10 Skills Millennials Learned in the 90s That Are Utterly Useless Today

I came across a fun thread while surfing the web today. A poster on an online forum asked Millennials what skills they had learned in the 90s that are no longer useful today. I’m Gen X and can relate to nearly everything on this list. One of my favorites was when someone said, “Talk to the hand,” before another replied, “Cause the face ain’t listening.” Talk about a blast from the past. Here is some other fun finds.

1. Memorizing Phone Numbers

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To this day, I remember my landline number growing up. However, it’s rare to need to remember phone numbers when your smartphone will do it for you. A millennial in the thread made me laugh at loud with their confession, “I don’t know my wife’s phone number. I only know mine and JG Wentworth’s.”

2. T9 Texting

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T9 texting was the bee’s knees. As a server, I could text all day with my hand in my apron without looking at my phone. Why doesn’t that talent translate to something? I wasn’t alone in believing it was a much quicker form of text messaging than fumbling around with fat fingers on a touchscreen iPhone.

3. Burning CDs

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Do you remember the days of Napster and burning CDs? Or did you kill your dad’s computer with Limewire instead? No? Just me? Yeah, he was not happy. As an avid music fan with eclectic taste, I loved the technology of creating your own playlists. My mother loved it, too, as it meant reliving the ’70s with hits from the Bee Gees and Queen.

4. Driving a Manual

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My father taught me to drive and insisted that I learn on a manual transmission. He said if you can drive a stick shift, you can drive anything. While America appears to be phasing it out, a European assures us it’s still instrumental in Europe.

5. Cursive Writing

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I’ve heard that they have done away with teaching cursive writing in schools. However, after a quick Google search, only 21 of the fifty nifty states require cursive in the curriculum. I remember learning it, but I’ve never used it outside of school, except for my signature, of course.

6. The Simpsons Synopsis

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OK. It might not be a skill so much as a 90s truth for many Millennials. One user confesses they could “tell you the synopsis of any of The Simpsons’ episodes by watching a few seconds. Sometimes a still frame will do.” YES! Me too! Like most fans, I stopped watching long ago. But that first decade was the best. 

7. Blowing on Video Game Cartridges

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The original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was my jam. It still is. Once a year, my sister and I get together for a Bubble Bobble marathon. However, now we play it as a digital download on my PlayStation 4. So no need to blow the cartridges. Although, I think the more considerable skill was being able to press the game down perfectly for it to load the game after several fuzzy screens.

8. Writing a Check

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Remember writing checks and balancing your checkbook? Most people in the thread agree that they only write checks when it is time to pay rent. Others don’t even write them with virtual payments like Zelle.

9. Long Division

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Praise Jesus. I am 100% OK with having that calculator in my pocket; they all swore we’d never have. A mother admits that her daughter came home with long division homework last week, and she realized she had wholly wiped her brain of this information.

Popular Reading: 10 Significant Things I Learned About Life in Active Heroin Addiction

10. Making Mixed Tapes

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Long before we were burning CDs, we mastered mix tapes. When I was a tween, I’d hit record, turn my radio down, and sleep. Then, while I was getting ready for school in the morning, I’d eagerly fast forward to see if I’d recorded my favorite songs: awe, the good ole days of New Kids on the Block, and Boyz II Men.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.