19 Human Skills That Used to Be Important But the World No Longer Needs

With the progression of technology, certain human skills are no longer needed. This doesn’t just include work skills, but also skills that are necessary for everyday life. Here are 19 human skills that used to be important but that the world no longer needs.

Using a Rotary Phone

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This everyday skill is no longer needed, thanks to the development of smartphones. This is supported by Hella Life, which asks, “When was the last time you needed to use a rotary phone?” Using a rotary phone was a mechanical skill, but the decline of these phones was due to the cultural shift toward mobile phones.

Writing in Cursive

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Many people saw cursive writing as a benefit because it helped with brain development. In the modern day, we are more likely to use digital text as a method of writing. There’s even been a decline in cursive writing being taught at schools. Unless a person is writing their signature, cursive writing is barely used today.

Sewing as a Necessity

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Sewing used to be important for clothing repair and creation in the everyday household, but now it’s seen as a historical skill. There has been a huge move to fast fashion, and this has meant that clothing options are now readily available. Sewing is now seen more as a hobby than a necessity.

Navigating with a Map and Compass

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We no longer need the skill of reading a physical map and using a compass to point us in the right direction. In modern times, we’re more likely to use GPS systems and digital mapping services such as Google Maps. Sometimes traditional maps can be used when technology isn’t available, but this is becoming increasingly rare.

Manual Transmission Driving

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Wisebread writes, “The manual transmission isn’t 100% obsolete yet—though its death is on the horizon.” Operating a vehicle in manual transmission is becoming less and less popular with the rise of automatic and electric cars. While some countries still use it more than an automatic transmission, it’s starting to become a niche skill rather than a necessity.

Changing Oil in a Car

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With the development of modern vehicles, maintenance requirements such as changing oil don’t need to be done as regularly. Many drivers now choose professional services when it comes to car maintenance rather than carrying them out themselves. There has been a debate over how cost-effective oil changing is compared to doing it yourself.

Replacing a Flat Tire

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Many modern vehicles no longer come with a spare tire, and this has caused this necessary skill to dwindle. Before this happened, many people knew how to jack up a car and change the tire. Nowadays, people are more likely to call roadside assistance if they need a tire changed.

Using a Library’s Card Catalog

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The skill of searching for a book using a physical card system in the library is long behind us. There has been a transition to a digital database or catalog, which has made trying to find a book much simpler. This change has had a huge impact on research methods and library navigation.

Balancing a Checkbook

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With the rise of online banking, the skill of balancing a checkbook is no longer needed. This is supported by Honor Bank, which writes, “Online banking with instant account updates makes balancing your checkbook an unnecessary task.” Online banking makes it much easier to keep track of transactions and doesn’t require skills anymore.

Looking Up Information in Print Reference Materials

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One everyday skill that most people had was using dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias to look things up or for research. There has now been a huge shift to online resources, and you can just type what you need into a search engine. Nowadays, these print reference materials are seen more as a form of nostalgia than anything else.

Remembering Phone Numbers

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Memorizing phone numbers used to be an important skill, especially if there was an emergency. Thanks to technology, we now have all our numbers stored on our smartphones, and we don’t need to memorize them. While it’s convenient for everyday life, problems can arise in emergencies when we can’t give the number of our emergency contacts.

Telephone Etiquette

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Telephone etiquette used to be an everyday skill. A person would be able to give someone on the line a proper greeting and find it easy to create conversation. Modern times have seen the development of text messaging and emails, which makes telephone etiquette a skill that not many people have anymore.

Proper Grammar Skills

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Grammar used to be important when it came to communication and was a necessary skill for everyday life and work. The change to digital communication and spell checkers has meant that people can relax a little when it comes to this skill. However, there have been concerns over the decline in writing skills.

Ironing Clothes

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According to The Guardian, “about 30% of 18- to 34-year-olds do not own an iron and ‘never iron their clothes.’” When asked why, their main reason was that their clothes did not need ironing. Thanks to changes in fabric technology, ironing is no longer needed as a skill.

Resumé Writing

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The skill of resumé-writing included creating a document to outline work experience and skills. Thanks to the development of digital technology, this is all predominantly done online now. There has been a huge shift toward online portfolios for job applications, making it a simpler process.

Developing Film in a Darkroom

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This was a skill that all photographers used to have. Once they had taken their photos, they would then need to be developed using chemicals in a dark room. Thanks to digital technology, photos can now be viewed instantly and downloaded to a computer for printing.

Programming in Adobe Flash

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Having the skill of using Adobe Flash used to be non-negotiable if your job was as an animator or to create interactive content. Thanks to developments and changes in web technology, Adobe Flash has become obsolete. Now animators use more versatile and web-compatible tools to create animations.

Editing Audio with Physical Tape

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Before digital technology, audio editors needed to know how to cut physical audio to create reel-to-reel tape. It used to be a niche skill that only those trained knew how to carry out. Technology has seen the development of editing carried out on a computer, where a person does not have to be destructive to tape.

Using a Fountain Pen

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The technology of the fountain pen “was an innovation for its time, allowing continuous writing without having to repeatedly dip the pen into ink,” says Voice of America. However, in today’s fast world, writing with a fountain pen is something that we don’t have time for, and many people prefer to opt for a ballpoint or gel pen. Fountain pens also need regular maintenance, as you need to refill and clean them.

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