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29 Once-Common Survival Skills We’ve Lost To Technology


No doubt, all of us benefit greatly from technology. Unfortunately, though, there is a payoff for all this convenience: the loss of common skills.

Although I love being able to Google almost any question and click an icon to call home, the fact is that there are some skills we might want to consider keeping.

Imagine life after a societal collapse. How many of us would survive?

Here are 29 skills virtually lost to technology:

Home and farm skills

These would include skills such as:

1. Darning socks and mending clothes.

2. Tying specific knots such as sheepshanks, bowlines and clove hitch knots.

3. Identifying trees, edible plants, flowers and berries

4. Baking from scratch.

5. Knitting or crocheting.

Simple memorization skills

We used to rely on memorization for many things, including:

6. Phone numbers and even complete addresses of family members.

7. Highway names or numbers (Route 2, Highway 101).

8. Recipes and measurements.

9. Personal information, such as driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, employee numbers, locker combinations, etc.

10. Birthdays and anniversaries of relatives and close friends.

11. Simple math, such as simple division.

Writing skills

Although some people still manage to hunt and peck on their phone or computer, imagine getting most people to:

12. Write a proper letter.

13. Use handwriting or cursive that is legible.

14. Fill out forms or applications by hand.

15. Write a check.

16. Write anything and have most of the words and grammar correct.

Direction skills

Both giving and taking. If you didn’t have your cell phone, would you be able to:

17. Understand directions, such as “wait on the Southeast corner.”

18. Know where north or south is from where you are standing.

19. Tell someone, on the phone, the street names and directions they need to use to find you.

20. Read a paper map.

21. Read a compass.

Everyday life skills

The list is endless, but here are a few:

22. How to change a tire and/or check the oil and water in a car.

23. Understand pounds and ounces.

24. Look up something in a book or dictionary.

25. Read a recipe or a thermometer (non-digital).

26. Write shorthand.

27. Start a fire.

28. Make small talk with strangers

29. Wait patiently for someone – without looking at a smart phone.

What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:


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