15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Ah, the Internet. Over the years, the Internet and technology has brought many great benefits into our lives. Today, we no longer need to step out of our houses every morning to fetch the daily paper. We no longer need to visit the bank to find out how much money we have. We don’t even need to remember trivial information like phone numbers or how to spell properly. Technology does it all for us.

Here’s a list of 15 things and practises that no longer exist, or could be on the brink of extinction, thanks to the glory of the Internet.

What would you add to this list?

1. Public phones

internet killed 1   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: AcidFlask/flickr

2. CDs and cassettes

internet killed 2   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos/flickr

3. The Rolodex

internet killed 3   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: TOKY Branding and Design/flickr

4. Encyclopedias

internet killed 4   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: jev55/flickr

5. Classified ads in newspapers

internet killed 5   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: engineroomblog/flickr

6. Disposable cameras

internet killed 6   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Kai Schreiber/flickr

7. Yard sales

internet killed 7   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Bradley Stemke/flickr

8. Lining up to pay bills

internet killed 8   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Tamal Das/flickr

9. Planning road trips on paper maps

internet killed 9   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Rui Pereira/flickr

10. Physical copies of the Yellow Pages

internet killed 10   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Francis Mariani/flickr

11. Answering machines

internet killed 11   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Scott Diedrick/flickr

12. Faxes

internet killed 12   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Nathan Rein/flickr

13. Teletext

internet killed 13   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Clive Darra/flickr

14. Buying or reading newspapers

internet killed 14   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Jon S/flickr

15. PDAs

internet killed 15   15 Things The Internet and Technology Killed Off

Image credit: Andy Melton/flickr

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Yard sales still happen all the time. My sister’s neighborhood just had a community yard sale (advertised on the internet) and people started showing up at 7:30 (30 minutes before the scheduled sale). She sold almost all her stuff and got a couple hundred of spending money for her minimal effort!


Totally agree Jason. I was reading through the list and was thinking “Yep. Yep. Yep. Wait…yard sales? No way!” Everything was right on this list and I see all those things as dead and/or dying, except yard sales. I actually see a lot of young couples and families doing these, not just old timers getting rid of their 80s junk.


concur, yard sales have never taken a dive, because for all those who don’t (they’re a type) there will always be those that do (another type.) They may not even crossover in many areas because yard sale shoppers are all about the deal and the retro, often ahead of its true retro time. They would still use and do alot of the other things you believe extinct. They are also techies sometimes, so it crosses stereo types and everyone loves a deal on something old!

Roger C

Yep, yard sales happen all the time in my community. Personally I use Craigslist or eBay, but many of my neighbors still prefer a yard sale.


They were probably selling all their cd’s and cassettes too.

Devil’s Trumpet

That was a head-scratcher to me as well,if anything technology has been another way to promote yard sales in communities.Some people would likely lose their minds if they couldn’t find a garage sale on weekends.
And yard sales are exactly the place to find not only cassettes and CD’s but 8-tracks,albums,45’s,even 78’s.

John Schmitt

I have to say, I do not agree that yard sales no longer exist. Sometimes you can find gems (old console games and systems) at the garage sales. the rest of that stuff on the list, do not miss it one bit!


A few of the items on your list were mainly killed off by cellphones, not the Internet.

The main thing I miss, is the ability to ask someone about how to do something, or for facts, just because I can google it or look it up on YouTube, there is something to be said for getting information face to face with someone who knows. Nowadays I would feel like a dope asking.

Jeremy G

Just ask.
I still prefer to ask face to face. Or perhaps, I should say ‘I again prefer’. I used to be the one who would bring out their phone to find the answer to a random question – even when in the midst of a conversation. Then I released just how limiting it was to immediately know and how much fun speculation is.

Mark M

I think the introduction of the digital “point ‘n shoot” camera hastened the doom of the disposable cameras more than the internet did…



Half of that list the internet didn’t really do anything with the change. It was additional, but the smartphone actually was what killed the most of them.?

Shawn M.

I WOULD like the Yellow Pages. . . . . . . To discontinue delivery!

Humphrey V

CD’s? Still buy them to get the HQ audio of the downloaded albums I like. CD’s are still here :)


and the vinyls are back ;)


Yard sales have not even begun to slow down.

Trenton, Ohio is a lovely small town that has a season specifically for yard sales. Every year before school ends, there are thousands of yard sales, causing traffic to be backed up(due to the amount of parking), that have plenty of wonderful items. Even with all the yard sales by families, the local churches and businesses have community yard sales, keeping the main road full of vehicles more than usual. If you ever happen to drop through Trenton, Ohio during the summer, be sure to look for the yard sales.

