17 Traditions That Will Vanish When Boomers Are Gone

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By Darryl Henderson

The world is constantly changing, so naturally, younger generations are often reluctant to carry on many of the traditions that the generations that preceded them used to swear by. To illustrate, here are 17 traditions that will disappear alongside the baby boomer generation.

Fixing Broken Things

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American traditionalists would rather spend a full two weeks of work and wages repairing a $10 chair than replacing it with something new. It’s an admirable tradition, but sadly, with mass-manufactured goods becoming commonplace, younger generations have less desire to get the toolbox out.

Reading the Paper

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Many news websites have had to drastically evolve following the rise of the internet, with traditional print media demand falling off a cliff. Nowadays, people are privy to breaking news the minute it happens, rather than having to wait for the next morning’s paper to find out the details.

Phoning Someone’s Landline

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Using the house landline phone was the method for making plans with friends and lovers in the days before the mobile phone, but it’s a tradition that is beginning to fade away. In the modern era, only a quarter of Americans use a landline, as pointed out by The Washington Post–it’s all smartphones now!

Dressing Up

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Look around any city, and you’ll see a distinct difference between the casual wear of the elderly and the casual wear of the younger generations. Formal attire seems to be a requirement for older people and a burden for younger people, who are shelving their shirts and ties in favor of leisurewear. 

Board Games

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These days, everyone has a video game device in their pocket at all times, which is severely detrimental to the board game industry. People are no longer sitting down as a family to play games, but are instead sitting on their phones and consoles playing video games by themselves. It’s a crying shame!

Homemade Mixtapes

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Burning songs onto CDs and cassettes and sharing them with friends used to be the main way of showing off your musical taste. However, the ease of creating a playlist on a streaming service and the fact that nobody owns a CD player anymore have both caused the end of the homemade mixtape.

Cinema Visits

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Most young people’s grandparents fondly remember their trips to the movie theater in their youth, sometimes sticking around to watch three movies in one sitting. The rise of streaming sites and a global pandemic have hit the theaters hard, with CNBC stating that visitor numbers have yet to recover since 2020.

Saving Money in a Piggy Bank

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Opening your piggy bank expecting to find a wealth of riches, only to find you’d just about scraped enough for a fast food meal, was deflating but pure. Online banking and the reducing prevalence of physical cash have meant that piggy banks have become obsolete, and saving up just isn’t as fun anymore.


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Receiving a postcard from friends or family, complete with a picture of a beautiful beach or city, was always tough when you were sitting at home on a rain-drenched Wednesday. However, it was nice to be the topic of someone’s thoughts; sadly, postcards have been rendered useless thanks to social media and instant messaging.

Writing Letters

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Much like writing postcards, the idea of writing letters to friends, family, and romantic interests has all but evaporated since the arrival of instant messaging. People no longer want to wait for a letter to arrive, and who could blame them when you can have a full back-and-forth conversation digitally? 

Phone Booth Calls

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The accessibility of mobile phones and the sheer convenience of being able to phone anyone you like, wherever you may be, have seen the end of phone booth culture. The number of archaic-looking booths is dwindling in towns and cities, with the remaining few being relics of the past.

Walking to School

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Modern fears about the safety of children walking to school unaccompanied have caused a severe drop in this once-common tradition. A study discussed in The Independent suggests that only 25% of children walk to school now, compared to 86% in 1971. That’s shockingly sad!

Family Reunions

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Historically, family members would convene in one place, usually around someone’s house, once a year to catch up and reconnect. These events were beautiful, but in a bittersweet way; thanks to the invention of social media, families are now staying connected all year round, reducing the need for a yearly event.

Yard Sales

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One of the most common sights on a summer weekend used to be one of your neighbors setting up a stall in their front yard to sell some unwanted items for a bit of cash. Nowadays, this is not necessary, as people prefer to sell their things on Facebook Marketplace and eBay.

Milk Delivery

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Milkmen used to be the cornerstone of American morning routines, delivering glass bottles of milk to pretty much every house on the street. Despite a rise in the profession during the pandemic era, as reported by the BBC, the number of people having their milk delivered to their door has been dropping for decades.

Putting a Coin in the Jukebox

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In previous eras, people’s choices of venue for a relaxing evening were often dictated by the quality of records available in the jukebox. While there are still jukeboxes present in many retro-inspired places, they’re often not even plugged in and are just there for decorative purposes. We think they need a comeback!

Going to the Library

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Finally, the days of trying to find a specific book in the library as though it were a needle in a haystack, all while maintaining complete silence, are almost over. With most books available to be ordered online and delivered within a day, libraries are no longer necessary, and unfortunately, they’re starting to disappear. We’ll miss them dearly.