25 Things Babies Born in 2014 May Never Know

By on

In late 2010, I wrote a post called “30 Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know.” It was one of my first successful online articles, appearing on the front page of Yahoo, along with a few other major sites.

The 2010 post included things like video tape, movie rental stores, adult bookstores, paper maps, encyclopedias, and newspaper classifieds. So far it’s looking like those are indeed fading away. But thanks to accelerating technology, just three years later I can produce a new list for those born in the upcoming year.

Here’s my list of things kids born in 2014 might never experience, or at least will see a whole lot less of as they reach their formative years. Check it out, then tell me whether you agree, disagree or, better yet, have something to add.

Things kids born in 2014 may never know

1. The post office. Instead of email, someone used to come all the way to your house just to drop a bunch of ads into a box on the front porch. This service was a big money loser.

2. Parking meters. There was a time when you had to pay for parking by putting coins into a little steel box on a pole.

3. Bank tellers. People used to visit a bank branch to make deposits and withdrawals. What a lot of effort expended on something that can be done digitally in mere seconds with no travel involved.

4. Paper statements. Trees used to give their lives so that those who refused to go digital could get bills and other statements in the mail. (See No. 1.)

5. Paper checks. While it was illegal to make your own paper money, it was OK to write an amount of money on a piece of ordinary paper. Once you signed it, it somehow magically became the same as money.

6. Cable TV. Before universal Wi-Fi, there used to be a wire running all the way from downtown to bring entertainment into the house. Judging by the price, you’d have thought it contained a cure for cancer.

7. Toll booths. Before they started charging tolls by taking a picture of your license plate, you had to stop at a booth and either throw money in a basket or hand it to someone. They were kind of like phone booths on the turnpike.

8. Phone booths. Before everyone had wireless phones, there used to be little glass rooms on street corners where you’d go in and use coins to make a call. For some people, they also doubled as bathrooms.

9. Newspapers. In days before everyone had computers at home and in their pockets, printing presses made paper versions of websites. People would then drive around and throw them on your lawn.

10. Car keys. Cars had keys you’d insert into a keyhole in the doors and dashboard to unlock and start the car. Sometimes you’d lock them in, then try to retrieve them with a coat hanger. Other people would stop and try to help.

11. Bookstores. A retail store where you’d go to buy books.

12. Books. There used to be a physical version of e-books made out of paper.

13. DVDs. Before movies were delivered online, they came on discs you’d stick into your computer or a player attached to your TV.

14. Incandescent lighting. This kind of light bulb didn’t last as long or cost as much as LED lighting, but it had a nice glow to it.

15. Fax machines. These devices transmitted a piece of paper to another fax machine anywhere in the world. It worked over phone lines.

16. Phone lines. Before wireless, calls were carried on wires. Like power wires, they were strung everywhere and stopped working during snow and ice storms.

17. Non-digital picture frames. There was a time when a picture frame could only display one picture at a time, so you needed a frame for every picture. Some were better looking than the picture they contained.

18. Cursive handwriting. You’d pick up a pen or pencil and actually write things by hand. Not only that, but the letters of each word were all connected in such a way that it was often impossible to decipher.

19. Camcorders. Before HD video cameras became standard in phones, you had to buy a separate device if you wanted video selfies.

20. Blind dates. In the days before dating websites, people were forced to meet one another any way they could, including being introduced to friends of friends. It was awkward, because there was no way to IM, text, exchange pics or otherwise communicate before actually meeting. The people you met this way usually weren’t as good looking as you.

21. Talking to one person at a time. Before pocket computers, you weren’t required to stay in constant communication via text. Nor was it customary to let everyone you’d ever met know where you were and what you were doing via Facebook. As a result, you’d often find yourself forced to communicate solely with the people in front of you.

22. Driving a car. Before self-driving cars, you had to do it all: gas, brakes, mirrors, turn signals, talk on the phone, text, put on makeup and eat, all at the same time.

23. Setting a thermostat. Before “The Internet of Things,” you had to manually set the temperature in your house. 

24. Forgetting someone’s name. Before Google Glass came along, we had to recognize faces all by ourselves, and remember their personal information.