Chris C

I need to get me a woman who is always ‘sliming’.


Now that made me laugh!


This article is terrible. Cell phones killed off the pay phone. CDs replaced cassettes, and they still sell. You get better audio that way. 3 and 4 are true. The internet had nothing to do with cameras, the digital camera and its integration to the smart phone did that. Yard sales still happen, I enjoy going to them often. Voice mail, not the internet killed answering machines. The mental health field still uses faxes very often. The then PDA is the now smart phone. The internet played a role though.

Joel L

It’s a good thing the article is titled “Internet and technology” then.

Chad P

2 quotes of the article, as I think some lines of it are either being skimmed or not understood, though might just be people understanding but not being clear about it, then I’ll cover some of my own thoughts on this.

First the title – “15 things the internet and technology killed off”
For anything the Internet didn’t make obsolete, there’s the catch-all “technology.” A good number of the entries above could be attributed to Smart Phones alone, as others have mentioned.

Second – “Here’s a list of 15 things and practises that no longer exist, or could be on the brink of extinction, thanks to the glory of the Internet.”
So some of the things on the list are still out there, but the Internet and other forms of technology are offering alternatives many people are taking advantage of instead, like with the classifieds and yard sales.

Having said all of the above, some of these I don’t agree with myself. On the one hand, you have people who either don’t use the Internet (a small minority these days,) or who have the Internet but don’t use any kind of online service to buy or sell anything or otherwise arrange for such transactions for whatever reasons.

Then there’s things like the newspaper, where the focus has mostly changed; my family still looks at the headlines, and some of the food articles and such, but the main two uses for newspapers for us these days are for coupons and for stuff to put in packages for shipping when we’ve fragile items to send. Saying that though, I don’t necessarily turn to the Internet over the paper news; For one thing, the Newspapers are usually “relatively” (for certain values of “relatively,) unbiased, but finding a truly unbiased source for news online, and not one that merely present itself as such, can be difficult.

There’s also large community-wide events that cover some of the above; There’s a private community / housing development my family lived in for several years that holds an annual yard sale and allows anyone living in the community to participate and set up stalls. I’ve seen similar examples run by local churches and other organizations as well.

I’ll leave my (subjective and opinionated,) ranting and raving at that for now. Thanks all.


Now here’s a comment I respect and value. Thanks, Chad P. I’d like to offer you a free t-shirt MakeUseOf for taking the time to jot down your thoughts!

Hassayampa Slim

“Yard Sales” and “Lining up to Pay Bills” are both still going strong.
Yard Sales here are an every weekend phenomena, and people are lined up to the door at supermarket courtesy counters, sending money orders to pay bills.

Liam Mc

Well said Chad P!

George W

The rebirth of vinyl will kill the CD, and the rebirth of typewriters will hurt the internet.

Mike C

I think you’re confusing things the internet killed off with things mobile phones killed off; in what way did the internet kill public phones, disposable cameras, and PDAs? I would think they were killed off by the progression of mobile phones than anything…


I was just delivered the Yellow Pages earlier this week and thought to myself, “They still make those??”

Stan K

What about snail mail?

George Hilbert

Last time I went to my doctor’s office, I was surprised to see them still using faxes to communicate with each other and pharmacists. This is also true with government agencies. When I asked, I was told that it was a requirement to send signatures and for HIPAA compliance. So, it looks like faxes are not going anywhere very soon, at least in this (very large) segment.


As an MD, I initially felt like including an entry on the declining respect for doctors and other professionals. Just because one has a smartphone and access to WebMD doesn’t make them a physician. They need to go through 6 gruelling years of medical school for that.

George Hilbert

Hi Jackson……I hope you did not take my comment as a diss on the medical profession. I have nothing but respect for them and all they do. I mentioned the faxes only because they still seem ubiquitous in that community….Cheers….


No, of course not. I meant that as an aside.

John O.

Most of the above are still used a fair bit with maybe the exception of:
3: The Rolodex
6: Disposable Cameras
10: Physical copies of YELLOW PAGES
13: Old style TELETEXT

especially TELETEXT. It is no longer around in the U.K. in the old style
but now we have “RED BUTTON” information pages instead.


The fax is used extensively here in Thailand even when sending information to Banks and Government Departments


i don’t think , internet have killed yellow pages yet. I do receive yellow pages and i look them handy instead of going online.

Toufiq Hassan Shawon (@sawontheboss4)

Thats a very interesting but die hard truth about internet. But some pic not only about internet, about smart phones!


