Ringing the cinema to find out film times, calling 1471 to check the last caller and making mixtapes. These are just a few of the traditions that Brits have given up due to digital developments.
A survey of 3,000 Brits, by online backup company Mozy, has formed a top 50 list of all the things we used to do that we’ve now given up due to technology seeping into our lives.
I’m not going to provide the full list here (for fear of breaking your mouse’s scroll wheel) but I will go over the ones I’ve given up in my lifetime, and those I’m hanging on to for dear life.
Turning my back on traditions
Writing postcards, making mixtapes, holding money for a payphone – these all appear on the list of expired traditions, but I can’t say I ever really did any of them in the first place. I do, however, have vague memories of doing very similar things.
My hand may have passed by a postcard or two, but trying to squeeze all my holiday thoughts on to the back of a picture-perfect scene was never my forté. Instead, a mass-emailed essay became my preferred way to share my exploits. Today, you’d be lucky to get a Facebook status update or tweet.
Mixtapes never really passed me by, but I did record my own radio shows on cassette tapes as a wee nipper. I’d record songs from the radio and present them on my show, with gags, chat, and my own advertisements for products that didn’t exist (I was special). The closest you’d get to such creativity today will be my music playlist on Spotify.
There was one time when it would have been handy to have change for a payphone. My mum had forgotten to pick me up from an after-school club (I hold no grudges) and I couldn’t get hold of her through the school phone. I decided to try my luck catching a train for the few stops home, but that plan was soon put to rest when I was caught for fare-dodging and thrown off.
I hadn’t quite comprehended that I could reverse charges on a payphone and decided to walk the rest of the way home. Long story short, I was picked up by a policeman and dropped off at my house to a concerned mother. Thankfully, I now have my good old smartphone to fall back on (if the battery doesn’t run out first).
Are you still holding on to traditions?
So, on a personal level, tech has definitely tolled the death knell for many of these traditions. There are others, such as watching programmes at the time they’re shown, printing off photos and buying CDs – these have all been knocked on the head by advances in technology.
But there are some traditions on the list that I’m holding on to for dear life. I still dial 1471 to find out who last called my landline (I don’t have caller display). I still visit my bank on the high street (only when I need to). I still look up words in a dictionary (I wouldn’t be a very good editor if I didn’t). And I still go to car boot sales when I can (eBay just isn’t a visceral replacement).
Which traditional tasks have you given up due to technological innovations, and which are you vehemently holding on to?