25. Buying music. With Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, iTunes Radio, etc., we have unlimited music libraries that we pay for by the month. Before that, we bought our music one song or album at a time and built collections.

Can you add to the list?

If you can think of more things babies born in 2014 might never experience or know, or if you disagree with some of the things I’ve listed here, let me hear from you. Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,160 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Kenneth Isgrigg

    Seriously??? No Picture Frames??? Do you really expect me to believe that the internet and wireless will do away with art and physical printed pictures? Give me a break… i’ve been listening to this “paperless” crap since the early 80’s. If anything, I throw away more paper than ever. Look around most offices. There are huge recycle bins for discarded paper that were not around in the old days.

  • Selena Barton

    The word paperless tends to mean 10x more paper. Paperless tax returns are far thicker than the ones we had to print to have clients send out.

    Besides, we still have most of those things listed, and they aren’t close to going away. Now if it was a list for people being born in at least another 20 years into the future, maybe more would apply.

    It’s more like, people used to have to learn manners. They had to respect their elders. I may only be 32, but I was raised with the same expectations of manners my parents were. I get up and give up my seat when a person older than I am comes into the room. I hold doors for people. I say please and thank you. Its all a long lost art. People can’t put down their phones even for a meal.

    Another thing sadly missing is the ability to work hard. I’m not talking about mentally either, though considering the state of our news reports getting lowered to a 4th grade level, that too seems highly possible. People used to work in fields and on farms. It was physically demanding in ways that built muscle and character. I have watched high school football players carry in a box they could barely lift only to pick it up and wonder why they had trouble. His muscle came from equipment while mine came from a hay field. You can’t just lower the weight on a bale of hay like you can equipment. You learn to handle that weight.

    I think Blind Dates will always exist. Despite chatting them up online, they can lie, post someone else’s photo, hide so much in the lack of emotion of text… Not that they didn’t end up being with a murderer once in a while the old way, but not as often as people do now with the mass amount of these dates that happen because they don’t realize just how blind they really are.

    Maybe one of them should be murders happened less. Without the internet for the serial killers to find targets so quickly, they had to go out and find the person on foot with their own eyes rather than clicking through profiles on dating sites and facebook. They were limited to the area in which they were living rather than being able to spread their kills out across a nation to cover the pattern for far longer, if not completely.

    I think there are many things those new babies will miss, but sadly, it will be things that made people learn to interact with people and how to entertain themselves without batteries and electronics. It will be the things that made people remember that others were people too. I feel education will suffer with their ability to just look up whatever it is for the second and never have to truly learn.

    The art of doing math will be a casualty. When I was in grade school (the 80s), I was sent home with homework with instructions that read “Use a calculator to complete”, so I went to the drawer to get the calculator. Mom stopped me and asked what I thought I was doing. I explained, and she took the calculator. I was informed that I was going to do it the old fashioned way,and when I was done, she’d consider letting me use it to check it. Not that I needed the calculator to check it either. I have always excelled in math. It was a lesson to use my mind and not rely on gadgets to do my thinking for me. Cashiers now can’t do that, they have to have a calculator to do simple math. When the power would go out where I worked during college, I was the one they had handling orders to sell off what we could so we didn’t have to throw away the food because I could do the math as fast as the managers could try to punch the info into the calculator. I could make change without it which most couldn’t do.

    It’s the important skills that suffer by moving some completely into the forms of technology we are being conditioned to use. Math, writing, grammar, real communication, spelling… People are becoming no more than a screen name.

    • Mango Tango Man

      Well said, Selena.

  • Selena Barton

    It’s a shame you think it has to be based in an incomplete experience due to my not being a historian with your view. Thing is, as we move into more technology, people are losing a great deal of interaction with people. But who needs to be able to spell when all they have to do is type letters mashed together instead. H8 is so much easier than having to figure out it’s spelled hate. The ex-boyfriend spells get as “git”. No child left behind made classes go to teaching to the slowest student in the class and grading everything on that level. It means the smarter kids don’t have to work to their potential. I don’t say it was the “good ol’ days” of the 80s. It’s a matter of watching kids move to the point of being conditioned to not think. They are now giving kids calculators so they can pass the standardized testing because they can’t do it without it. The test hasn’t gotten any harder, but they can’t do it without a calculator now. Spelling is unnecessary with spell check; and learning to write is useless with typing. That’s not advancement. If they have no clue how to spell the word well enough for spell check, it won’t find the right word. Removing writing can always take us back to signing with an X on those pads just like back when we didn’t teach people to write in the past.

