can't understand how our evolution has come to this.
#46Sleep around. Meaningless physical touch just grosses me out.
#47Use literally when I mean figuratively.
#48Two months ago, my dad died. He had cancer and had had it for like a year.
I told my work over and over again that he was really sick. I work in an office and am on a computer all day. I have a company-supplied laptop. I have the ability to work from home, but I was not allowed to do so because I was an hourly employee.
I told them that his condition was worsening. I live five hours from my parents. They refused to accommodate me, even when I offered to work every day from my parents house, just so I could be with him.
They said 'well maybe when the situation gets more dire.'
I tried to apply for FMLA (I think that’s the right acronym) and I wasn’t eligible because I was hourly and hadn’t been there for a year yet, despite the circumstances. A week before he died I told my boss that it was almost time and I might have to take off work.
They were not concerned and told me as long as I got my work done and didn’t miss deadlines. I took the day he died off work—I just had a bad feeling, and was packing to go see him when he passed.
I told my work and they don’t have bereavement leave. So I offered to work remotely during this period and again they refused. Again, I have a 'good job' working at a huge corporation, in an office; my job requires a degree.
I was forced to use all of my sick time and some of my PTO so I could attend his funeral and help my mother with arrangements.
And I'm stuck here because I can't afford to quit without something else lined up. I've been looking. They obviously don't see us as humans.
You don’t owe your company anything. I would give anything to go back and time and quit, just to spend the last few weeks with my dad.
Whatever company you work for doesn’t care about you, only about how much you make them. Don’t worry about screwing them over or anything because at the end of the day, you could die and they would consider it a small inconvenience.
#49I felt this way for a long time, but my partner is the youngest of 5 siblings and the family has never had a wedding or proper family function (outside of casual holidays). Even his parents eloped!
Our initial plan for a small backyard wedding kept growing and growing as logistics got more difficult: renting a tent, tables, chairs, tablecloths, place settings, port-o-potties, building a viable dance floor for the backyard.
With 2 big families, our minimum headcount was higher than we'd like. Annnnd with a bigger headcount, you either pay for a venue or save a mere grand for the stress of building your own venue and dealing with thrice as many vendors ?
We've still had a ton of reservations about the cost (wedding is in June), but recently learned that some family members on his side are in very poor health and not long for this world.
Soon as we learned that, the cost didn't seem as important as having the first formal family reunion in 75 years.
We've joked straight through that a wedding is not about the couple getting married, and it seems truer than ever. Humbled to provide the opportunity to celebrate with everyone and to get real family portraits.
It definitely isn't the choice for everyone.
#50sex. the idea makes me uncomfortable and weirded out but if u dont do it then ur weird for being a virgin
#52Go to bed early like f**k you I still get my 8 hours
#53Climb up the ladder and be the boss. I could but why.
#54Stand for the national anthem it’s not a political statement. I just don’t like group programmed things just because everyone is doing it I have to. Plus I know the contributions my family has made for the USA.
#55Lie out of politeness
If i have to, I would rather just say nothing, point out a separate positive(deflect), or find the best way to not hurt their feelings
Sparing someone the brunt of the truth does not only hurt their development, but its hugely patronizing