It’s bittersweet. Technology has made our lives easier, faster and more productive. The internet has made so many physical objects we were once so used to interacting with obsolete. And has eliminated face-to-face contact in so many aspects of our lives. But it’s truly amazing how far we’ve come! It’s been a journey. But, for these 30 things, their journeys are about to come to an end.
Let’s face it, these machines’ days are numbered and quite frankly it’s surprising that they are still around today. Does anyone actually still have a fax number anymore? But we, the people who remember this ancient communication beast, have a duty to preserve its memory and will tell our children stories about the screaming ghost who would whistle through our landline phones whenever we accidentally dialed a fax number.
The Yellow Pages
Another print object devoured by the internet. Remember receiving that gigantic tome of residential and commercial phone numbers at the beginning of every year? We haven’t seen one in a long time and this book is bound to be extinct by 2025, if it isn’t already! Did you and your friends used to look for the funniest names you could find in the phone book and make prank phone calls, too? Oh, the good ole days before call display!
The Post Office
And if there’s no paper mail to be delivered and no postman needed to deliver larger packages, then will the post office itself be around much longer either? It will be more than a few years for the postal service to become extinct, so for now let’s enjoy this universal part of our community!
If cash can become obsolete, then credit cards aren’t far behind. With new technology like Google Pay and PayPal, soon we’ll all be using our fingerprint recognition protected smartphone to pay for everything we buy in person. So, if you don’t already have a PayPal account you might want to consider getting one… in the next few years, anyway.
A Dozen Remote Controls
How many remotes do you have in your living room? One for the TV, one for the sound system, at least one for your gaming console, one for your TV box, one for your DVD player since they aren’t quite fully extinct yet!? Thankfully, Smart technology should have us covered pretty soon, allowing us to communicate with all our electronics with our phones or tablets.
Cords and Chargers
It sucks to be a very tidy, organized person and have to look at those tangled explosions of cords behind your TV when you’re trying to relax at home after a long day. Thankfully, with the help of Bluetooth and wireless technology, this unsightly mess should become a thing of the past in the very near future! But I can’t help worry a little about the increase in technical difficulties that will inevitably come from no more wires. The future is a tidy, yet scary place.
I mean, paycheques might still be a thing. But if anyone other than my grandparents tried to give me a handwritten cheque today, I wouldn’t be able to control my face from emanating the message, “wtf is this?” Our money is all online, so of course we will be saying goodbye to our cheque books very soon, if we haven’t already. The one thing we’ll miss about these are those fun personalised background images you could choose for your cheques, of kittens or dinosaurs or waterfalls. Farewell.
Do you remember the freedom of no cell phones? It may sound scary to us now, and probably as you read this your phone is directly beside you. You just checked to see if you have any notifications, didn’t you? While it won’t be sad to see this piece of technology go extinct, it is sad to think that soon, no one will remember the freedom that came along with only being “connected” when you were at home.
It’s already begun. And do-it-yourself checkouts are amazing. Especially ones with hand scanners that allow you to scan while you shop and all you need to do is pay on your way out. Such an incredible time saver! It’s unfortunate that our reality sees technology replacing human jobs. Because everyone’s had at least one chat with a sweet, friendly cashier who made you smile during the stress of grocery shopping. Shout out to them, we’ll miss you!
The days of getting that black residue on your fingers from reading the newspaper are surely numbered. With news widely available for free on the internet, paper media will soon be a thing of the past. There is something special about holding and smelling and turning the pages of a physical thing. So, as these printed objects slowly die away, remember the small things so they aren’t forgotten!
Like the VHS tape before it, DVDs are on the up and out. Online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are taking over and provide you with TV and film libraries that you can personalise and expand upon whenever you please, just by adding to your list. But, like the VHS tape before it, these shiny rainbow discs will certainly become collectibles, maybe something you’ll pass down to your children. They might even make a comeback like their musical counterpart, vinyl did. Who knows?!
Now, the extinction of passwords is something I can fully get behind. How many times per week do you click the “Did you forget your password?” link after trying to sign in to one of your dozens of online profiles? Today, most smartphones have a built-in fingerprint reader and many laptops have a facial recognition feature. And with banking and communication and everything else going digital, the days of trying to remember your passwords should soon be a thing of the past.
Eye Glasses and Contact Lenses
I, personally, have never needed glasses. But I’ve always wanted to wear them. So many amazing designs can make your face look so darn cool! Looks like my chances to own eyewear may soon be zero. Apparently, there’s this new eye-drop technology, Nano-Drops, that corrects your vision with a few drops every month or two. Goodbye glasses, goodbye contacts, goodbye invasive surgeries!
With all this talk of facial and fingerprint recognition it’s no surprise that keys will probably also become obsolete in the very near future. Many cars are already keyless and your front door will be the same soon enough. I just wonder what will happen in the future if you get in a horrible accident and your face is disfigured?