I don’t know where the yard sales were killed off… but not here in the panhandle of Florida. Flea markets and garage sales abound.

Vishal S

Why isn’t postal service in this list?


The postal service is very much alive and kicking, my friend. How else would you receive your Amazon deliveries?


Sorry, Jackson. Post Office is a dead man walking. Internet took away most of the first class mail they used to deliver. Most that is left is third class bulk (junk) mail. Amazon is one of the few companies that uses USPS for packages. USPS is attritioning people at a frantic pace and closing post offices right and left. The offices that are not closed are having their hours of operation reduced,. Many offices are eliminating delivery on Saturday. USPS is hemorrhaging red ink. The cost of a first class stamp is going up to 49 cents soon. And you say USPS is alive and kicking???!!!


The post office IS alive and kicking. Do you realize what you can send in a first class piece of mail that you can not send via smart phone, e-mail, or facebook? Think about it. Have YOU ever received a nice letter from someone you love in their personal handwriting, knowing that they were thinking only of you the entire time they wrote it, and sealed it with their very own saliva (and maybe a kiss and maybe you can smell them on the letter) have you? and think too of this – how much are you paying for the use of your computer and all that technology you can’t live without? Maybe 50 cents more for the occasional personal letter to Mom wouldn’t be too much?


there are many more things ,which are missing due to Int/tech
1.Young and not so young have stopped playing outside with friends after school, which impacts health and community feelings, behavior between different age group
2, Nanny stories at bedtime
3, talking and discussion among groups
4. considerable reduction in social meetings and gatherings
this all has great effect in good personal upbringing etc.


I agree with everything except yard sales. They happen all the time.

Iyekeoretin A

I agree with something, if not all of them. There are some which make us to be physically fit and make our brain to function well (Mentally fitness) are those i really miss.


writing letters…
skype has almost done away with “surprise visits”


Answering machines, faxes, and PDA’s still exist.


Great list but I beg to differ regarding some of them. The tech listed below will most likely be gone once the Greatest Generation and Boomers have died off.

– Yard sales are bigger than ever as the aging, bankrupt, and sensible move into smaller domiciles.
– Answering machines still exist as the elderly can not figure out/will not pay for voicemail. They’re also still very much in use in film and TV as embarrassing plot devices.
– Most doctors’ offices are still incredibly inefficient and paper-bound – they’re still using fax machines – and they usually screw that up as well! It’s not as easy to commit Medicaid fraud with electronic records.
– Bill paying in person is still very much alive in NYC where much of the population is immigrant (both legal and illegal) and does not speak English. There’s usually a check cashing/money order/bill paying place next door to every 99cent store. Both are booming in the increasingly ghetto-ized boroughs of NYC. The NYC you see on TV is totally fictional


“Most doctors’ offices are still incredibly inefficient and paper-bound – they’re still using fax machines”
They may be inefficient but they are required by the HIPAA law to use faxes for security.

“It’s not as easy to commit Medicaid fraud with electronic records.”
It may not be as easy but it can be done on a much larger scale electronically. Haven’t you ever heard the saying “To err is human, to really screw things up takes a computer”? Until the Internet came along identity theft was a minor crime.


I don’t agree with some of these things
1) public phones were killed off by mobile phones, not the internet.
2) Cassettes were killed by CDs. CDs are only partially killed by digital media
3) Classified ads have not gone anywhere, they’re still there. It’s probably you, that don’t read newspapers.
4) Newspapers – they are still popular and have also gone digital, so they are very much still here.
5) PDAs are also still here, they just upgraded and got cellular capabilities.

However I would like to add things like:
1) signing anything with a pen (except when you’re not in Estonia, then you still have to sign :D)
2) Going to any kind of govermental agency or anything with services or banking or secure authentication (except when you’re not in Estonia)
3) Doing your taxes with more than 5 mouse clicks (except when you’re not in Estonia)

(Yeah, I tend to mock other countries for still doing things on paper and on site, probably for a reason)

However to be sincere – writing letters on a paper to your friend – this has truly gone digital.


This article is like a bad book on the coffee table. Mostly everything is incorrect, but it starts a good discussion anyway.

1. Public phones

As pointed out earlier. Public phones were killed by the cell phone. The purpose of the public phone was (mostly) to give people a way to call when they were out. As carrying phone with an infinitely long cord (attached back at home) was improbable, the phone company placed phones at strategic locations attached to their already strung very long cords.

With the advent of the cell phone, cords are no longer required. Hence the public phone was no longer required (by enough people to support its maintenance).

