17 Things That Are Sadly Disappearing From Everyday Life

Life in modern times seems to evolve at an unprecedented pace. Certain things we couldn’t live without a few years ago are rapidly becoming redundant. Let’s take a peek at 17 such victims of modernization and why they’re slowly but surely disappearing.

Handwritten Letters

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In a world dominated by email, text messages, and instant messaging apps, sitting down and writing a physical letter (that then needs to be delivered) just isn’t practical. While the extra effort and sentimentality involved may still appeal, it’s likely to become an act reserved for diehard purists (The Guardian).

Printed Newspapers

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The Washington Post predicts that the times of sitting down with a broadsheet over breakfast are long gone, as most people now use online news sources and apps for updates and articles. Not only are these more up-to-date and convenient, they are often free and can even be tailored to the reader’s interest.

Phone Booths

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Once ubiquitous to all street corners, phone booths are now rapidly vanishing. The fact that almost everyone has a personal mobile phone in their pocket- replete with free minutes and conveniently saved numbers, has made public telephones of all kinds obsolete.

Video Cameras

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A few decades ago, capturing important memories meant whipping out the Sony hand-held and storing those precious tapes, carefully labeled. But the convenience, low cost, and impressive technological proficiency of digital photography have changed all that. Now, we only need to reach for our smartphones to start making movies.

Encyclopedias

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Harvard Business reports that the Encyclopaedia Britannica stopped printing physical copies of its reference books in 2012. Once a symbol of knowledge, factual books such as these have become inconvenient- too heavy, expensive, and outdated to compete with the likes of online platforms like Wikipedia. 

Fax Machines

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A fax machine was once a vital part of any office setup, with fax numbers listed underneath phone numbers on every business card. But fax machines have since lost their relevance and been entirely replaced by more convenient and reliable electronic document sharing, e.g., email and photo messaging.

Paper Maps

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While the Back Road Journal may ascertain that paper maps are still helpful in ways that technological maps aren’t, they are nonetheless being usurped by GPS navigation and smartphone apps (such as Google Maps). While they may never disappear entirely, paper maps are indeed on the decline. 

Physical Media

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Physical media products include DVDs, CDs, and vinyl records, all of which have seen dwindling popularity since the advent of digital media and streaming services (MovieWeb). With a mind-boggling selection of movies, music, and media now available at the touch of a button, physical media options really don’t stand a chance!

Checks

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Another paper-based product that has long since been in decline, checks of all kinds are now virtually unheard of. With the rise of online banking, digital payments, and electronic fund transfers, checks simply aren’t practical, safe, or convenient enough for our modern needs.

Traditional Bookstores

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The Suffolk Journal reports, “One of the main reasons physical bookstores are dying is due to the growth of e-commerce. Online retailers such as Amazon have made it convenient for people to purchase books without leaving the comfort of their homes.” Physical stores can’t compete with such 24-hour variety, value, and convenience.

Landline Phones

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Initially, as mobile phones gained popularity, most people kept two numbers (a landline and a mobile one). As cell phones became cheaper and more technologically advanced, landlines were dropped altogether, with most people now relying entirely on their mobile phones and wifi connections.

Disposable Cameras

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Once a common sight at parties and events, one-time-use cameras are now a thing of the past, according to The Beaver. Not only are they environmentally wasteful, but they offer no review/delete/edit functionality, have limited exposures, and must be developed at a photo lab (good luck finding one of those, too!).

Physical Keys

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We’re not quite there yet on replacing traditional keys, but the way we access our homes, offices, and vehicles is certainly evolving. Smart locks, digital access, keyless entry, and smartphones as remote controllers are on the rise, meaning that standard metal keys may soon be antiques!

Phone Books

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Ah, the good ‘ol Yellow Pages! The modern world just has no use for you! Like encyclopedias, heavy phone books cannot compete with ultra-convenient, up-to-date search engines and business listings. We can even use voice commands to make searches and initiate calls- they don’t stand a chance!

Film Projectors

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Digital projectors have largely replaced traditional film projectors in places like theaters, school classrooms, and home entertainment systems (Digital Cinema Report). Digital technology offers more lightweight, faster machines that produce sharp, well-colored images- often at a competitive price.

Cash Payments

loan money
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The reliance on physical cash for everyday purchases is slowly declining as digital payment methods gain popularity. Contactless payments, mobile wallets, and digital banking apps offer unparalleled safety, convenience, and versatility compared to a pocketful of coins and notes.

Typewriters

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Computer keyboards and digital smartphone keypads have almost entirely replaced the classic typewriter. While the key setup may have remained the same, typewriters can’t compete with the practicality of functions like text formatting, spellcheck, and even the simple delete button!

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