The 90s saw a tremendous shift in technology, and many once essential skills have become irrelevant in today’s world. Millennials grew up in a very changing time, so they are particularly affected. Certain skills they learned just aren’t relevant anymore.
No Longer Needed
One Reddit user asked, “Millennials, what skill did you acquire in the 90s that you no longer use?”
The thread received thousands of replies, and we have compiled a list of some of the most interesting ones below.
Texting Using the T9 Format
Remember the good old days when all phones came with a nine-button keypad, and you had to press a key 3-4 times to write a single alphabet? Well, millennials certainly got used to that.
One person said, “Texting using T9. I was so good, I could carry on a verbal conversation with my parents without looking at what I was texting.”
Someone else replied, “I miss T9. Nowadays I just fat finger a lot more because the screen keyboards are so tiny.”
As a millennial, Do you prefer the T9 keypads to the modern-day qwerty touch-screens?
Memorizing Phone Numbers
In an ode to the 90s, one user said, “Memorizing phone numbers. Now everyone just saves contacts on their phone.”
Someone else added, “It is ridiculous to me that I had the mental capacity for like twenty different phone numbers and now struggle to remember three distinct passwords.”
Ahh, a classic millennial struggle.
Being able to burn CDs or DVDs was all the rage in the late 90s and early 2000s even.
One person commented, “Burning CDs. I was the first one in my class who learned how to do it and had a computer capable of doing it. Oh, what a brief and shining moment of popularity…”
Someone else shared a throwback to their middle school days: “I made over $1000 my 8th grade year burning custom CDs for people. My only regret is that I didn’t charge more. I charged $5 per CD. Should have asked for at least $10.”
Knowing Your Way Around an Atlas
With how heavily we all rely on Google Maps now, it’s crazy to think there was once a time people had to navigate using paper maps.
One Redditor said, “I’m really good at memorizing maps. It used to be an incredibly useful skill; I always knew where I was, and I’d amaze friends by navigating to places from memory without looking at the map on the way. Now it’s completely useless.”
Another added, “I got really good at this in my late teens/early 20s, always being the “nav guy” if possible on a trip. I’m so glad I did because I feel like it “worked out” a part of my brain that’s still strong to this day. Sometimes I’ll give my brother directions and he’s like “wait wait wait, slow down… take a right? Ok, from my perspective or the map’s perspective on my phone.”
A Reddit user said, “In ’94, I learned how to type on a typewriter. Even had to use liquid paper.”
Someone else shared, “Yup! We got secretarial studies in high school in 94 on typewriters.”
Aren’t typewriters still a statement accessory? We think they scream vintage and function as an interesting conversation piece in your house.
Sending a Fax
Someone wrote, “Knowing how to send a fax. I have not needed to do so in forever.”
Hold up? Are faxes completely obsolete? We feel like there are places where faxes are still being used, especially in government offices; as this user shared, “I still have to send a fax in the federal government for certain paperwork.”
A Redittor said, “I was taught how to balance a checkbook. I remember learning how to do it and thinking that there has to be a better way.”
Another responded, “Yeah my app does it for me.”
Someone else shared, “I was taught that as well. To this day I have never even touched a physical check. (European though, so it wasn’t like they were around. I think my dad had one for some equipment he was buying once).”
A person commented, “Cursive. Haven’t used it since I was 15, no plans on ever using it again.”
Someone else stated, “Cursive other than signatures. I personally think it should make a comeback.”
However, don’t you think handwriting happens to be more of a personal choice and preference? Sure Cursive is no longer as trendy as it used to be in the 90s, but it is by no means a useless skill, just one that is no longer as trending and cool as it used to be.
Should cursive make a comeback? Who’s rooting for it?
Developing 35mm Films
A photographer shared their love for old-school 35 mm films saying, “I wanted to become a photographer. Learned everything about lighting and shooting still and 35mm and medium format film, working in dark room, processing film rolls and mixing chemistry. Gotta tell you i still f*** LOVE film photography and dark rooms. I’ve never been proud of anything I’ve done in photoshop as much as my dark room stuff.”
Using Word Art and Clipart
One Reddit user transported us back to the 90s with their nostalgia-packed reminder, they wrote: “Using WordArt and ClipArt to make documents more visually interesting.”
