Millennial, Generation Z-er, iGenerationer – whatever we want to call the kids that just escaped the irritation of dial-up internet – they’re a huge crowd to contend with. While they have amazing skillsets that many of us never fathomed would be employable or needed in all sectors of life today, like managing social media content, being gluten-free food experts, or striving for incredible social change as power advocates for the LGBT community – they do fall short in one area of life.
That, my friends, is knowing how the following 15 things work – not because young Millennials couldn’t go and learn them, but because most of these products or lifestyle preferences simply don’t exist anymore and have given way to more technologically advanced options.
15. How to Write in Cursive Hand
Emoticons were made popular in the good old days of instant chatting systems like ICQ, Yahoo Chat and MSN. And remember those ALT Codes everyone knew off by heart and used to make their names look unique? Well, the more we relied on technology to introduce to us new ways of typing and fonts, the less we have relied on traditional ways to write – like in cursive handwriting.
These days, North American curriculum has put a low priority on penmanship altogether, and many children have only ever learned how to print their name. It still riddles me to this day what kids who only print do when it comes to signing their signature on a contract.
14. How to Make a Mix Tape
I don’t think I’ve come across anything that has made me feel more mushy inside than receiving a special mixtape from a boy I was into. Back when they were popular, you knew someone really had the feels for you if they spent time recording, cutting, and writing out on the tape cover the songs they mastered together into a mix for you.
You needed a boombox, a blank tape, and the tapes you wanted to transfer songs from and the entire process could likely take half a day. In my opinion, just dragging and dropping a song on an online playlist these days doesn’t even come close.
13. How to Burn CDs
Burning CDs, of course, was a bit easier than making mix tapes, but you still needed some old-school wisdom to source your music tracks. Peer-sharing databases like Napster revolutionized the media sharing world 18 years ago (okay, now I really feel old) , but you still had to be sure what you were downloading was the actual thing you wanted – not a virus or a random track an internet troll put online to mess with you.
Once you had your downloads ready, you just needed to drag them into a burning software program, arrange them, and hit the burn button – and presto, in just under 10 minutes you had your mixed CD.
12. How to Read a Physical Road Map
The nerd in me always loved reading maps – whether it was pretending to find a treasure whenever we visited the local conservation area or giving my dad instructions in the car once I was able to sit in the passenger’s seat. I was taught, simultaneously, how to use a compass and observe my surroundings close enough, that if I were to ever get lost, that skillset would prove indispensable to have.
I’ve often wondered what would happen if a massive event in the world banished our wireless connection – even for a few hours. Relying on a GPS has its benefits, but relying on it 100% may not be the best idea. Hopefully enough young millennials find intrigue in the old ways of reading a map, so that at least a few of us have a sense of direction in case of Armageddon.
11. How to Properly Send Snail Mail or Have a Pen Pal
There is just something special about receiving a letter in the mail after having had to delay satisfaction of getting it for a few days – or week if you had a pen pal on another continent. It’s another feeling that will potentially be lost on the younger generation since e-mails are rampant and text messages have begun to serve as professional memos, too.
If you’re a parent, you can still help your kids dust off this skill (or rather learn it altogether), by writing letters to each other. It’s a good skill to have, as well, in times where you’re too emotionally fuelled to communicate via words. Let your kids know they can write down their emotions, rants or complaints too, and slide their letter under your bedroom door if they don’t want to face you.
10. How to Drive a Car in Standard Transmission
When I grew up, I always related driving standard transmission to snowboarding – all the cool kids seemed to want to do it or already did. Me? I liked skiing – and having to figure out how to drive a car, period. The thought of making my life harder and needing to learn one more thing while navigating the roads just never appealed to me.
Nonetheless, it is one of those things that make you unique these days, and one on the verge of dying out. Plus driving stick makes you look like a badass (just make sure you’re wearing your sunnies while doing it).
9. How to Record a Show on VHS
Before the days of PVR buttons on your remote control and your television provider giving up space for your favorite shows to be housed, we had to go buy huge video home system cassettes, or make sure there was enough space on an existing one, then set up the recording for a specific time, and let the magic unfold.
Some TV units didn’t allow you to watch any other channel, except for the one being recorded – so arguments in the household were bound to happen. I’m a little sad these days are over, especially because I love watching home videos on original VHS – but I’m so glad life has simplified, too.
