Things We Are All About to Stop Using

As technology progresses, some trivial objects get replaced for more advanced versions of them, and some of them simply become irrelevant. For example, dial phones and cassette tapes used to be such common household items. Today, they can only be found at the homes of vintage aficionados. The rest of us just use mobile phones and music streaming services.
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With modern day gadgets constantly changing the way we live our lives, certain things we are used to having around are next in line to disappear. Keep reading to get a glimpse into that future.

Keys

Women’s pockets with no room for keys are about to become much less of a problem. So is getting locked out of your own place in case you forget your keys inside. That’s right, keys are about to go extinct.

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Think about it for a second; you unlock your phone with face recognition and get into your office using a fingerprint scan. Why should your house be any different? Some rich tech enthusiasts have already taken that leap into the future. Soon enough you will too.

Parking Meters

Municipalities are nowhere near close to stop ticketing people for parking violations. Still, people running to feed the meter before getting a ticket are about to become something you only see in old movies. So is putting on your reading glasses to read the fine print on the meter.

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With new, modern apps taking over the place of outdated parking meters, fishing for coins in your purse is a sight that is getting less and less frequent.

Side View Mirrors

The vehicle industry is becoming increasingly automated. While fully autonomous vehicles are only common among the extremely wealthy, many cars on the road simply have automized components. Such a component is the rearview mirror.

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Many vehicles use a camera option instead of an old-fashioned mirror to see what’s behind them. Next in line to make room for video technology are the side view mirrors, which will also help you tackle your car’s blind spot.

Passwords

You use one password to access your email, another to access your bank account details online, and a third to unlock your work computer. And that’s if you’re lucky. Most of us use more passwords than we can remember. You often need to string together a special character, numbers, and a combination of upper-case and lower-case letters. Good thing this is all about to end.

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Similarly to keys, the need for passwords is slowly fading. Now that your mobile phone can be unlocked simply by looking at your face, there is no reason why other gadgets and websites won’t do the same.

Corded Headphones

Bluetooth technology has slowly been changing many aspects of our lives. Such a major aspect is the way we listen to music. Connecting our phones to portable speakers has been fairly common in modern-day parties. But the change is also happening individually with wireless headphones and earphones.

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Being the tech leader that it is, Apple sentenced wired headphones to death when it came out with Airpods. The company’s new mobile devices don’t even have headphone ports. Other tech companies soon followed suit, and people were happy to adapt this change and be free from constantly untangling their headphones.

Wallets

You know the little dance you do before leaving the house to make sure you took all the things you need?  the one that involves you tapping on all your pockets? Along with your keys (soon to be out the door too) and cellphone, your wallet is usually one of the three main items you need to have on you when you’re going somewhere.

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But that’s about to end soon. Now that money transferring is easier than ever before, there are fewer reasons to hold on to cash. There are even fewer reasons to hold on to an item specifically designed for holding cash.

PayPhones

Another thing cellphones made obsolete are public payphones. Now that we all carry a mobile phone in our pockets, we simply have no use for them. Once an acceptable means of communication, these days payphones mostly serve as trendy photobooths.

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In some places, municipalities are trying to find new uses for payphone booths. Until then, it looks like people are going to keep using them as impromptu studio space for amateur cellphone photographers.

Pennies

Penny for your thoughts? Well, that phrase is going to become pretty worthless pretty soon, as pennies are slowly disappearing. Soon, they will become a collectors’ item, paradoxically worth more than they did when we actually used them.

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Now that people are using credit cards to buy almost anything, those little copper coins are simply no longer needed. In fact, other than making our wallets jingle with useless change, there isn’t much pennies can do for us anymore.

Paper Bills

When Destiny’s Child released their immortal song Bills, Bills, Bills it was long before the modern-day blossom of environmental movements and Greta Thunberg. Back then, all bills were printed on paper, put in an envelope and sent by mail.

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Thankfully, modern-day companies are a little more environmentally aware and make a conscious effort to reduce paper waste. This means that more of your bills are starting to find their way to you via alternative means such as emails or texts.