Another user hilariously added, “I’ve recently decided to use an old MS Word WordArt style for my future cover letters. If potential employers don’t find the humor in seeing “This is a cover letter.” In wavy, blue, heavily-shadowed text then I don’t want to work there lol.”
Making Mix Tapes
Someone said, “Making mix tapes on cassette.”
Another Redditor shared a throwback saying, “I got really good at being able to crossfade and do sweet cuts/edits with my tapedeck. Since I had a CD/Cassette player, I was able to make some incredible mixes that got me through my walks home. I started dubbing copies for my homies for a few of them.”
Buffing Out CD Scratches
Remember the good old times when knowing how to operate CDs and floppy disks were the biggest flex?
One commenter wrote, “Buffing the scratches out of CD’s was a skill that served me well for a very limited time.” This comment broke out a series of life hacks by people for buffing out CD scratches.
Someone recommended: “Remember how everyone insisted Vaseline would do the trick alone? But they mostly were wrong. It was toothpaste.”
Recording Shows on VCRs
Being able to record shows on the VCR was such a popular skill back in the day.
One Redditor shared their own VCR story: “My parents thought I was a genius when I did this for them a few times. I remember them being sad that they were going to miss a show, but I just programmed the VCR to record the show at the time and it worked great. You did, however, have to run your antenna through the VCR to the TV for it to work though. Then, a couple of years later TiVo came around.”
Cleaning Computer Mouses
Someone said, “I don’t know what some of these comments are even talking about, so mine is how to clean a mouse ball. A lot of people apparently had no idea that the reason their mouse would drag is because the ball was covered in gunk, you had to take it out and clean it from time to time. I had to volunteer at a library for the forced volunteer work they make you do in high school, and part of my job was to clean the computer mice.”
Those mouse balls used to be so fun; I’m sure the Gen Z reading this have no idea what we are on about, haha.
Operating Floppy Disks
A Redditor said, “Operating floppy disks was a task.”
Another added, “Oh god, the boxes and boxes full of old floppies, all in those long beige containers.”
Someone else shared, “Last time I even saw a floppy disk in use was 2003. While my physics teacher was out of the room for a bit, somebody had gone into his bag and put his grades disk between two neodymium magnets.”
One user wrote, “Making a homepage with HTML.”
Another asked, “Are websites still using HTML?”
Someone else interjected the thread, speaking in favor of HTML: “I still think HTML should be taught to high schoolers. It’s mostly useless now, but it will give them an intro to coding and how coding works, and that alone might be enough to get some kids into programming. Plus, it teaches you computer logic.”
Remember all those math classes you spent with tears splashing on your notebook trying to figure out long division? Thank God for technology! We all have a calculator app on our phones now; no need for that skill anymore.
One person said, “My daughter came home with long division homework last week and I realized I have completely wiped my brain of this information.”
Someone commented, “MS DOS. Welp.”
However, others showed up quickly to defend DOS; one wrote, “Knowing how to use DOS has proven weirdly useful in my life. Sooooo many legacy systems that would be way too much of a pain to move it to newer hardware/software. Even if they aren’t running DOS exactly, it’s close enough that I can pretty easily figure it out.”
Another said, “DOS skills are a nice gateway to learning the linux terminal.”
Dewey Decimal System
One user wrote, “I was in a new library recently. This is when I found out that not every library uses Dewey decimal. They were using the library of Congress system. Totally different.”
Another replied, “In my country, all public libraries are supposed to still use the Dewey system. At least it’s the case in every university library (I would know. I work there). And I get very proud when people come asking for books about a subject and I can lead them to the specific section and classification number of said subject. Feels like being an absolute nerd knowing every single book of my collection. It’s great.”
Ahh, the BIGGEST flex of the 90s; before TikTok dances, being able to do the Macarena was all the rage.
As one Redditor says, “I can’t believe the Macarena isn’t the top answer. I’ve never been so disappointed in Reddit.”
Another replied. “Still comes in handy when I need to embarrass my daughter in front of her friends.”
Most people think they are polite in most situations, but there are actually some mannerisms you didn’t realize could be perceived as rude. Some phrases are considered rude that people say without realizing how they can be perceived- Are You?
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