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Time runs out on many things that were once commonplace

Time runs out on many things that were once commonplace

These are ‘A Few of the Things That Most People Can No Longer Do.’

It’s that new year time again. When bloggers and others start predicting the year(s) ahead.

We did here at MBF Blogs in January 2012 Will Web Bots Predict the End of the World in 2012?  so it’s time to take a different angle and to update our famous blog Some Things That Are Now History, Thanks to Technology, 4 January 2012.

The advent of the digital age has been the most far-reaching change our society has ever seen. Things speed up exponentially with changes upon changes.

Of course, there are other kinds of technological progress that affect education, medicine, engineering, transport, entertainment and our social fabric. It’s not all digital revolution.

However, whatever the reason, we  bring you some of the things no longer done by anybody under their middle age. Many younger people will not only be unable to do these things, they will not know what they are anyway!

What ARE These Things?

Telling the time by a clock – it seems that while most younger people only ever use a smartphone or other device to tell what the time is, in the main they cannot read a clockface. The 12 hour day and 12 hour night is lost to them.

Reading a paper map – a recent survey found that only people over 45 use paper maps and write themselves notes to follow on a journey, while the majority under that prefer the joys of the satnav, blindingly obvious, anti-common sense as many of the instructions are.

What else?

  • Darning a sock
  • Mending old clothes
  • Changing an electric plug on an appliance
  • Playing a record (ok, I hear, ‘what’s a record?’)
  • Laying and lighting a fire
  • Adding up the cost of a few items in the head
  • Calculating correct change in the head
  • Putting a roll of film into a camera
  • Using a public phone box
  • Writing a cheque (few under 30)
  • Using a laundrette (except in EastEnders)
  • Keeping phonecalls private
  • Keeping personal data secret
  • Recording TV programmes on tapes
  • Warming hot drinks on a stove
  • Hoarding old utility bills and other paperwork
  • Recording music on a cassette
  • Handwriting anything from memos to times to essays

Old Skills Gradually Fading Out

Other things are not quite yet gone, but are going.

  • Writing thank you letters
  • Buying CDs
  • Looking up in a printed encyclopedia
  • Washing clothes by hand
  • Using a real dictionary
  • Paying by cash
  • Sticking photos in albums
  • Sending postcards on holiday
  • Sending Christmas cards
  • Eating as a family round a dining room table
  • Knitting
  • Dressmaking
  • Ironing
  • Knowing their neighbours very well
  • Watching a performance without sending it or commenting to somebody else
  • Keeping most thoughts to yourselves
  • Going to churches except for special occasions
  • Reading to children
  • Teaching children nursery rhymes

Short Reprieves

Occasionally some old skills come back into fashion, such as knitting or baking after the success of the Great British Bake Off. But only for a short time before the fashion goes stale.

Writing about this is the Eastern Daily Press (25 November) Sharon Griffiths rightly asked any older readers minded to mock those in their 20s for being unable to read a clock, ‘’what are you like on the new skills?’

Game, set and match, don’t you think?

Previous blogs worth glancing it, for their quaintness if nothing more:

The Photo Album Has Had Its Day and Is Now Only Good for History, 30 July 2013

Forward to the Past as Polaroids Make a Comeback, 25 March 2013

Don’t Write Off the Humble Wrist Watch Just Yet, 13 March 2012

The ‘Net Generation’ v ‘Silver Surfers’ Myth, 16 May 2012

Dry Stats Open Up Fascinating View of How We Live Now, 4 November 2013

Communication and Bad Manners Are Redefined in This Technological Era, 19 September 2013

Does the Past Matter When We’re All Going Forwards? 15 July 2013

How Technology Serves the Past, Present and Future, 14 September 2012