    I have seen teenagers sit in chairs and leave older people standing that needed the chair. When we go to my uncle’s house for holidays, despite being 32, I sit in the floor so that the older generations have the chairs. Uncle’s wife’s teenage daughter sat on the couch leaving my grandmother in her 90s without a seat because she felt getting there first was the right answer. My grandmother was nearly blind and had balance issues. That didn’t happen nearly as much in my parents’ generation even.

    I will gladly be called primitive for expecting people to treat others with respect and work to their potential. Teens can’t even go grocery shopping because someone might post something on facebook, and they would miss the second it was posted. I see people even in their 40 – 60s that are ramming into other people in stores because they can’t steer the cart while on their phones. It’s not an improvement when people forget how to function without it and impairs their ability to do what they need to do. Unless someone is hurt or sick, that chat can wait until they aren’t going to be running other people over. It’s sad that we had to put in laws against texting and driving because people can’t remember how to detach from their phones long enough to drive.

    • Robert Karma

      While you are entitled to your worldview anecdotes are not evidence and your perception is not reality. We can agree to disagree. Have a Happy New Year.

      • Selena Barton

        I didn’t insult your view by saying you were incapable of making up your own mind with the experiences you have or living in some fictitious world, and I would appreciate it if you stopped doing that to me and other people here.

        History is anecdotes. It’s written by the victor. It’s never exactly correct. So you learn from stories told by man, which means you are working off of anecdotes as well. If I want to follow your own last statements to me, that means you aren’t working in reality, but what one side decided to call their truth. I think it’s odd how people forget that history is all written by man when they want to hold it up as being superior to what people see happening now.

  • Dana

    The only reason the post office is losing money is because Congress imposed an unfair pension-prefunding requirement on them. They would be turning a profit otherwise. They ARE turning a profit, minus that prefunding requirement. It would be remarkably helpful if people would educate themselves about this and stop blaming USPS for something over which they had no control. Especially when Congress is literally not doing its constitutionally-mandated job of maintaining the post office and postal roads. “Maintaining” does NOT mean “allowing to fall apart or die.” You strict constitutionalists out there ought to be especially appalled. Where are you?

    • whitmail

      I’m with you Dana about the Post Office. Without that mandate to prepay the retirement system for 75 years in advance in 10 years, the USPS would have been 1.7 million in the black. And the other thing about “snail mail”, Uncle Sam is NOT snooping in your personal correspondence like the new fangled texting and e-mail.

    • Mary

      Thank you, Dana, for presenting the facts re USPS. Lobbyists for the multinational crime complex were quite busy during the holiday season trying to thwart the excellent resource management capabilities of this self-supporting entity…its $65+ billion in reserves is mighty tempting to this cartel who stole the futures of millions of retirees, responsible workers and their progeny. Including USPS on this “list” is outrageous, and more evidence that MoneyTalksNews is nothing more than a shill for wall street/international thieves.

    • Mary

      Thank you, Dana, for presenting the facts re USPS. Lobbyists for the multinational complex were quite busy during the holiday season trying to thwart the excellent resource management capabilities of this self-supporting entity…its $65+ billion in reserves is might tempting to the same crew who stole the futures of millions of retirees, responsible workers and their progeny. Including USPS on this “list” is outrageous and more evidence that MoneyTalksNews is truly nothing more than a shill for wall street/international thieves.

  • Dana

    A real historian would understand that the progressivist worldview is flawed and that with every bit of “progress” there are unforeseen drawbacks. There are times in the human past I *would* return to, because they were times of better adaptation as a species. Now we have become over-complex, hyper-specialized and top-heavy and it wouldn’t take much for us to topple and lose two-thirds of our population, minimum, very quickly. No one knows how to take care of themselves anymore. They hire it all out. If not literally by paying another person then the equivalent of using a machine when their own human effort would have sufficed.

