5 Modern Survival Skills You Must Have in the 21st Century

| Updated on February 14, 2024

Imagine kids whose parents are prohibiting them from access to technology (smartphones and computers) under the presumption that “technology is the root of all evil in modern society.” Instead, they force them to go outside and play with marbles (like they used to). 

Try to run a brief analysis in your mind and give a quick answer to the following question: which of the two: marbles or touch screens are more likely to play a big role in their life in the future?

The times have changed, and to function as a self-reliant person in 2023, you need to adopt new “survival” skills. Here are a few such abilities worth keeping an eye out for.

Modern Survival Skills

Digital literacy

As a person living in a digital era, where it is needed to have a certain degree of digital literacy. While it’s not noteworthy to know how to re-open a one-time photo on WhatsApp (even though this is handy to know), you do need to understand how these platforms work. 

Everyone should know how to send a message, upload a story, as well as take a screenshot (and when the other party will be notified of you taking a screenshot).

Likewise, it is basic to understand what encryption is and what its limitations are. This way, it’ll get easy to get the best methods for sending sensitive files when the communications and interactions are protected digitally.

It’s also significant that people understand that anything they upload online is forever. Even if it gets deleted or edited, there’s no telling that there’s not someone out there with a screenshot of that post or statement. A lot of people had their careers and personal lives as well ruined this way, so think twice and thrice before posting anything online.

How to place an order and pay online is equally considerable. 

Ultimately, the scope of digital literacy depends on the way you use the internet and what you’re using it for. 

Cybersecurity awareness

Number of Internet users World Wide graph

(This graph shows the number of internet users worldwide from 2005 to 2022, in millions). 

Everything we do is online. A person stealing a Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), or Instagram account can ruin someone’s social life and reputation. A person tricking someone to give them their e-banking password or card information can ruin them financially. 

Even losing access to their work platforms or letting an unauthorized person in can devastate their career. This is why it’s so pivotal to learn to raise cybersecurity awareness. 

First, it is required to learn to make good passwords and PINs. You can’t afford to pick something guessable. Birthdays or anniversaries are something that anyone will be able to find as long as they scroll a bit on Facebook. Figuring out a pet’s name takes the same amount of time as reading the caption on the last post of the pet on social media profiles.

Instead, learn how to make great passwords and even start using a password manager.

Other than this, when browsing the internet, you should use a VPN to protect the IP address. Now, free vs paid VPN, is completely up to you. Audit the online needs, do some research, and make the choice. 

Financial literacy

A person in the Middle Ages just had to pay their feudal and religious taxes. Most of the time, this wasn’t in hard currency but was expressed in the percentage of their produce. Today, things are far more complex.

With so many things to buy, various ways to buy them, and more ways to spend and receive funds, it’s decisive to figure out how to best handle the finances. Managing the budget in 2024 is harder than it ever was before.

Fortunately, obtaining skilled help and resources is easier. You can do research online or, better yet, subscribe to a budgeting and tax service to have this issue automated. With so many apps out there, it will be quite easy to take stronger control of the finances.

Understanding the concept of debt and learning a thing or two about debt management is basic. Later on, you might even want to learn a thing or two about investing.

Health and wellness

There’s a reason why this ability is singled out even in this day and age. Sure, healthcare is available to more people than ever, but this doesn’t mean that people are as healthy as they could be.

There’s a reason why sugar is so problematic. The quantity of sugar that we have available has drastically increased since we learned how to extract it, and since candy-making has improved. 

The number of calories that an average person can afford throughout the day could last a week to our ancestors, and on top of all this, we’re leading more sedentary lives. Sure, more people have gym memberships, but obesity statistics, heart disease statistics, type two diabetes statistics, and many horrifying stats don’t lie. 

Besides, we’re under more stress than ever before. Sure, this doesn’t sound right since there are fewer wars, plagues, and famine in the First World, but the fact is that we’re constantly exposed to micro-stressors. Each time you hear a beep or take a look at the watch, your cortisol levels start rising. 

This is why it’s fundamental to take charge of your own mindfulness. Fortunately, with webinars, so many resources available, and even apps that can help out, there’s no limit to what can be achieved. 

Remote work

In 2024, it will become crucial to learn the dynamics of remote work. According to some statistics, roughly 12.7% of all workers in the US work remotely full-time, with about 28% working remotely at least part-time

By being unfamiliar with this employment model or being reluctant to work this way, you’re actually putting yourself in a disadvantageous position where you’ll have to reject some of the best offers. Besides, you’ll lock yourself out of the potentially unlimited job pool.

Working remotely means organizing one’s own time. Even if we have deadlines (and not employee monitoring software and working hours), it’s our responsibility to be self-disciplined. When no one is monitoring, stuff gets difficult to manage.

This is also about taking care of our own hardware. In an office, an IT team on request comes and handles the situation, but here, you’ll have to be self-reliant.

Ultimately, while negotiating with friends and family, try to be firm. Being at home doesn’t mean that you’re available. You can’t keep other family members and roommates locked in their rooms and silent just because you have work to do. So, you may have to be a bit more careful when negotiating.

Fun Fact
The internet weighs about two ounces, which is roughly the weight of a strawberry.

Skills evolve with time, and you need to keep up

Life is different from what it used to be. Sure, it’s more convenient, and the level of leisure is much higher than before; however, the majority of people would agree that it’s more hectic and highly complex. 

Therefore, you’ll have to develop new skills that will allow you to keep up with these changes. Adaptability and tech-savviness seem to be the keys to the future. 





Zayn Tindall

Zayn is currently working as an English Lecturer in one of the reputed colleges in New York. She has even worked as a career counsellor for the last 5 years. Zayn loves to spend his spare time reading educational books, novels and writing educational blogs and articles. 

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