Would You Rather Be Rich In 1915 Or Middle Class In 2015?

new-york-university-pollIn the past week nearly 3,000 respondents from university campuses across the U.S. have weighed in on this intriguing ‘would you rather’ question posted by a student at New York University.  

Surprisingly, over half of respondents would prefer to be extremely rich in 1915. This may shock those of you who are enjoying living in the present-day, which is full of amenities like wifi, cheap air travel and y’know, modern medicine.  

Some user comments also speak to the hard truths of living in the olden days. We can’t forget that many vaccinations hadn’t yet been discovered and most privileges existed only for white men.   new-york-university-student-opinions  

So, what is it about the turn of the 20th century that is so alluring to 55% of our college respondents? Check out the list below to see why we think 1915 can hold its own against the modern day.  

Top 5 reasons why 1915 was killin’ it

1. It was just like Downtown Abbey

Yes, your binge watching has finally paid off.   Downtown Abbey fans actually have a pretty good understanding of what life was like for the rich of 1915. Money, clothes, parties, food, drama… What’s not to love?  

Image Source: Instagram


2. Fashion was opulent AF

Image Source: Buzzfeed

Velvet, beading, transparent textures, feathers, more beading… The fashion of the 1910’s was the ultimate in luxury, especially for society’s upper crust.   If you were living back in the day, chances are you would be looking as stunning as Aida Overton Walker here, who was one of the most famous vaudeville performers of the turn of the century.    

Image Source: Pinterest

3. Smoking was still cool

Ok, smoking may still be cool, depending on who you ask, but in 1915 smoking would have been extra awesome.   Ah yes, those of us who long for a simpler time (when the discovery that smoking causes cancer had not yet come to light) could easily relish in the smoky haze of 1915. Enjoy it while you can!  

4. You could get freaky and nobody cared

Image Source: Polyvore

Nowadays you might be considered a spiritual looney if you try to hold a seance in your parlor.   Heck, you might even be considered a looney for having a parlor.  

But in the 1910’s, dabbling in the occult was all the rage. So, if you wanted to get your weird on, your equally-rich friends would most likely go along with you without hesitation.  

5. The rich of 1915 knew how to party

Image Source: Giphy.com

Although The Great Gatsby wouldn’t hit shelves until 1925 (there’s something to look forward to), don’t think for a moment that the people of the past weren’t getting turnt up in the good ole 10’s.   Perhaps riches can buy happiness after all, at least in 1915.  

Ask your own ‘would you rather’ question

Whatsgoodly is a polling app that allows college students to ask any questions to their peers in total anonymity.   Download Whatsgoodly today to post your own poll and get instant replies and comments from students at your university, as well as from universities across the U.S.   Go ahead — ask the unaskable!    

Katie Williams

Katie is an ex-expat with a passion for spicy ramen and street art. Say howdy on Instagram or Twitter, or follow her on Snapchat at fiberopticnow.

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