Since we’ve hit the technological revolution of mobile phones and the Internet has pervaded almost every inch of our lives, there are a few things that we simply no longer need to do. If you were born before 1985, you might remember a few of these activities that have almost been lost in time.
5. Writing letters
When I was in school, I had a pen pal in New Zealand with whom I exchanged many hand-written letters, postcards, photos and little presents. I remember that it was so exciting to find an international airmail envelope in the letterbox, and I would be eager to read all about what music she had been listening to, the boys that she fancied, and the driving holidays she’d had with her family, all in her neat cursive handwriting. Now we just email or Facebook each other, and that charm of a letter just doesn’t really exist anymore.
4. Remembering phone numbers
Long before the age of mobile phones that could store all 300 of our contacts, one had to write down phone numbers in a a quaint little address book or memorise those few key phone numbers. I can still recall the digits of all my school friends’ home numbers as a result of manually punching them into my phone every night. Nowadays it’s a struggle to remember the mobile numbers of even your spouse or parents.
3. Printing photos
Before the instant gratification of digital camera playback and downloading onto computers, you were only able to view your pictures after picking them up from the photo processing shop. You’d get your stack of prints in the paper envelope and flip through them to find the few good shots worth framing. Nowadays we barely even print out our photos, preferring to post them on Facebook and perhaps emailing them to our non-Facebooking parents.
2. Going to the library
When you were a student, or just someone with a bit of curiosity, the library was probably one of your favored hangouts. There were shelves and shelves of knowledge just waiting to be uncovered and plagiarized into assignments and essays. These days there is no subject matter that Google or Wikipedia cannot point you to, all from the comfort of your own home without the need to get out of your pajamas.
1. Making plans in advance
In the days when people only had one telephone and it was the one hanging on their kitchen wall, arranging to meet someone was an exercise in punctuality and precise location planning. You didn’t have a mobile phone to call someone after they had a already left their house – “I got caught up at the hairdressers so I’m actually going to be 15 minutes late!” or “I’m standing at the fountain now – are you outside Burger King or KFC?” or “my kid just suddenly came down with a fever so I’m going to have to cancel!”. These days plans are tentatively made around a estimated time and a vague location, and then one calls the other on their mobiles to determine precise meeting points closer to the time. In today’s world, we should be impressed when the trains run on time.
What other things do you find that you no longer do due to technological advances?
* Image courtesy of stock.xchng