15 Life Skills From the 90’s That Are Obsolete Today

Advances in technology have given birth to a new generation of life skills, which means that a lot of the know-how 80s and 90s kids learned has become outdated. Many of these now adults think fondly back on their time tricking friends with three-way calls, going to video stores, and recording their favorite songs from the radio.

The phrase “back in my day” perfectly encompasses the generational differences associated with typical daily tasks in the 90s and now. If you’re feeling nostalgic, then some of the items on this list will take you right back to the time of your youth. See these 15 life skills from the 90s that are obsolete today

1. Remembering Channel Numbers

Woman switching channels on a television set.
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Since streaming has become the norm, memorizing channel numbers for your favorite programs is completely unnecessary. We can scroll on our favorite streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Peacock and have access to all of our favorite shows without the hassle of flipping through channels.

2. Booking Trips With a Travel Agent

Man passing woman a passport and airline ticket.
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Technically, the profession still exists, but I don’t know the last time anyone has used a travel agent to book their vacations or even a work trip. The internet and websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and Kayak bring the travel agency to your fingertips. These sites have cut out the middle man and allowed customers to choose how they want to travel.

3. Recording Shows to Watch Later

VCR player.
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Once upon a time, in a land called my living room, we had to program the VCR player to record a show at a set time because otherwise, we would miss it. This means the television was set to the appropriate channel, and the VCR was programmed to start recording at a specific time. Thank goodness those days are past, and we can watch our favorite shows anytime, anywhere.

4. Geo-Guessing by Reading a Map

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Imagine plotting a course on a paper map for a road trip with the family. The 1990s were fraught with missed turns and scenic routes. Today, you can be a passenger princess with the navigation system leading the way.

5. Memorizing Phone Numbers, the Original Contacts

Happy senior woman using retro style landline phone
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If you contacted friends and family in the 90s, you were most likely dialing phone numbers from memory. Today’s technology has advanced exponentially, and all your contacts are a quick swipe away.

6. Add It to the Grocery List

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Refrigerators in the 90s were made for showcasing school projects, phone messages, and grocery lists. With the rise of grocery pick-up and delivery, carrying a paper list into the store is a thing of the past.

7. Recording on a Cassette Tape

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Being a teen in the 90s meant calling to request your favorite song on the radio and grabbing a cassette tape and boombox to record. With music accessible through multiple streaming sources today, recording music has become obsolete.

8. Be Kind and Rewind That Vhs

putting vhs tape in a player
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Picture it: it’s Friday night, and you are headed to the video store to pick up the new VHS release to binge-watch all weekend. Streaming services have antiquated VHS tapes and video stores, and the days of owning and operating a VHS player are over.

9. Out of Balance Checkbook

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Before the days of debit cards and online banking, checks were the currency of choice, and balancing the books was a feat of mathematical genius. Today, checks are obsolete forms of payment, and purchases can be made with digital wallets.

10. Who Needs Cursive?

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Cursive writing has become so outdated that it is no longer taught in many school curriculums. With the increase of online payments and electronic signatures, cursive writing has become a thing of the past.

11. You Can Send It by Fax

woman sending a fax in the office
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Operating a fax machine is likened to time travel. Sending documents electronically in the 90s meant fax machines, but email has become the dominant form of electronic communication.

12. I’ll Burn You a CD

happy woman playing a CD in her car
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After the advent of the cassette, the CD or compact disc was the primary form of music consumption, and the 90s were filled with mixed CDs of popular songs. With apps like Spotify, you can create playlists electronically to share with friends in minutes, making burning CDs an outdated art form. 

13. Take a Message

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Voicemail was not always around, and in the days of old, like the 90s, messages were written down by hand for return calls. Today, text messaging is the popular form of communication, and taking down messages for mom and dad is outdated.

14. Who is Dewey, and What Is a Decimal System?

dewey decimal system
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The Dewey Decimal System is the standard system for categorization in libraries, but the complicated system has become obsolete for most individuals. With the rise of the internet, utilizing print material for reference is less popular, and understanding the complex Dewey Decimal System is outdated.

15. Creating HTML

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Programming in the 90s required extensive knowledge of HTML and coding. Today, most websites can be created without knowledge of HTML using templates and automated content sites.

Don’t Hide Them Here – 12 Worst Places to Hide Spare House Keys

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Figuring out where to place a spare house key can be difficult. You don’t want it to be somewhere obvious that could give someone unauthorized access to your home. Here are 12 of the most common and worst places to hide a spare house key.

Millennials Agree: These Boomer Home Trends Are Bomb

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There isn’t much that boomers and millennials agree on, but some boomer home trends get the millennial stamp of approval. See which boomer home trends millennials say are all that. See the 12 most popular here.

15 Must Buy Items at the Dollar Store When on a Retirement Budget

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Not all retirees have pensions along with Social Security as income sources. With the rising costs of groceries, household items, and medications, money can be stretched to the limit. So, how do you combat rising costs on a tight budget? Here are 15 things to buy at the Dollar Store if you’re on a retirement budget. See them here.

Anika Gandhi

Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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