20 ‘Old-School’ Items That Beat the New Versions Hands Down


Do you remember playing board games with your siblings or secretly sending handwritten letters to someone special? These are treasures from the past that their upgraded digital versions can’t match. So you’d be wrong to hurriedly call them “old-fashioned” because while the “new” might have made life more convenient, they’ve stolen from us along the way.

Visiting Local Libraries


We embraced apps and started reading books on mobile devices because they were comfortable and accessible. But nothing can replace the joy of browsing shelves, making new connections, and getting personal assistance from librarians. Moreover, the enticing scent of stacked books touches a part of our being that newer versions cannot reach.

Playing Classic Board Games


Video games are fun, but the board brings people together for laughter, friendly competition, and creating lasting memories. Classic ones like Monopoly or Chess offer different entertainment and social interaction compared to the newer version that isolates players. They also encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning without onscreen distractions.

Reading Physical Books


Sure, e-readers are convenient, but there’s something special about holding a book, turning the pages, and highlighting your favorite lines. Readers cherish the sensory experience of seeing the words on the pages and the smell of paper. On the other hand, ebooks steal the joy of flipping pages, while the ‘outdated’ version gives you the satisfaction of seeing live progress.

Cooking Simple Meals

Liudmila Chernetska/Getty

Fancy, sophisticated dishes are great and look fantastic in photos. But they have taken away the patience, creativity, and awareness required in cooking. Moreover, the comforting and soul-satisfying feeling after a good meal can still be gotten from one with modest ingredients.

Writing Letters

Antonio Suarez Vega/Getty

This lost art offers a personal touch and a sense of thoughtfulness that texting lacks. In today’s world, the effort put into choosing words carefully, the anticipation of receiving an item, and the ability to express emotions more deeply are missing. Unlike the fleeting nature of social media messages, handwritten notes are often remembered better as they create lasting memories.

Reading Print Newspapers


Print is a much-needed break from digital media, as it offers a chance to engage with the news. Newspapers are more engaging than scrolling through online news articles, as people can have thorough dialogue in person. The stories are also curated without dragging you into endless scrolling or algorithms dictating what you see.

Using Alarm Clocks Instead of Smartphone Alarms

Hazal Ak/Getty

Traditional clocks, though old-school, can improve your mornings. The ticking (gentle, not frantic) sound encourages focus as you wind down, a mindful ritual before sleep. Also, its simple face is a reasonable option compared to smartphone alarms that jolt you awake and disrupt sleep patterns with screen glare. That’s besides the irony of silencing your phone with a tap when it’s supposed to rouse you.

Traditional Tea Brewing


Tea bags replaced the ritual of brewing loose leaves to steal the therapeutic process of preparing the drink. Although a quick dunk is convenient, it doesn’t give the flavor and sensory satisfaction you’d get from traditional brewing. Old school style releases a symphony of aromas as the leaves unfurl, allowing you to slow down and choose your blend.

Playing Vinyl Records


Many argue that records have a warmth and authenticity that produces a better listening experience than music from devices. The latter strips away the emotional depth that vinyl provides. Carefully selecting a record, placing it on a turntable, and hearing the crackling sounds create a deeper connection to the music.

Getting Directions From Physical Maps


Relying solely on GPS can be a recipe for disaster. Since technology does all the work, you don’t engage your senses or learn anything. By studying physical maps, you develop spatial awareness and critical thinking skills that give you a deeper understanding of geography. Besides being a premise for exploration, what’s your backup when technology fails?

Riding Vintage Cars


It feels nicer to cruise in a classic than riding in a computer on wheels! The simplicity of older models fosters a stronger connection between the driver and the machine. You feel the engine purr, control the shifts, and become one with the vehicle. This feeling is lost in modern cars, as manufacturers pile up technological features that widen the gap to enjoying a proper driving experience.

Using Vintage Furniture


Although wealthy people love trendy stuff, they appreciate the class and craftsmanship of older furniture designs. They’re right to do so since older pieces add character to your space, not a monotonous showroom vibe. Vintage isn’t old-fashioned; it’s luxurious, built to last, and has more personality than today’s mass-produced stuff. 

Installing Vinyl Flooring

Anukoon Supawong/Getty

Despite its age, vinyl’s durability, easy maintenance, and softer touch remind us of the comfort and charm that modern laminate fails to replicate. Unlike laminate flooring, this kind evokes images of disco basements due to its authentic look and feel. More importantly, it’s the ideal option to prevent spills from becoming domestic accidents.

Withdrawing and Spending Cash

Tatiana Dvoretskaya/Getty

It might seem old-fashioned, but cash is king in some situations. Besides being more valuable than its stored equivalent, cash can be a budgeting tool, work during power outages, and ensure privacy in some transactions. In contrast, keeping your money makes spending feel more abstract and detached.

Face-to-Face Conversations


In our digital age, genuine human connection and understanding are more important than ever. Talking in person adds depth to interactions, bringing a sense of presence and empathy that can be harder to cultivate through screens. In comparison, the subtleties of body language, tone, and immediate feedback are lost in online interactions. So put the phone down and have a meaningful conversation with someone!

Manual Typewriters


Before tapping on screens or voice typing, the typewriter was a primary tool for creating written documents, used by professionals, students, and writers worldwide. Its lack of a delete or backspace key required a higher level of precision and focus while typing. The clackety sound of the keys and the bell ring at the end of a line brought unmatched satisfaction.

Cast Iron Cookware

Bruce Peter Morin/Getty

Thanks to how well it can evenly distribute heat and how it develops a non-stick surface over time, cast iron cookware reigns supreme over modern alternatives. Its durability and versatility make it a favorite among chefs and home cooks.

Manual Coffee Grinders


There’s something satisfying about hand-grinding coffee beans to the perfect consistency. Manual coffee grinders provide better control over grind size and preserve bean flavor better than electric grinders due to lower heat generation.

Using Tube Amplifiers

Koonsiri Boonnak/Getty

While solid-state amplifiers have dominated the market for their efficiency and reliability, tube amplifiers offer a unique sound quality that many audiophiles find irresistible. The natural compression and harmonics produced by vacuum tubes enhance the richness of vocals and acoustic instruments. Disregard their higher maintenance and cost; tube amplifiers are priceless.

Polaroid Cameras


Instant photography is an untoppable experience, and Polaroid cameras offer a tangible, immediate result that digital photography can’t match. Holding a physical photograph moments after taking it is a unique pleasure in a world full of smartphones.

Operating a Vintage Telephone


The experience of using a rotary dial telephone and the nostalgic ring of its bell is unmatched by modern smartphones. Vintage telephones bring a retro vibe to any home and remind us of simpler times when communication was more deliberate and personal.


Leave a Comment