Out with the old, in with the new. At least, the seems to be the motto when it comes to the ever-changing world of tech… especially in the 21st century.
Let’s face it. We’ve grown used to our iMessage Emoji, Gmail filters, and Netflix binges. And it’s almost impossible to imagine navigating unchartered territory without Google Maps.
From Smartphones and tablets to our Gmail accounts and Netflix subscriptions, it’s easy to forget how blessed we are by the convenience of the modern age.
But all that convenience has come with the price of saying goodbye to products that were one considered game changers.
Below are some of the biggest casualties of 21st century tech.
Remember the days of backing up your files onto a floppy disk? Invented in 1967, the ever-popular data storage lost its footing when external hard drives, thumb drives, and the ever elusive “Cloud” entered the picture.
Paid E-Mail Accounts
Wait… You don’t remember having to pay for your e-mail? Such was the nature of the world before Gmail.
Developing Rolls of Film
There used to be nothing quite like the anticipation of seeing how our photos turned out when we went to get the film developed. But now we have smartphone cameras that provide an instant-gratification fix… and editing tools!
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Movie Rental Stores
Remember that innocent feeling of walking around Blockbuster in search of the perfect Friday night comedy and a bag of overly-buttered popcorn? We all love our Netflix accounts, but digital subscription services have virtually killed movie rental stores. Blockbuster filed for Bankruptcy in 2010, and today there’s a minuscule number left that stand like relics of an ancient time.
When was the last time you dialed 411? Getting where you want to go used to require some degree of effort. But those days are now over. Now all you need to locate the nearest gas station or coffee shop is a smartphone and Yelp.
Traditional GPS Devices
For a time, the standalone GPS was our faithful roadside companion. But now we’re spoiled for choice with smartphone apps like Waze and Google Maps. Well.. It was nice while it lasted.
People used to browse the newspaper classifieds for everything from jobs to the perfect piece of furniture. But all of that changed in 1999 when Craig Newmark founded the free classifieds ads site Craig’s List.
As Bob Dylan says, “it’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.” The landline phone may not be totally obsolete yet, but chances are that its days are nearing their end. According to a PW Research Report, 95% of Americans own cell phones today. Compare that to June 2009, when only about one-fifth of American households were exclusively wireless. Looks like the writing is on the walls.
Public Pay Phones
Another victim of the cell phones rise to fame, public pay phones are now mostly seen in old episodes of our favorite nineties sitcoms.
We must give credit where credit is due. The Palm Pilot was the true pioneer of personal digital assistants. But eventually the legendary device fell from their reign as smartphones gained popularity.
The death of VCRs was quick and gruesome. In 2002, DVD players outpaced sales of VCRs for the first time. Just two years later, the ratio of DVD players to VCR sales was 40:1.
Your Walkman may have that nostalgic vintage factor, but CD’s are practically a goner. Just recently, Best Buy announced the tragic news that they were pulling all compact discs from their inventory.
Last but not least… One of the world’s most ancient inventions is now hanging by a thread. From e-book readers to online magazines, there’s virtually no form of communication that turned digital. That means paper – first invented in 100 BC China – is on its last leg. And that means everything that comes with it, including brick-and-mortar bookstores, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and physical maps.
Now that we’ve taken a walk down nostalgia lane, let us know which modern item you couldn’t live without. Share your answer in the poll below. Then sign up for Survey Junkie and get paid to give your opinion about the products and services that are changing today’s world.
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Data Source: computer.howstuffworks.com, thisinsider.com, businessinsider.com, marketplace.org, pewinternet.org, quartr.us