Royce Shook

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Skills we could keep or drop 1

Skills we could keep or drop 1

 An article in MoneyWise discussed the skills we are losing and listed some of them the writer thought important that we keep. Over the next few posts, I will highlight some of the skills identified in the article and give my view on whether we should keep or lose the skill. I am interested in what do you think, so let me know in the comments.?

Back in the early days of the digital age, we talked about Digital natives, which were people who were born into a world where technology was already an integral part of daily life, and digital tourists or visitors, which were people who were only introduced to tech in their later years. For the record, I am a Digital tourist.

As computerization continues formerly essential skills like switchboard operation or being a human calculator have perished.

With any change comes loss, and more than a few life skills society used to take for granted are falling by the wayside. From ironing your clothes to the way we communicate, here are some skills that we should keep and some that can just go the way of the dinosaur.

1. Reading a map

In my youth, I once went on a Gymkhana. For those who don’t know, a gymkhana is a type of motorsport, known as Motorkhana in Australia and New Zealand and Autotesting in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Similar to autocross, the goal of gymkhana is to achieve the fastest time possible; memorizing the course is a significant part of achieving a fast time. But if you don’t memorize the course, you have a navigator who used a map to keep you on track. I was the navigator, and we became hopelessly lost and ended up not last but near the end.

Map reading was never my strong suit, but I think for those times when one is travelling, and Google Maps is not available this is a skill to keep.

In a survey commissioned by the British mapping company Ordnance Survey, researchers found that only 20% of millennials wished they were better at reading maps. They probably should be though, because 60% of millennial respondents say they are reliant on digital maps when going somewhere new and a quarter are very reliant even in their day-to-day lives.

Google Maps and Waze are essential tools of 21st-century navigation, but there are countless stories of times GPS has failed travellers, causing them to be stranded in desolate locations. 

The first time I used Google Maps for directions in my car, we ended up on a mountain path that was a nightmare, and it took us about 4 hours out of our way, our problem was that the owner of the phone we were using had programmed the map wrong, but we believed in the technology when we should have read the map. There’s also the question of what happens if your phone runs out of battery, or you can’t access online maps. So I vote that we keep the skill of map reading and teach it to the younger generation, just in case of emergency.

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