20 Life Skills That Were Once Sought After But Are No Longer Relevant

Published 11 months ago

As a kid, I could instinctively tell when a song I wanted on my mixtape was about to play on the radio. This was an especially important skill because back then you had to time it just so. I was ready to hit record at the sweet spot to get the maximum amount of songs on record without any of the other nonsense. I would always feel like it was a super achievement and be very proud of my ability. None of my other friends and relatives could time it as well as me. 

Nowadays, however, this is a truly useless skill to have with all the different ways we can access music. Sadly, there are dozens of similar things that have become rather obsolete in terms of trivial skills we had acquired during our youth that are totally irrelevant now. One viral Reddit thread took a nostalgic trip down memory lane, discussing the various skills we’d all picked up along the way that are no longer of any use to anyone. Scroll below for an entertaining selection that may likely resonate more than you even realise. 

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#1 Making paper fortune tellers.

Image source: chloeoh24, Kate Ter Haar

#2 I can develop and process photographic film and enlarge prints in a darkroom.

Image source: Glade_Runner, Annushka Ahuja

#3 I can cover a textbook with a brown paper bag.

Image source: sourwaterbug, 娴宇 陈

#4 Remembering phone numbers

Image source: GreatMillionDog, Markus Spiske

#5 I’m a straight burley man and I sew. It’s just something that for whatever reason relaxes me and no one knows how to do it anymore. Hemming and tapering pants, altering dresses, jackets…etc..I oddly enjoy it.

Image source: helio987, Wallace Chuck

#6 Using the Dewey decimal at library

Image source: FunStorm6487, Ivo Rainha

#7 I can write boobs on a calculator

Image source: WatchingTaintDry69, Karolina Grabowska

#8 I can tell time on an analog clock.

Image source: The_Little_Rag_Man, Alan Quirván

#9 I write in cursive; does that count?

Image source: yesohohahahilikeit, Katya Wolf

#10 Record to tape from the radio. Trying to make sure to not get the DJ/presenter talking s**t or an ad

Image source: Gankstajam, Stas Knop

#11 I can refold a map correctly.

Image source: JungleZac, Andrew Neel

#12 The ability to make and count out change for a purchase

Image source: Zapt01, Brad Montgomery

#13 To rewind a tape by spinning on a pencil <3

Image source: SayenneDD, Pixabay

#14 I know how to properly address an envelope. Skills m**********r.

Image source: laschae, cottonbro studio

#15 Texting with 10 key. I still have it all memorized and could pick up a flip phone and send paragraphs if needed.

Image source: tobmom, Neeta Lind

#16 I can win at trivial pursuit (the game) every time. I’m a wealth of useless information.

Image source: xjeanie, Pratyeka

#17 Using your shoulder to hold a telephone up to your ear while doing multiple other things at once. Now, the phones are so damned small I drop them.

Image source: Regular_Sample_5197, Ketut Subiyanto


A few:

* How to drive a manual transmission.
* How to remember phone numbers in my head.
* How to untangle, manually wind and repair cassette tape.
* How to plan a cross country trip using nothing more than a Rand McNally Road Atlas and a highlighter.
* How to program in Basic.
* How many dimes to place on a record needle to prevent skipping.
* How to change my own oil, tire, belts, alternator, starter or transmission.
* On a Cathode Ray Tube TV how to: set vertical and horizontal controls, fine-tune the channel using the ring around the channel k**b and how to fashion a wire coat hanger into a VHF antenna.

Image source: MeGrendel

#19 Crash start a manual car by rolling down a hill in second gear with the ignition on, then popping the clutch – cars were not so reliable back in the day!

Image source: SequinSquirrel, Raymond McClintonel

Edit: Push starting, also known as bump starting, roll starting, clutch starting, popping the clutch or crash starting, according to Wikipedia – we called it crash starting where I’m from, but lots of different names for it!

#20 Two that I didn’t see listed already: Can read a map without using GPS | Can build out a coaxial network for LAN parties

Image source: Lurama, bea & txema & alan

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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irrelevant skills, obsolete skills, skills, trivial skills, useless skills
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