Imagine being locked inside a cell for years, not knowing what is going on in the outside world. Imagine realizing how much has changed while you were in prison. Technology has drastically improved, fashion trends fluctuate, and politics are completely different than they've ever been. You've come to find that the world around you never stopped moving while you were locked away.
I'm sure it would be difficult enough to adjust to all the changes around you, but it's truly hard to imagine the culture shock that one might feel while trying to begin a normal life again. The everyday tasks and luxuries that we consider to be simple become a huge shock to those who have been incarcerated for years.
You'd be amazed at the things that shock these past inmates the most. From cell phones to computers to prices of gas, all of their answers have been interesting and shocking.
A not-so-normal life
via: ShutterstockMany recently released inmates need time to adjust and figure out how to reenter the world after being locked away. A recent Reddit thread opened up the conversation for people to share stories of the things they were most shocked by after being in prison anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
My celly was locked up for 20 years before he was in jail with me. He got locked up again for beating up somebody who was talking bad at a bus station. The guy he beat up was talking to someone else on a Bluetooth headset.
Who are you talking to?
via: ShutterstockMy dad is a prison chaplain. One of his inmates had been in for about 30 years and got out last year. My dad got a call from him a few days later: "Chap! Did you know they have toilets that flush themselves?!?!" -RustyPainter
Toilets have evolved
via: Shutterstock10 years ago I went to a sort-of internet cafe where you use the computers to job search, create resumes, etc. I sat down by an older gentleman who just stared into the screen with his hands in his lap. An employee came by and asked him if he needed help, which he agreed and stated he had been incarcerated for like 30 years and had never used a computer. -ViralOner
Technology is confusing
I was told a story by this ex-felon who had a cellmate that finally got released after 30+ years in prison. He gave the guy his phone number because he knew that transitioning into the real world would be rough.
He went on to say that he got a call from his cellmate, at a grocery store in a corner crying because the selection in the store was too much for him to handle. Mostly the different varieties of items, different brands have grown in the past 30+ years. Also, the use of self-checkout machines can be confusing.-JewFroBro82
Too many options
Gatorades and FBI Agents
via: ShutterstockSaw a dude on the news who'd been in jail for like, 50 or 60 years. He said the craziest thing was seeing all the crazy colored Gatorade's. That and he thought everyone was an FBI agent because of their earbuds. -GenocidalArachnid
A good possiblity
Cell phones and gas prices
via: ShutterstockMy mother was released after a 15-year prison sentence. The weirdest thing to her is the cell phones. She thinks it’s crazy that everyone is attached at the hip to their phones. And that you can look anything up in an instant. Also gas prices. They definitely threw her for a loop. She offered to gas my vehicle up because I helped her run some errands....she didn’t realize that it was going to cost $50 lol. -KommandoKracker87
We want change
Fax it over
via: ShutterstockI went to rehab a few years ago and one of the guys there with me just got out of prison after a 20-year sentence for being a huge meth dealer. He said cellphones blew his mind and he’s so confused about gas pumps now because of the option to pay with cards at the pump and how different they look.
Gas station etiquette
via: ShutterstockIn 2015 I met a guy who went to jail in 1997 and had just got out. The big thing he noticed was that there weren't as many large groups of youth out and about like when he was a kid. He said the saddest thing he saw was going to the local park and seeing almost nobody there at 6 pm, when he went in the 1990s there were typically 50-60 young people hanging out skating around and socializing. He said people aren't out on their stoops socializing as much, he doesn't see nearly as many people out and about on Friday and Saturday nights.
We're still in shock
So many details
via: ShutterstockMy best friend got out in January after twelve years. He can’t handle the awesomeness of Netflix. Also booking shit online. I'm Still teaching him Amazon. Oh, and you pick your seat at the movie theater...I’m not really over that yet either. -tictactroy
ATMs and conveyor belts
via: ShutterstockI used to work in prison, I recall a lifer going out for the day and being mind blown by ATMs and the moving conveyor belts at the supermarket.