11 Not So Ancient Technologies That Gen Zs Won’t Understand

The technological gap continues to expand at a faster-than-ever pace. What were once modern staples are now outdated and ancient inventions. Here are eleven obsolete technologies that generation Zs won't remember. 

1. Physical Maps

paper map, road map, directions, lost
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Physical maps have become a thing of the past for the newest generations. 

1. Physical Maps

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“When I was planning my wedding last year, my parents showed me some stuff from their 1988 wedding. They had to make a map by hand (literally glued paper together) so people could figure out how to get from the church to the reception hall.”

Circa 2023: Not mapping the quest. 

2. Floppy Discs

floppy disc, technology, computers
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“Floppy discs, like not the 3 1/2 ones but the ones that were actually floppy, like made with some sort of Styrofoam type substance. You don't remember those unless you're in your 30s or your parents were especially resistant to new technology,” one comment read.

3. The Not-So-Compact Discs

cd rom, compact disc,
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Burning CDs is out of the question for anyone born before 1995.

“They are basically obsolete. Almost everyone I know has an AUX cable or BT stereo in their car and plays Spotify, Pandora, or YT music.”

4. Radios 

radio, headphones, technology,
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“Not the ones in your car, but ones you have in your home,” said one Redditor. 

“… And TVs that are cube-shaped, lol.” 

That is the truth. 

5. Carbon Paper

carbon copy, carbon paper, receipt
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As of 2023, carbon copy paper has left the building. 

“I had to explain what it was to someone in her twenties. The look on her face …”

6. Video Rental Stores

blockbuster, movie rental store, rent movies
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The phrase “please be kind, rewind” has been lost to many a gen z.

7. Manual Transmissions

stick shift, manual transmission, manual car
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Driving expensive Maseratis, Lamborghinis, or Ferraris can be challenging.

“Standard Transmissions. Most young people can't wrap their heads around it.”

8. Checkbooks

checkbook, check, write a check
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Physical checks as a form of payment is an ancient practice. 

“I'm 19, but a checkbook. My grandma taught me to balance one when I was young, and I'm probably an enigma for the Gen Zs.”

9. Payphones

payphone, phone booth
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Before the introduction of mobile phones, pay phones were a hot commodity. 

“Phone booths at every convenience store, at every gas station, in every mall, & on street corners. Hoping that you had a dime (or a quarter) to enable you to make a phone call. And ALWAYS checking the coin slot at the end of a call to see if any change was there.”

10. Answering Machines

answering machine, voicemail
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The stress behind creating the perfect outgoing message was real. 

“You had to buy a stand-alone device/appliance that you plugged your phone's cord into (everyone has covered that part already, lol) and then into the wall,” one comment read. “

Then you had to set it up so it knew what calls to answer or not (phone or fax) and when (usually [the] number of rings, and later had home/away/vacation options).”

11. Landline Phones

landline, home phone
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Not too long ago, landline phones were popular household items. 

“Home phones, we were still using them when I was younger.”

However, in today's world, the landline is few and far between. 


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