It really seems like the future holds zero human contact. But nobody likes lining up at airport security. Technologies are currently being developed to bring these annoyances into extinction. Imagine walking through a “Smart Tunnel” that can scan you through passport control in 15 seconds. Or never worrying about losing your passport again because airports will have your identity on file through, yet again, facial recognition technologies. These are real things. Look them up!
These days, the amount of storage space on your computer, smartphone or tablet isn’t as important as it used to be. Cloud technology and internet speeds that keep getting faster allow us to save as much data as we could ever need without a huge hard drive. So, expect to see smaller hard drives on devices and the gradual disappearance of USB keys and external storage units in the near future.
As much as I love going to the movies and certainly don’t want theatres to become a thing of the past, I can’t even remember the last time I went to the cinema. Streaming services offer so many options, seeing the newest releases doesn’t really matter as much. Not to mention how insanely expensive the movie theatre is. But if these cultural cineplexes go extinct I will be devastated! The experience of sitting in a dark theatre with popcorn, listening to all the crinkling candy packages and whispers during those quiet moments in the film is like no other.
Ok, so if any of these items are fully extinct by 2025 it will be this one. There are still a few of these beasts kicking around in university housing and grandparents’ living rooms. Even though the antennas don’t work anymore with pretty much everything being digitalized, the sheer weight of them makes it almost impossible to remove from your home. Let’s remember the iconic grainy image quality we spent so much of our childhood admiring and quickly accept the fact that today TVs are better in ever way.
Our planet is depending on the extinction of this ozone-destroying human necessity. And if our planet depends on it, then so do we! Let’s hope electric-powered vehicles wipe this baby out as soon as possible.
Speaking of our planet depending on the extinction of certain ecologically destructive items, hopefully more than just plastic bags will be extinct in the next few years. Some countries have also banned “single use plastics” like straws and takeout cutlery. BYOB, people, (Bring Your Own Bag) because the extinction of plastic bags will actually do some good. Mother thanks you.
If you’ve stepped outside in the past ten years, this one is no shocker. As mentioned above, all things financial are becoming digital. You have control over your bank account on your smartphone, pay your bills online, have your paycheque direct deposited etc… So grab a wad of cash and inhale deeply because you’re not going to be able to smell the power of those bills for much longer.
I’m not handy at all but I do own a screwdriver. It’s a necessity in any household. But take note: I own ONE screwdriver that comes with multiple bits that you insert into the same handle. Why would anyone need 25 different screwdrivers in this day and age?
The rise of e-mail has severely decreased the number of hand-written letters being sent through the post. This is well known. But even though postage stamps could become obsolete, they are already a hugely popular collector’s item so they won’t completely disappear. Life tip: write someone you love a handwritten letter. Everyone loves receiving an actual letter in the mail – and you may not be able to send one in the near future!
You know those well-dressed people you see in line at Starbucks, quietly talking to themselves? You usually give them a weird look and then realise they’re on a wireless call with an earpiece. What was a useful piece of technology ten or fifteen years ago has now become a pointless accessory since most people used them to make and receive phone calls while driving. Since, now, cars have a built-in system, there’s no need for that Bluetooth earpiece anymore.
Business cards are still useful for face-to-face networking. Of course, now, the only important information that needs to be printed on your business card is your web site, which will have all the necessary contact information a business card would. So, it may just be easier to share this link on social media and leave your cards at home.
Incandescent Light Bulbs
These light bulbs are being phased out world-wide, with the way more environmentally friendly LED replacing them. Already banned in the USA, these filament heated bulbs will be obsolete in no time. Nothing burns forever, my friends.
Many people opt out of having a printer at home these days, as the frequency in which you ever need to print anything is very low. It’s cheaper to just make a trip to the local library to print off whatever you may need. But it’s hard to imagine printers becoming completely obsolete – people like to hang photos on their walls after all. But for documents, event and travel tickets, or bills, we may only ever need the trusty internet from here on out.
One of the most pressing health concerns of our time is the overabundance of sugar in our diets. Scientists have been trying to find a healthier replacement for sugar that actually compares to the original for decades. Aspartame just doesn’t taste right, stevia is better, but not great. Let’s hope science figures this one out so we can enjoy all the candies and sodas without threatening our health… as much.
There are only four phone booths left in New York City. These once useful communication pods are disappearing across the planet due to the rise of personal cell phones. If you do happen upon one, it’s most likely become a platform for graffiti rather than used to make calls. Surely, they will all be gone in the next few years.
So, Amazon began a pilot project in Washington State last year using drones called “Amazon Scouts” to deliver packages to customers. Clearly, the men and women of the postal service are getting worried. With letters and bills delivered electronically and drones delivering packages, sadly, the days of your neighbourhood mailperson might be numbered.