8. How to Conduct a Phone Call
My parents would always hold a grudge against my friends during two separate situations: if they called during dinner time, period, and if they called and didn’t introduce themselves. My friends definitely learned very quickly how to hone in on this skill and master it – but these days, some millennials have never needed to learn phone etiquette, thanks to texting.
While young adults are more open and open-minded in general – probably because being expressive is a lot easier and less intimidating behind a cellphone screen – I will always lovingly remember the long talks I had late into the night, while wrapping my fingers around the cord and really connecting to the person on the other end. Somehow I feel like people have more ways than ever to connect today but are less connected than ever. Cue the sappy violin strings here.
7. Traditional Etiquette
I don’t care what new social orders are telling us these days is socially fair or politically correct – I will never tire of a man pulling out chairs, holding open doors and being a gentlemen all around. Growing up in my household meant equality between my parents – but they definitely had certain roles that were filled, based on traditions, and passed this appreciation for old-timey things down to me.
Traditional etiquette isn’t just followed by people who are close-minded and disapprove of feminism. It’s for those of us who like structure, have a strong sense of respect and are die-hard romantics. Although I’m a very modern person, I personally think there is a lot of class that comes with knowing how to set a table properly and appropriate ways to dress for various situations.
6. How to Have a Romantic Relationship IRL Only
I’ve never tried online dating myself, but from what I gather of those who have – the vast majority is appalled by what they meet in person for the first time after having hit it off so well on the world wide web. Even so, that rush of satisfaction that comes with seeing your message box full never disappoints and it’s easy to see why a lot of relationships have their foundation built through interactions on dating apps these days.
You can paint yourself in the best light, Face Tune your imperfections, and pretend to be an expert on anything, thanks to the proximity of Google at your disposal. What is lost on this generation, though, is how to maintain eye contact, how to develop conversation and sit in silence together, and how to really invest and focus on the individual right in front of you.
5. How to Collect Stamps (or Coins)
I loved saving the stamps from my pen pal adventures and safe keeping them in a book to always have. I even began to write to family members in different countries, and got a history lesson every time something new arrived in my mailbox.
The other neat hobby that is probably not the most popular with the newer generations is collecting coins. Sidenote to let you in on my nerd status: I had both.
4. What a Floppy Disk is
Even though they only held a fraction of information that today’s databases can – they were widely popular amongst the education and business sector, and you wouldn’t dare to finish any project without saving a back-up copy on a floppy disk.
The use of this product is probably not one you’ll ever see me mourning – because, honestly, have you ever seen a visual of what a USB stick can save compared to a hundred floppy disks? Let’s just say…a tear may run down your face if you look into it. Technology has come a long way, indeed.
3. How to Climb a Rope In Gym Class (Or Rather, Be Forced To)
I have a passion for movement and keeping my body active, thanks to a life of competitive dance, but would I consider myself athletic? Probably not. It took me decades to cherish a good, solid run in solitude (surprisingly it aligned most with having kids) and as a child, I didn’t always want to go to gym class.
Those ropes that hung from the gym were definitely the biggest intimidator to me – and I opted out of trying to wrangle them and having people awkwardly look at me every chance I could. Another piece of history that won’t be missed on my end.
2. How To Wait for Photos to Be Developed
One of the things I miss the most is having photos needed to be printed. The biggest reason I love this? Because then I could actually see the pictures. How many of you take photos nowadays, never to see those gems again unless you’re online creating a photo album for your children (that takes weeks to put together, be made and be delivered)?
Another time I see photos I’ve taken is when I run out of space on my phone and have to go back into my album to delete excess pics. Just like books, I love holding something physical in my hand – the digital format just won’t ever incite the same sentiments.
1. How to Write Notes And Pass Them During Class
I’m sure note passing still happens to some extent but no where close to the amount of times it did before even 10 year olds were given smartphones. I still keep a bag of the notes we passed around in grade 6. My favorites were those 3 or more people were part of and you all used a different colored pen to differentiate who was who.
Every school out there has different rules when it comes to having a phone on you nowadays (since most kids probably do), but it was always a lot more discreet (and fun) to try to sneak a note passed a teacher – unless you were caught and the content read to the class.