The Internet did kill expensive long distance charges, however.

2. CDs and cassettes

CDs are not dead. The market is alive and well. Go to any music store.

The cassette was created as a convenient–though inferior–alternative to the record. People happily gave up the quality for the convenience. CDs, offered more convenience with better sound quality. Hence, the CD kill the cassette.

3. The Rolodex

The Rolodex was killed by computers and PDAs. The Internet had nothing to do with it.

4. Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias are a little complicated. They were not killed by the Internet, they were made electronic by it. Wikipedia is often the top result on Google, and other companies have plans to bring theirs back when it finally dies.

5. Classified ads in newspapers

Hard to say. If there is a paper, there are classifieds, which hit a much more specific target. The Internet (and email) are responsible for killing newspapers. Well, that, and the popular tendency not to care much about the news (in depth).

6. Disposable cameras

These are not dead. They were created as an answer to someone who needs a cheap camera for a few pictures, and they still fit that bill. Perhaps the cell phone with cameras can be said to have tamed camera sales in general.

7. Yard sales

As copiously pointed out above, these are not dead at all.

8. Lining up to pay bills

The people who lined up before, pretty much still line up now. Phone services answered some of the problems, not the Internet. The Internet killed a lot of paying bills by post, however.

9. Planning road trips on paper maps

Hard to say. AAA still offers trip tiks, and maps are quite useful on the road. Perhaps “getting directions” to local addresses is less common now, as mapping websites are quite useful.

10. Physical copies of the Yellow Pages

I’m pretty sure these are still around. And a whole lot easier to search because everything is local.

11. Answering machines

They are still used. The people who don’t, have voice mail. Exactly where does the Internet play a major role in this?

12. Faxes

Still used, as pointed out above. The home usage of faxes was more of a fad than a need, and that went away just as quickly as it came.

An argument can be made, perhaps, that PDFs killed the fax.

13. Teletext

(I don’t know much about these, so i will not comment on them.)

14. Buying or reading newspapers

This seems correct.

15. PDAs

They are still used, but may have different names.


this list is idiotic. 50% of the united states still use compact disks. there are yard sales in my neighborhood all the time. people still use fax machines for business. and newspapers?! tons of people still read newspapers you buffoon.


I just bought some CDs at a yard sale. Guess they are not gone after all.

Actually, I agree. All of the items mentioned have been affected by the Internet/computers.

Now I just wish Texting would kill off Voicemail all together.


I feel as if losing most of the items you mentioned has not improved society, I still have to wait in even longer lines to get a human being to fix the errors created by the algorithm’s best guess at what I’m saying. I still think that creating the dot com domain and letting the mass of AOL users have access to the internet destroyed a beautiful creation. BTW, IIneed to call a tow truck and I left mt smartphone at the office, does any one know where a phone booth is around here?


add carbon paper


mimeographs (remember the purple printing?) and typewriters,

Mike M

Yard sales are still pretty damn popular in my town.


I remember memographs! Purple ink on the fingers! And I’ve still got my old Underwood…bagged up and stored in the garage…sigh!

On W

I still use actual Yellow Pages and fax machine all the time. Largely agree with the article, though.


I see two things on the list that are still alive and well. The yard sale and newspapers.


It is not quite dead yet, but it is dying.

The library.

14 years ago I bought a house in a small town. This town had a library and in it a small municipal office.

Both closed within 5 years of my moving here. The reason for closing the library was the advent of online libraries. Online libraries are more cost effective thereby insuring that more books could be put on the shelves for the benefit of the lenders.

I see those closings as a big problem, though.

In the old days I used to wander into the library to ask a librarian for books and info on topics and the librarian pointed me in the right direction, because the librarians were educated to know where the info could be found. Online librarians are few in number and virtually non-existant.

This means I have to be my own librarian online and since I do not have the proper education to be a real librarian my info gathering suffers.

On top of that it is hard to teach the kids how to read an actual book because there arent any except for online ones and the gizmos you have to posess to read an online book has too many distractions for the kids which means getting them to actually sit down and read a entire book is difficult to say the least.

With Google like search engines implemented in online libraries we, the readers, really suffer and become dumber. They save your search patterns and suggests more of the same all the time. You read a book and the search agent offers you more books like the one you just read, which means you never get any new input or any challenges knowledgewise with search engines/agents which makes you, the reader, dumber.

I miss my old library something fierce. To me it was not too expensive – the online libraries are…

Druv B

Not to add something to this list, but a power failure would surely make you want those things back.

