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

Image credit: AcidFlask/flickr

2. CDs and cassettes

Image credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos/flickr

3. The Rolodex

Image credit: TOKY Branding and Design/flickr

4. Encyclopedias

Image credit: jev55/flickr

5. Classified ads in newspapers

Image credit: engineroomblog/flickr

6. Disposable cameras

Image credit: Kai Schreiber/flickr

7. Yard sales

Image credit: Bradley Stemke/flickr

8. Lining up to pay bills

Image credit: Tamal Das/flickr

9. Planning road trips on paper maps

Image credit: Rui Pereira/flickr

10. Physical copies of the Yellow Pages

Image credit: Francis Mariani/flickr

11. Answering machines

Image credit: Scott Diedrick/flickr

12. Faxes

Image credit: Nathan Rein/flickr

13. Teletext

Image credit: Clive Darra/flickr

14. Buying or reading newspapers

Image credit: Jon S/flickr

15. PDAs

Image credit: Andy Melton/flickr

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Comments (81)
  • Emily Odza

    I think the article is good for provoking discussion and making you think about what things may actually disappear in the future, and what things have essentially disappeared from our lives (for some of us). I know that long distance calls are a thing of the past for me — I keep in touch through email and Facebook, and cell phones and VOIP have eliminated long distance charges.

    But some nuance is needed. It’s usually a combination of factors that have reduced the need for certain things or killed them off…. For example, pay phones started to disappear around the time that drug dealers started using them. Vandalism was another reason. Yes, some of us were around in the 80s :)
    (in Oakland). So, as many have mentioned, there are several reasons why some of these things have fallen into disuse.

    I work in the library and everyday I am asked for a public fax machine (which we do not have). For housing applications, disability forms, etc., and for anyone who doesn’t have access to a scanner. Government offices still seem to run on faxes, but it is a good and needed alternative to those who don’t use email and/or know how to fill in online forms. Perhaps those who are most familiar with technology are not in need of housing support, government services, employment counseling, etc.

    The article writer was definitely out of touch with the way lower income people function in their lives, as many have noted. The library-supplied public internet and computers are their lifeline, since they can’t afford to pay for Internet at home, may not have the knowledge to own and maintain their own computers or printers, or never used one in their jobs before now, and these may be the same people who scour yard sales for clothing and toys for their children! (Then there are the patrons who acknowledge they can’t have the Internet at home because it’s too addicting! They ration themselves to one hour a day at the library.)

    So thank goodness the writer didn’t say “library cards.” But some of the comments suggested that you’re an idiot if you have to ask someone something. “Just Google it,” right? Some libraries may have fewer physical items these days (and some may be closing due to the town not supporting them with taxes), but librarians are still needed to curate and manage the online platforms for ebooks, e-magazines, poweful databases, streaming music and movies, all of which are free to library members, and of course librarians still manage always changing physical collections. Maybe the idiots are those who pay Netflix for streaming, Amazon for books and music, and magazines and newspapers for subscriptions when these are no cost at the library. Many patrons reserve ebook readers for trips or special uses and still prefer print books. We’re still needed to teach people how to use their devices, how to research and find these resources and know what is authentic and reliable information.

    Another crucial role for libraries is as a “third space” or a commons in an age where you don’t necessarily have to go out (to shop, to study, to work). Where else can you go to meet other people, study, and learn stuff — without having to pay a cent?

  • p

    Uh, how did the Internet kill off pay phones? Stupid. Try cell phones.

  • Missi

    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.

  • Kevin Crosby

    Gleeglocker, as told by Brad Couch!

    Kevin Crosby
    Plano, TX

  • TheCoolerKing

    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?

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.