What compels us to use phrases like, “…greater pressure on margins…”, “…busier than ever…”, or “…less free time nowadays…”?

Is there really a greater pressure on margins now than there was 20 years ago? Are we really busier than we were 50 years ago? Is everything really more amplified now than it was in the past? Or is it just that we’re personally busier than we were when we were kids and there’s more pressure on us individually than there was earlier in our careers?

We have a tendency to use our personal experiences and extrapolate them to apply to the rest of humanity. I’m pretty sure that my great grandfather had tremendous demands on his time. If he wasn’t working in his fields he was losing money. If he accepted a lower margin on his crops, there was one more thing his family had to do without.

Is it appropriate to use terms like these without clear evidence to back them up?