Andrew Parker

25 Boomer Traditions That Have Become a Joke

As we get older, the things that used to be important to us just don’t feel that way, and in some cases, they become a bit of a running joke. Today, we’re looking at 25 things that used to be treasures back in the day but are completely outdated among the younger generation. Of course, there’s no shame if you still use any of these.

Remember Landlines?

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Back then, having a landline meant that you were officially connected, but you shouldn’t tell anyone if you’ve still got one today. If you do, they’ll probably laugh at you, and they might even ask if you use it to spend smoke signals. But at the end of the day, we all remember rushing to answer it.

Encyclopedias Everywhere

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Owning a full set of encyclopedias used to be a sign that you came from a learned household. But these days, there’s more likely to be quirky bookends than a source of information, as it’s way easier just to hit up Google for the latest info. At the moment, there’s only one encyclopedia in America that’s still being printed.

Maps on Paper, Not Screens

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There was a time when reading a map meant you were holding the entire world in your hands. Now, the idea of someone unfolding a giant map in their car instead of using their phone’s GPS seems completely outdated. Honestly, it’s a change we can get behind, as following pixels is way easier than following paper.

VHS and Blockbuster Nights

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Going through the aisles of movies at Blockbuster used to be the highlight of our week, although both physical media and Blockbuster have almost completely disappeared. Even the idea of VHS tape is a surefire way to make older people feel nostalgic. And the younger generations? Well, they’ll probably just be confused.

Writing Checks in Line

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There was a certain charm to scribbling checks in a checkbook, especially when you had your favorite pen to do it. But fast-forward to today, and if you start writing a check at checkout, don’t be surprised if people give you some puzzled looks. Nobody’s got time to waste when there’s an app for it.

The Mighty Phone Book

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Oh, the phone book. Having to whip this hefty beast out to look up a plumber’s phone number was almost like a ritual. These days, even jokes about using a phone book to level out a wobbly table have disappeared because most young people will have no idea that these things even existed.

Fax Machines

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Laugh all you want, but fax machines used to be the lifeline for businesses and anyone who needed to share a document quickly. There are still some places that use fax, but you’re more likely to get some laughs if you tell someone you’re going to fax them. After all, why aren’t you just emailing them?

Word Processors

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It’s weird how the reputation of typewriters has changed so much. They used to demand a certain respect for writing because every letter was a permanent mark on the paper. There was no backspace option. But now? Well, they’re more of a collector’s tool, and hardly anyone takes them seriously.

Waiting for the Beep

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The sound of dial-up internet is something that no older person will ever be able to forget. Today, the idea that we ever had to wait to use the internet, making sure nobody needed the phone, seems almost laughable. It’s even crazier when you think about how 0.2%, or 265,000, still use dial-up in America.

Floppy Disk

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Back in the day, floppy disks were the ultimate way of sharing data, each one capable of holding a whopping 1.44 MB of data. That’s not enough for a single smartphone picture today. We’ve made the jump from these plastic squares to USB drives and even cloud storage that’s able to hold thousands of times more data. Most people probably don’t even recognize the floppy disk symbol on Microsoft Word anymore.

The Original Social Network

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In the past, if you wanted to show people you were important in the past, you’d put a Rolodex on your desk. Each card was a direct line to someone who was worth knowing, but that’s nothing compared to today. Even the idea of physically flipping through something to find someone’s number sounds old-fashioned.

A Turn for the Better

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Rolling down a car window used to mean giving your arm a workout, although manual windows are pretty rare today. It’s funny to think that something that used to be a standard feature in cars is now just a quirky throwback. And it’s all thanks to power windows, which, let’s be honest, we’re all pretty grateful for.

Waiting for Photos

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Gone are the days when you had to drop off your film at the store and wait to see if your pics were masterpieces or total flops. Instead, we’ve become used to getting our photos immediately, and the idea of even waiting an hour for them seems strange. Unfortunately, this has meant our patience has changed from days into seconds, too.

Looking for Pay Phones

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Looking for a payphone used to be as important as finding a Wi-Fi signal today, as they were a way of connecting you to help or to your loved ones. But when you see them today, it’s like you’re seeing a museum exhibit in the wild. It’s weird to think we used to depend on these relics just to make a call when we were out and about.

Dot Matrix Printers

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If you mention a dot matrix printer today, you might as well be talking about Morse code. We used to love these printers because they were able to churn out document after document at a speed that seemed so futuristic at the time. Today, we’ve moved onto printing tech that’s way quieter and much more efficient, too.

Cursive Writing

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Cursive writing used to be a required school lesson, but it’s become more of a curiosity than a necessity. After all, why bother to learn about handwriting when you can type or text things much more easily? Some people still get a kick out of seeing it because it’s pretty rare to use it outside of signing your name.

Milk Delivery

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Back in the day, it was completely normal to wake up to fresh milk delivered to your doorstep. Sure, you can still get it through online orders or by hitting the grocery store, but the number of milkmen deliveries has dropped a lot. Even so, some reports suggest that the milkman is making a comeback, and let’s hope it stays that way.

Sharing Music

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Making a mix CD, or even a mixtape, used to be the only way to share your music with your friends. There was a real charm in choosing which songs you’d put on it and then burning them directly. Now, we’ve got online music playlists that take seconds to put together, although they’re nowhere near as personal.

Searching the Old-School Way

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Looking for a new job? In the past, the newspaper classified was your best bet, and you’d spend quite a bit of time circling the right ads with a pen. Today, job hunting has moved to the digital world, and new opportunities are just a click away. Some people still use paper ads, but they’re not exactly relevant.

Real Alarm Clocks

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The idea of using an alarm clock instead of your phone seems completely outdated in today’s world. Most people use their cell phones to get them up in the morning, especially since they come with so many features. After all, you can get one that’ll wake you up, turn on the lights, make your coffee, and start the vacuum cleaner, all with the touch of a button.

Card Catalog

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Once upon a time, you’d have to rely on using a card catalog at the library if you wanted to take some books out. Yes, it might’ve just been a wooden chest of tiny drawers, but it’d open you up to a world of possibilities. Today, a lot of younger people will probably have no idea what you’re on about since everything’s online.

Snail Mail

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Remember when we used to write letters and stamp them? Now it’s just something you’d ever do for a birthday or thank you note. But in a way, it’s pretty touching, as the rise of digital messages means that anytime you do send a handwritten letter, you’ve put some effort into doing it.

Vinyl Victory

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Although we’re living in a stream-everything era, vinyl records are spinning their way back into our hearts, with some estimates putting the global vinyl market at around $1.7 billion. There’s just something so cool about dropping the needles on a record and hearing that rich sound. It doesn’t matter how great technology is because some classics will always be timeless.

Overhead Projectors

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In the past, it wasn’t a real event unless you had the gentle hum and warm glow of an overhead projector to go along with it. Sadly, the arrival of cheaper and more reliable digital alternatives means that most young people won’t even know what these big metal boxes are for. Some teachers still use them, but they’re far and few between.

Handheld Calculators

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Who would’ve thought we’d quite literally have a calculator in our pockets? Sure, we had handheld ones in the past, but they weren’t exactly portable. The idea of carrying one around that’s not on your cellphone seems almost laughable, even though they used to be something you’d find on every desk.

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