    An example of “progress” being a drawback: the Library of Alexandria. Because the Christians burned it, we were set back centuries in technological progress. I don’t personally think that’s a bad thing, but people like you think it’s a bad thing. Why was it possible? Because we by that point had stopped *remembering* our cultural information and had instead set it down in books. In oral cultures the elders are the libraries. To completely wipe out a culture you have to hunt all the elders down and kill them. Burning a library is much quicker. It is a vulnerability. That does not say “progress” to me.

    Look at this through the lens of a scientific metaphor. A human being is more complex than a tree. But if you lop off a human being’s limb and let him bleed out, both he and his arm are dead. If you cut a tree’s branch not only will the tree survive but you may even be able to root the branch and produce a whole new tree.

    There is something to be said for simplicity and redundancy. “Progress” threatens to destroy both, and we may pay a heavy price in the long run.

    And there’s nothing wrong with doing a little work. Or a lot. It beats becoming a lazy sod who thinks he’s entitled to be served hand and foot for no other reason than his imaginary status.

    • Robert Karma

      I don’t have a clue to what you are on about with your post Dana. Please provide some empirical evidence to support your assertions rather than relying on mixed metaphors about apples and oranges. Progress is measured over a continuum with frequent lows and highs during long periods of time. No one would seriously suggest that each years is better than the last for every person throughout history. There have always been setbacks, some natural like the Black Death and many human caused like wars and religious oppression. The Dark Ages is the western world impacted many generations but over time things have improved. We have periods of quantum leaps like with the discovery of antibiotics but we are now dealing with the abuse of these wonder drugs with the growing resistance of bacteria via evolutionary adaptation. So will humans continue to adapt and progress as a species… time will tell. Barring a massive EMP that wipes out our power grid and technology we are not going to return to the idealized agrarian society we experienced up until WWII. So romanticize the past all you want but we can never return “home” which means we deal with reality on its terms or live in a bubble of wishful thinking for a world that never was but in myth. As a historian I learn from the past that informs my present and prepares me for the future. Again, like Selena, you are entitled to your worldview and you have to live with it. I prefer to enjoy what is rather than what I was was which means I bid you adieu because there is a darn good football game on ABC right now. May your 2014 be as satisfactory as you imagine 1914 would have been even though it was the start of our first modern global world war which would go on to kill millions and plant the seeds for the horrors of WWII. We also had the great flu pandemic of 1918 coming up killing even more after the guns fell silent. The good old days… right?

  • Jason

    It is a funny and unrealistic list. For a baby born in 2014 to never know about any of these things that would have to be completely eliminated in the next decade at the very latest. Never going to happen. I’ll touch on just one: Phone Lines. I work in the electrical utility / telecom industry. Almost every cell phone call is carried on a phone line. The tiny distance from the cell phone to the tower is wireless. However, the rest of the journey is carried on a fiberoptic line. Some are buried, some are on utility poles but they are physical cables.

  • John R

    And while all of this progress is astounding and makes so many things simpler, how many people either have been or will be put out of work by it? What do those folks do, and where do they turn? The article would lead one to believe that all is positive with increasing technology and automation – but one must remember that there is a price to be paid for everything down the line. It has always been that way, and always will be…..

    • Mary

      So true, John; self-service kiosks/check-outs have been the death-knell for so many workers. Locally, our community push-back against them lead a Jewel-Osco store to remove them, and hire 15-20 new workers. That’s real progress!

      • John R

        It’s great to hear that there was a push-back in your community that resulted in the hiring of new workers! It might be a small number, but it’s a good start. We can only hope that other communities follow your lead and allow people who need jobs to be able to get them!

  • Duane Gendreaux

    First of all….As long as half of this Country is poor….The Post Office isn’t going anywhere. Not everyone can afford to go full time internet. It just isn’t going to happen. I work for the USPS and I’m 100% sure I will have my job for quite some time. The same goes for dvd’s and half the crap on this list. You are completely delusional.