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25 things babies born in 2014 may never know

When kids born in 2014 start asking about what life was like back in the old days, you'll have this list to show them how things used to be.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 31, 2013 1:42PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIn 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 several major websites.

Baby © Elisa Cicinelli, Brand X Pictures, JupiterimagesThe 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.

More on Money Talks News:

Physical books aren't going away anytime soon. You can buy all the e-books you want but it's not the same as having a physical book in your hands with pages you can actually turn.
Jan 5, 2014 6:56AM
Spelling, vocabulary, pronunciation, punctuation, understandable communication.
Jan 2, 2014 1:44PM
26. True Freedom
27. A trustworthy Government
28. Respect for free thought and expression

Jan 5, 2014 11:27AM
How to play outside with real live friends. real hugs taking a walk and seeing birds bunnies dogs cats cows ect. they will never have a live outside of a box linked to other boxes run by a bigger box owned by the borg

Jan 2, 2014 10:57AM

Things my fellow Baby Boomers never knew:

The Depression, horses and buggies, high button shoes, radio serials, flappers, flivvers, knickers, gaslights, paying $10,000 for a new home, coal furnaces, inkwells, etc.

Everything is relative.

Jan 5, 2014 9:21AM

I'm 67 years old.  When I talk to the 20-somethings about 'how it was', their eyes get big and their mouths drop open... 

Gas at 29-cents a gallon, and car's with 500 cubic inch engines that got 20-mpg?  And weighed 7300 pounds?   Or 389 cubic inch engines with lots of horsepower and gobs of torque, and got 24-mpg gas mileage, and the car had style?  The car's of the '50s and '60s had style.  They didn't all look like a Ford Taurus?  Little things, like filling the gas tank (24 gallons) for $8 in premium gas, without ethanol?  Or that you could actually maintain your own car, with common mechanics tools? 

Favorite rides?

-1964 Pontiac Catalina 2+2.  Yes, I know, there WAS no 2+2?  It was a factory prototype.  One of 150, no two alike.  Really sharp looking car, with metallic silver paint, black vinyl top, 2-door, all black vinyl interior with front buckets, console, 2-piece aluminum finned wheels, aluminum finned rocker panels, black-out grille and rear panel, 421 V-8 engine with a 4-barrel carb, dual exhaust and auto transmission with a console floor shift, GTO/Monte Carlo style gauges on the dash. 

-1974 Cadillac Fleetwood 'Brougham'.  It had a huge engine, but still got 18-mpg on the highway?  And like my younger brother once said, it had 'power pick your nose' and 'you could rent out the back seat to a family of Mexicans.'  Turn the radio on, the antenna came up.  Temperature control?  Just dial the temp on the dash, and it regulated it.  Oh, the only thing you 'slammed' on the car was the hood?  Doors and the trunk had motors to PULL the doors/lid tight.  Power everything, from windows, door locks, front seats.  Could even change radio station with my left toe?  Press the button above the headlight dimmer switch, and the radio searched for the next strong station.  Auto ride height with rear air shocks, with a vacuum-powered air compressor under the hood.  Four channel audio, with pretty good 6x9 speakers in the rear deck.  Courtesy lights everywhere? 

I ran the 'wheels off' both.  I rebuilt the engine on the '64 Pontiac, and put over 50,000 miles on it after the re-build.  I took the Cadillac to Seattle and back, with a side-trip thru Yellowstone. 

-Then there is the Chevy Corvair, with the 283 V-8 engine in the back seat?   Auto transmission.  Not practical but it was a fun project?

Favorite car?  Actually a truck!  1972 GMC 'Gentleman Jim' pickup.  Bucket seats, console, every option you could get?  Power windows, seats, air conditioning with 'dial the temp'.  350 engine, auto transmission, on the floor. 

I've lived History.  While in the military, I walked into Japanese bunkers and pill boxes on Taiwan and Okinawa.  I've seen rusting beached Japanese ships on the shores.  I've gone swimming on the northern tip of Taiwan, where the Pacific Ocean meets the North China Sea?  Quemoy-Matsu Islands between Taiwan and China?  I've flown there.  I was assigned to Taipei Air Station, Taiwan.  (Google it, and on two of the sites, the picture of the compound I took, in 1966?)  I also did 6 months at Tainan, in southern Taiwan.  Home of the CIA's 'Air America' airline.  I went to Vietnam, while a civilian construction company built the air base at Tuy Hoa (Two'-e Wa'). 

These guys go out and look at their car's or trucks, and shake their heads, about what they could have had? 

I don't go looking to expound.  They come to me?  They want to know?  They are not happy when they leave, however. 

Jan 5, 2014 12:07PM

21 disturbs me.

I'm older but not that old.  Young enough to still be in the group that embraces facebook and texting and the rest of the digital media.

I feel things these days are getting so impersonal.  Texts don't show facial expressions they are anonymous,  People feel free to say things they would never say in person.  Much of it fuels hate, segregation, rich/poor, different groups more and more.

I'm not saying they don't have their place in modern society but people don't get out as much meeting new people face to face making that human connection with someone.

Jan 5, 2014 2:21PM
2014 babies will no linger know how to spell.  It's YOU, not "u".  
Jan 1, 2014 10:14PM
Democracy. That'll be thrown away by the time they're 5.
Jan 5, 2014 2:16PM

knowing how to communicate with people live instead of texting, facebooking, twittering.

knowing that manners are part of communication

Jan 5, 2014 11:00AM
I take umbrage with #12.  Books aren't going away.  There are too many of them and too many people who don't have e-readers/computers/phones.
Jan 5, 2014 12:22PM
They will probably never know what a real chocolate malted tastes like, what real music sounded like, the days when the dollars in their wallets actually had value. They will also probably never know what it means to live in a nation free of division, heck I don't even know that and I am middle aged. The thought of a good old chocolate malted and a real hamburger and fries and listening to the beach boys on my transistor radio on a sunny summer day feels amazing!  It helps block out all the hate, worry, and division that is everywhere.  The hate that the children of today and tomorrow will eventually develop for one another is a very sad thought.
Jan 5, 2014 4:59AM
they will never knows freedom or what it means to live in a fee country
Jan 5, 2014 11:55AM

I love taking my son down the electronics aisle at Goodwill.


Son: "Mom what is that?"


"It is a VHS rewinding machine"

"it is a word processing machine"

"it is an answering machine"



Jan 5, 2014 1:19PM
With the state of public education in this country, these things aren't the only things these babies won't know.
Jan 5, 2014 4:24AM

An actual keyboard and mouse. Along with a desktop computer.

Dec 31, 2013 7:13PM
I'm sure glad to was born long enough ago to remember 3, 11, 18, 21 & 22.
Dec 31, 2013 3:20PM
Seeing that we are at a tipping point, it could go either way. The things you mention my be High Tech compared to what we leave the Next Generation.
Jan 5, 2014 4:11PM
What the word respect means!  What it means to respect others, especially their elders, and what it takes to earn respect for themselves as they grow up!
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