Brits have listed the hobbies and skills they feel are dying out due to technology taking over – including writing letters, use of correct grammar and mental maths


A poll of 2,000 adults found reading a map, using a compass and even simple handwriting are high within the top 50 list of lost talents – while others rarely knit, tie knots, make bread or wash clothes by hand.

Almost eight in 10 adults (77 per cent) blame the sophistications of modern technology for many traditional skills and hobbies being dropped.

While 66 per cent think today’s generations aren’t interested in learning things like identifying plants and insects, sewing on a button or even spelling.

A further 52 per cent said some old-fashioned skills simply aren’t needed anymore while 36 per cent reckon there are less people to teach them.

Suzanne Mumford, dementia expert at residential care provider Care UK, which carried out the research, said: “Over time, many of us have become reliant on technology – after all, why pick the hard way when there’s an easier option to do things?

“Residents in our care homes grew up in a very different era, without apps or technology, meaning many of them have a wealth of skills and hobbies that are now considered to be on the decline – which is why we’ve launched our ‘Long Lost Hobbies’ initiative.

“We have so much to learn from older people, so we wanted to give residents in our care an opportunity to pass on these essential skills to the younger generations and stop some hobbies from being lost along the way.”

The study found many adults no longer have the ability to preserve food, make jams and spreads or learn another language.

While three in 10 reckon they can’t spell without the assistance of technology, and 24 per cent are unable to use basic grammar.

A further third don’t think they can follow or give directions without the use of Google Maps or Sat Nav, while 32 per cent would struggle to map read.

Straightforward mathematics and budgeting are also lost on today’s society, due to the use of online calculators and tools.

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And while 47 per cent said they would love to learn new skills, only 24 per cent admit they would do it the ‘old fashioned way’.

It also emerged the average person polled via OnePoll thinks people will be just 10 years old before they rely solely on technology to do things previously done without.

According to 70 per cent of adults, people are becoming heavily reliant on technology and just under half think search engines have eradicated the need for people to ask questions.

Although one quarter are still trying to keep certain skills and arts alive by teaching them to others.

Suzanne added: “There seems to be a desire still to keep hobbies such as baking, knitting and gardening alive – all of which remain incredibly popular in our homes.

“And some respondents seem to resent the fact technology is dominating life, but the only way to keep these wonderful skills alive is to make the effort to fact find, be creative, use your imagination and take time out to learn and enjoy – or reach out to a parent, grandparent or older friend.

“Older generations often have a wealth of knowledge and I’m sure they’d be more than happy to share.”

In a bid to prevent hobbies and skills from being lost over time and give them a new lease of life, Care UK has launched a nationwide campaign to tap into thousands of older people’s expertise and knowledge – ‘Long Lost Hobbies’.

As part of the initiative, residents across the UK are revisiting favourite hobbies from their younger years and sharing their skills with the younger generation.

To find out more visit


1.            Writing letters

2.            Map reading

3.            Knowing proper grammar

4.            Mental maths

5.            Remembering phone numbers

6.            Using a compass

7.            Handwriting

8.            Handwashing clothes

9.            Making a fire from scratch

10.          Stamp collecting

11.          Sewing/making clothes yourself

12.          Spelling

13.          Wiring a plug yourself

14.          Calligraphy

15.          Preserving food – such as pickling

16.          Sewing on a button yourself

17.          Making your own jam

18.          Making your own cheese

19.          Tying knots

20.          Knitting

21.          Identifying different plants, trees or insects

22.          Changing a tire yourself

23.          Making your own bread by hand

24.          Remembering addresses

25.          Using an index in a book

26.          Giving directions

27.          Remembering dates

28.          Reading music

29.          Carpentry

30.          Baking a cake by hand

31.          Pottery making

32.          Storytelling

33.          Cooking something from memory

34.          Reading

35.          Putting up a shelf yourself

36.          Critical thinking

37.          Time keeping

38.          Caring for chickens

39.          Speaking/learning another language

40.          Budgeting

41.          Creative writing

42.          Finding facts

43.          Following instructions

44.          Caring for plants

45.          Gardening

46.          Following a recipe

47.          Drawing

48.          Fishing

49.          Taking photos

50.          Editing photos yourself

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