Cash Registers

With so many sales and transactions performed online, it looks like cash registers are going to be the next item to only be found in vintage stores. Also, now that we have so many options for online payment, cash is becoming the least favorite payment method. It only makes sense for this item to become unnecessary.

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So next time you pay in cash for something at a local convenience store, savor that moment. Who knows? It might be the last time you see a real-life working cash register.

Phone Chargers

Aren’t you tired of always making sure you have the battery juice you need? Aren’t you tired of carrying a charger around looking for an outlet in public places? If the answer to those questions is yes, you’d be happy to hear that chargers are almost out the door too.

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It appears that the newest development in the world of mobile is going to be cellphones that charge themselves. It could be done through movement technology, WiFi technology, solar power, or some new form of tech currently in the making.

Driver’s License

Part of becoming your own person is getting a driver’s license. It means you are now independent and no longer have to rely on your friends for rides. It also means you can stop being a slave to public transportation. Nothing beats the joy of getting that plastic card for the first time.

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However, this whole plastic business is about to end sooner than you think. You will still need to learn the rules of the road and pass your driver’s test, but the documents stating you did all of this will simply appear online.

Shopping Malls

Ghost malls are nothing new. In the past few years, those vacant buildings have been looking like something out of a horror movie. In fact, in 2019, there were more than 8,600 retail stores closed in US malls alone.

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This doesn’t mean people don’t shop. On the contrary, people shop a lot both in big chain stores as well as small businesses. It’s just that more and more physical shopping malls are being shut down as people choose to stay in their pajamas and shop online.

Video Cameras

People who were either parents or kids in the 1990s remember video cameras as a must on every occasion. Be it a birthday party or a school play, if a video camera didn’t tape it, it didn’t happen. But times have changed, and we no longer need those cumbersome cameras and small tapes. Smartphones have made them obsolete.

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Other than the smartphone market, the only businesses benefiting from that change are the ones offering conversion services. These are the people that transfer the content on your old tapes to a modern format so you can view them on your computer. How else will you remember how awkward your dads used to be?

Lines

Having to wait in a line that doesn’t move often feels like an eternity. You stand there, wondering why all those people had to be there in the first place and what other activity would have been a better use of your time. Next time you have a line to wait in, try thinking about the fact that those waiting days are almost behind you.

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Do you know those phone operators that are programmed to call you back when a representative is available? Why not have similar services for physical lines too? Predictions say that it shouldn’t take more than a few decades. We can afford to wait that long if it means we don’t have to wait at all later on.

Printed Books

Book lovers might deny this one, but it doesn’t mean it’s not coming. Many would agree that there is nothing quite like the smell of a new book or getting lost in a second-hand bookstore. However, digital reading devices such as Kindles are increasingly taking over.

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Sure, exploring the bookshelves at the library is a lot of fun, but so it is having countless books within reach on one small gadget. Digital books are also not as romantic as paper ones, but reducing the use of paper altogether just might be worth it.

Paper

Poor earth. We have been harvesting its resources for so long we forgot what it is like to live in a paper-free world. Thankfully, with modern technologies, we are becoming increasingly less dependent on paper.

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Need to write a note for yourself? Do it on your phone. Need to leave your boss a message? Do it in an email. Need to write a birthday card for a friend? Do it in a Facebook post! Unless you’re an origami artist, paper is simply no longer necessary.

Digital Cameras

Another piece of technology becoming obsolete thanks to smartphones is the digital camera. Once the best way to preserve your memories from a trip or vacation, now it does nothing more than sitting in that drawer you never open.

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Not only can smartphones take great quality pictures, you can also instantly share those pictures with your friends and family, and upload them to a cloud so you never lose them no matter what happens to your cell.

Hard Drives

Backing your computer’s content on an external hard drive used to be such an essential. People in the early 2000s were always looking for drives with the biggest storage space possible and schlepping them around.

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Years came and went and cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox made those hard drives a thing of the past. People prefer storing their information on such clouds rather than carrying it with them, and honestly, who could blame them?

Print Newspapers

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” print newspapers are just about out the door as that busy paperboy. Simply put – this world works quickly, print doesn’t. And by the time a news article gets printed, it’s no longer new.

