8 Modern Fads That Are
Waaay Older Than You

Fads are meant to be short-lived but sometimes if the enthusiasm shared throughout society is intense and wide enough, the craze can live on through the ages. Here are 8 fads that started long ago and stuck around for good!

Photo Manipulation

colorized-wedding-photo-manipulation Credit

Today we use photo manipulation to make ourselves look better and hide our insecurities before posting a pic on social media. But since the invention of photography, people would add color to black and white pics, add gold earrings, and they used crosshatches to brighten dark sports in a photo. Eventually, people started changing backgrounds and appearing several times in one photograph.

Flipping The Bird

Charles-Radbourn-sports-player-sticks-middle-finger-out Credit

In ancient Greece, a playwright by the name of Aristophanes made a joke of comparing the middle finger to a penis. Eventually, flipping someone off became a means of insulting and humiliating someone. This fad vanished around the Middle Ages. But by the 19th century, it resurfaced when baseball player Charles Radbourn stuck his middle finger out during a photo shoot.

Highest Paid Athletes

Rome-chariot-racing-dangerous-high-paid-sport Credit

If you thought paying sports players a ridiculous amount of money throughout their career was a current fad, you're in for a rude awakening. In the second century, chariot racing was THE sport to play in Rome. Gaius Appuleius Diocles earned as much as $15 billion through his career. Chariot racers were often paid a lot because it was considered extremely dangerous and in some cases … deadly.

Plastic Surgery


Ancient Romans started this cosmetic fad of removing scars and parts of their bodies that they deemed undesirable. Ironically, 18th century doctors found an 8th century B.C. book detailing the procedures, which inspired them to reconstruct noses from other parts of the head to help soldiers who were disfigured during the war.

Worshipping Celebrities

Roman-gladiator-worshipped-crowd Credit

Some of us can't go a day without watching E! or going on Just Jared to read the latest gossip on some of our favorite celebrities because we simply adore them. But back in ancient times, Roman gladiators were seen as human gods in the same way that Greeks saw their Olympic winners. Centuries later, William Shakespeare was held in the same esteem and now, it's all about the Kardashians!

Chain Letters

chain-letter-fad-ancient-times Credit

In 1888, the 1st chain letter was sent by a missionary academy that was in a butt-load of debt. The letter instructed the recipients to donate to the school and forward the letter to three of their friends. From that point, chain letters became popular. Criminals even used them to create fraudulent pyramid schemes. Ultimately, chain letters became chain e-mails and now they're everywhere.

Short Texting

old-style-telegraph-short-texting Credit

If you thought this fad appeared with the invention of mobile phones, guess again. The first short text writing appeared in 1917 when British Naval Admiral Lord Fisher sent a letter to his prime minister Sir Winston Churchill using O.M.G. in lieu of Oh My God! Eventually, people started shortening good morning and good night with g.m. and g.n. to reduce the cost of sending a message via telegraph.

Wall Graffiti

graffiti-wall-fad-ancient-times Credit

Graffiti started in ancient Greece and Rome. It was often used to advertise gladiator fights, insult people, advertise for prostitution and was often rude and sarcastic. So in other words, nothing has really changed for this fad in over two thousand years.