Hal B

Renewing license tags for cars is much easier online.
I agree with some of the others – many of these things are not gone. Yard sales and fax machines for example.

The thing that the Internet has changed most is privacy. Even if you don’t use it, someone has probably posted a picture of you or your name on Facebook.

James A

Can you still find that device that allowed you to use your phone and still use your dial up modem or fax(Catch-A-Call)? I just found mine as I looked through a drawer of old parts.

James A

When was the last time you watched a presentation with an overhead projector or a slide reel?

Eli K

the title of this post should be changed cos this only applies to certain geographic regions. its just too broad.


Yard sales are nowhere near disappearing. Also, the Internet did not kill payphones. Mobile phones did, LONG before the Internet was a commodity. Cassette tapes? Really? CDs, yes. Why not list records as well, if you were going to stretch into the ridiculous?

Answering machines are still EVERYWHERE. I agree they are becoming less relevant, but not dead yet. Not even on life support.

PDAs are still alive and well. They are now our smartphones. They did not die off, they evolved. Not the same thing at all.

The rest of the list is decent.

k. lopez

Well this has been an interesting and highly amusing reading experience. I’ve got a headache. Lol but I have an app to fix it.

Dominic P

The only thing a payphone booth is still good for is to talk on your cell phone in silence.


More like things the cell phone killed lol.


Funny thing about payphone booths: here in NZ some of them are being converted to WiFi hotspots :)


That’s a great idea re: converting payphone booths to wifi-hotspots — though I’d hope they’d keep the phone as well as they do come in handy when your mobile phone doesn’t work or you don’t have it with you for some reason.


Yes they keep the phone in the booth :) The first ones to get the wifi hotspot are ones in high tourist traffic areas, I think they’re expanding the network from those ones as they can


While your list does illustrate how new technologies and the net have made way for new products or services or ways of doing things, hasn’t that always been the case throughout history? We keep innovating, improving, creating new products to replace existing ones with the goat that the new products and service are, ideally, more affordable, cost effective and efficient?

One thing I do disagree with on your list is yard sales. The Internet/technology has helped yard sales flourish. You can peruse craigslist which is a time saver so you can then strategically plot your yard sale journeys on your computer or smartphone or tablet — specifically if you are looking for something in particular since and they often list and post pics of items being sold. The lists and pics is even more incentive to visit yard sales in areas you might otherwise not visit.


Ha — when the spam check asks if you speak English, per my post above that contains a few typos, I’m thinking I should have checked no. (it should read “…existing ones with the goal that…” – not goat). :-)


Oh dear, it is amazing how akin folks feel the internet is to new technology as a whole.
Andy Grove (Intel- meaning he is Intel) said that ultimately folks will realize that from a historical perspective the internet is most akin to the the national telegraph system.

Listening to music is a visceral experience and folks enjoy the experience of touching something while listening to it’s CD or better yet Vinyl (so much more room for cover art). My older sisters bringing home a new Album was always a gift, even if I did not like them. Sgt. Peppers provided hours of staring for a 9 year old. As a 12 year old I remember falling in love to both Anne and Nancy Wilson on the cover of Dreamboat Annie.
I just bought 4 CD’s tonight on Amazon, all used – the ultimate Green gesture. Not a single one was over $3 with $4 shipping. $7 beats out the 128K drool that Apple feeds to the masses at $9.99. Yes yes yes I have bought my favorites at higher than CD resolution at the high resolution websites. They are not competitive yet thought floating around the $20 mark. We all know Vinyl is here to stay, but there always needs to be a low cost alternative. Meaning for the player. A nice CD player can be had for the cheap, not the same for Vinyl, which is all to high maintenance.


Lastly, Jackson, your comment on respect.

We ALL are under A LOT MORE SCRUTINY in our jobs. Doing some homework beforehand on the internet , and then treating a doctor dis-respectively, I did not realize was a problem. If so I am certain it is a result of the intensity at their own workplace. I am permantly dis-abled due to my neck. I currently see around 5 doctors. They all are very happy to see that I have studied up, because according to them, I save them a lot time of having to explain things to a complete neophyte.
Do not take this personally. A scientist/engineer realizes that their job is to have their beliefs and/or findings challenged. Our management, our workers, and most importantly our customers all do this, and know even more than ever.
Wouldn’t a doctor welcome some push back/challenge from your patients?

Kevin Crosby

Gleeglocker, as told by Brad Couch!

Kevin Crosby
Plano, TX


I still use a rolodex, It has web site, what email they have, ID and password. In case I forget, or I crook and hubby has to pay bills.