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10 Skills We’ve Lost Due to Smart Phones and PDAs and Simple Ways to Get Those Skills Back

10 Skills We’ve Lost Due to Smart Phones and PDAs and Simple Ways to Get Those Skills Back

1. Memorizing phone numbers

It was a hassle remembering numbers. Now we simply add them to our contacts list. That usually works well unless our device is lost, stolen, or damaged. No one can be expected to remember all their contact numbers. What we can do is memorize 5 of our most important contact numbers. This should include a mixture of family, friends and business. If you’re really ambitious you can memorize 5 contacts for each category.

2. Map reading skills

The convenience and effectiveness of GPS guidance systems and digital maps generated by search engines is undeniable. They’ve definitely made our lives easier. What we don’t get from using these devices and applications are the increased ability to understand spatial orientation, representative symbolism, and navigation. To renew or acquire those skills, try using physical maps to plan your next trek. Whether it’s a long or short trip, take time to stop and safely chart your progress. After a few excursions, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how efficient a tactile map can be.

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3. Photography

Even amateur photography required a rudimentary learning curve about lighting, depth, and composition. This was true for analog and digital photography. Most smart phone camera’s automatically make these adjustments. We no longer have to learn the art of photography. On most devices, this is easily rectified by turning off the automatic settings. Experiment with manually setting the scene modes, lighting, and zoom. You just may learn that you’re a “true Photog.”

4. Fact checking

Reference books and encyclopedias were once the gold standard for finding reference information. They provided peer reviewed and fact checked data on a vast array of subjects. They just aren’t as convenient and rapidly updated as search engines, digital reference materials, and databases. That said, the results of information derived from digital sources aren’t always reliable. Their information is limited by the review process. No one wants to be embarrassed by regurgitating false information. It’s taken time, but most people now realize that wiki retrieved data comes with a caveat. To make certain you’re disseminating factual information, make an effort to strictly utilize reputable and reliable sources.

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5. Reading comprehension

The primary culprits are E-readers. They’re convenient and can store thousands of books. There’s also evidence that their format makes it more difficult for users to retain and recall information they just read. Don’t worry, there’s no need to give up your e-reader! What we should do is make an effort to read printed books. This will be especially helpful when perusing information we need for academic or career purposes.

6. Hand written correspondence

Writing letters and notes incorporated hand writing skills, organizational skills, and learning about the person or persons you correspond with. This is another easily regained skill. Send a letter to an old friend, relative or acquaintance. If you’re truly feeling adventurous, join a pen pal club!

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7. Conversations

This one may seem counter-intuitive, especially considering how many people have smart phones, but it’s true! We actually use email and texts far more than we talk. It’s more prevalent among certain demographics, but it touches them all. The solution is self explanatory: take time make phone calls.

8. Currency

Using coins and paper money requires fast arithmetic and accurate calculations. Sure debit cards are often more practical, but cash has its benefits. In addition keeping our calculating skills sharp, cash can actually be safer to use than debit cards. Use cash for purchases under ten dollars. While ostensibly debit cards are safer, they’re are susceptible to fraudulent practices such as skimming. This often happens at locations where make quick, low dollar transactions. If you inadvertently lose a small amount of cash you’re not going to be too upset. On the hand, if your debit card is compromised it could become a true fiasco.

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9. Walking

Distracted walking detracts from the observations and experience of walking. It can also be dangerous. Accidents can easily occur when we become immersed in text messages. An easy solution is to set observation goals for each trip. If it’s a routine walking commute, make a game of noting the changes, no matter how subtle, on your commute.

10. Expanding our knowledge base

The convenience of nearly instantaneous information can easily become a crutch. If we’re not knowledgeable about certain subjects such as physics, politics, or music we know we can look it up online. That’s not necessarily a negative. What’s problematic is that we often look up and recite the information, but don’t actually absorb it. It may seem daunting, but this is arguably the easiest skill to revitalize. Whenever you reference an unfamiliar subject take time to actually learn the information.

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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