In a rapidly changing world, it's no surprise that what was once considered essential is now considered outdated. We're talking about skills – precisely, those the Baby Boomer generation honed. But what are these skills that millennials view as irrelevant in today's digital age?
Buckle up because we're about to delve into 12 boomer skills millennials believe have lost their charm. It's not about pointing fingers or starting a generational war but understanding how times have changed.
So, whether you're a boomer, millennial, or Gen Z, this is an eye-opening read for all.
1. Writing In Cursive
As we've turned to digital communication, writing in cursive has become less relevant for millennials. However, it's not entirely obsolete.
Cursive writing is still taught in some schools and can be a helpful skill for personal journaling, handwritten letters, or creative projects.
Plus, it's considered a form of art by many. It's a way to write faster and more fluidly, making it a handy skill for note-taking tools. So, while it may not be an everyday necessity, it certainly has its uses.
2. Using A Rotary Dial Phone
This might seem like a relic from the past, but rotary dial phones were the standard way of making calls not too long ago.
Today, with smartphones offering various features like speed dial, voice commands, and contact lists, manually dialing each number on a rotary phone seems cumbersome and time-consuming.
However, these vintage phones hold a nostalgic charm and can serve as a decorative piece or even a conversation starter when guests come over. They remind us of a simpler time before technology took over completely.
3. Reading A Paper Map
In the digital age, paper maps might seem old-fashioned, but they're still a reliable way to navigate unfamiliar territory. To read a map, you must first understand its symbols and scale. Then, look at the compass rose to ensure you are holding it correctly – the top should be North.
Once you've got that down, it's about interpreting the lines and colors to figure out roadways, landmarks, and your position. It's a skill that takes practice but can be invaluable when technology fails or is unavailable.
4. Balancing A Checkbook Manually
Though digital banking is the norm now, manually balancing a checkbook is still useful. It helps you keep track of your spending, avoid overdraft fees, and detect any errors or fraudulent activities on your account.
You only need your bank statement, checkbook register, and pen. You compare the transactions in your register with those in the statement, ensuring everything matches up. It's a simple yet effective way to manage your finances.
5. Typing On A Typewriter
For millennials, the idea of typing on a typewriter might seem outdated. In an era where we're used to quick edits, auto-correct, and digital storage, typewriters may seem slow and inefficient. Each keystroke is a commitment since there's no backspace or delete button.
Plus, storing physical papers can be more hassle than saving digital files. However, typewriters can offer a unique, nostalgic experience and a distraction-free writing environment.
6. Using A Phone Book
Millennials might view using a phone book as outdated because of the convenience of online directories and digital contacts. In today's digital age, finding a contact is just a click away.
Flipping through pages to find a number seems time-consuming and unnecessary when you can simply search for it online. However, phone books can still serve a purpose in areas with limited or no internet access.
7. Repairing A VHS Tape
Repairing a VHS tape might seem like an archaic skill to millennials. With the rise of digital media and streaming platforms, the need to physically correct a tape is almost non-existent.
The process involves opening the cassette casing, carefully cutting and splicing the tape, and then putting it all back together, which can be time-consuming and tedious. Also, finding a VCR to play the tape on can be a challenge.
8. Shorthand Writing
Shorthand writing was once a sought-after skill, particularly for secretaries and journalists. It's a system of writing that allows you to write as quickly as people speak.
However, millennials may consider shorthand outdated with the rise of digital recording devices and voice-to-text technology.
It requires learning a whole new set of symbols and practicing until you're fast enough, which can seem unnecessary when you can simply record a conversation and transcribe it later.
9. Changing A Car's Oil
Boomers love to work on their cars by themselves – it gives them a sense of accomplishment and saves money, too.
However, changing a car's oil can be seen as outdated for millennials who grew up with easier access to professional mechanics and advanced vehicle technology.
However, understanding basic car maintenance can save you from costly repairs in the long run. Plus, it's a practical skill to have in case of emergencies.
10. Using A Card Catalog At The Library
Libraries used to rely on card catalogs to track their books, but with digital databases, this system seems outdated to millennials.
This can feel tedious compared to simply typing a title or author into a search bar and getting immediate results. However, knowing how to use a card catalog can still be helpful in some libraries that maintain their physical systems.
11. Dial-Up Internet Navigation
Before high-speed internet became the norm, connecting to the World Wide Web involved a series of beeps and screeches followed by a slow loading process. This was known as dial-up internet and was once the only way to access the internet at home.
While it might seem painfully slow compared to today's technology, it has its nostalgic charm for those who grew up with it. Plus, it teaches patience and appreciation for the lightning-fast internet speeds we have now.
12. Operating A Manual Transmission Vehicle
Even though manual transmission is still a popular choice among car enthusiasts, it's slowly becoming a dying breed. With more and more cars offering automatic transmission options, many millennials have never learned how to drive a stick shift.
While it may seem unnecessary today, knowing how to drive a manual transmission vehicle can be helpful in certain situations, such as renting a car abroad or driving someone else's car in an emergency.
Plus, it adds an extra element of control and connection with the vehicle.
Each Generation Has Special Skills
Each generation has its own set of skills and technologies that they grew up with. However, it's important to remember and appreciate the skills from previous generations that have paved the way for our current technology. These seemingly outdated skills may come in handy one day or provide a sense of nostalgia and connection to simpler times. So, before completely dismissing them, take some time to learn and appreciate these once-essential skills. Who knows, you might even enjoy it!
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.