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Newspapers often try to overcome that shift by maintaining an up-to-date website and charging less for an online subscription. This is another step closer to a paper-free world.

Neighborhood Post Boxes

Once upon a time, people who wanted to send a message to their loved ones had to go through a lot. They had to write the message by hand on a piece of paper, stuff that paper into an envelope, put a stamp on it, insert it into a neighborhood post box, wait and hope for the best.

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Now they send each other texts and emails. This means we are both more efficient and no longer in need of neighborhood post boxes. Those boxes can still be found all over the US, but at this point, they are about as functional as statues.

College Textbooks

As if going to college wasn’t expensive enough, in comes the list of required textbooks and makes you apply for a bigger student loan. The saddest thing about it all is that more often than not, some classes don’t even get to finish the textbooks assigned to them.

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Fortunately, some colleges are internalizing that this textbook-buying business isn’t working and offering alternative options. Some of those alternatives include lending used books to students for the duration of the school year, or handing out packets with necessary information.

Needles

Well, almost. Sadly, there’s no way around needles for tattoos and blood tests. However, medical professionals are working hard to develop vaccines that can be given through pills instead of injections.

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You don’t have to be afraid of needles to admit you don’t enjoy being stabbed by one. And going to the doctor may not be our favorite pastime activity, but with those new developments and a lollipop after each visit, we just might warm up to them.

Car Lighters

Remember how car lighters used to be integral parts of almost any motor vehicle? Soon, they will be completely vintage. Carmakers now design their new models with some changes and this is one of them: swapping car lighters for cellphone charging ports.

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It’s all about priorities and knowing the drivers. Something tells us that people tend to be a lot more attached to their mobile phones than their little boxes of smoke. Maybe it has something to do with the price tag on each of those items.

DVDs

Going to Blockbuster to rent a movie is the old times’ Netflix and chill. Now there is little to no content you can’t find online. With streaming services reigning supreme on the watch-at-home industry, there is simply nothing that DVD libraries could offer.

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DVD movies can still be found in vintage stores and occasional bookstores. But still, even if you feel a little nostalgic and want to watch a DVD movie, where on earth will you find a DVD player to play it with?

Answering Machines

Another thing that can be found more easily in a movie than in real life is an answering machine. Once an ingenious invention, revolutionizing the world through voice mail, it is now becoming obsolete. Not only that, but people nowadays often avoid leaving and listening to voice messages, ditching them for written texts.

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The only ones using voice messages today are the older generation and those who contact them frequently. The modern reincarnation of answering machines is recorded messages sent as part of a text chain. Apparently, that form of recording is not as frowned upon.

Television Remotes

Did you see the remote? Are you sitting on it by any chance? Could it be under that pillow? Is it wedged between the cushions? Those questions are about to become ancient history as remote controls are on their way out of our lives.

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Instead of remote controls, different TV service suppliers encourage their users to download a remote app to their phones. This way, even if they misplace it, they can always call it and follow the ring to see where it is. Of course, voice commands are also factoring into this process.

GPS Devices

There once was a time when a GPS device for your car was considered cutting edge technology. People couldn’t be happier about not having to read paper maps ever again. But the time for GPS devices is long gone.

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Just like other gadgets and technological developments, this too made its way into our smartphones. With numerous navigation apps such as Waze or Google Maps, there’s simply no need in a separate device to tell you to turn right at the roundabout.

Landlines

When we were little and kids didn’t get their first cellphone at six years old, we used to call each other on a landline. We would hear the phone ring, pick it up, and ask who it was. Now, none of it happens. We call each other on smartphones, see the caller ID, and then answer the call if we’re so inclined.

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Slowly but surely, landlines are disappearing or getting tossed aside in favor of our modern-day god – the smartphone. We used to think rotary phones were ancient. Now our kids think just the same about landlines.

Checkbooks

Checkbooks are becoming extinct, and that’s probably because they are money-related paper products. With the use of paper going out the window and easy-to-use payment apps, check books simply have no business in this world anymore.

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Stores and other businesses often have a “no checks” sign by the counter. It looks like they figured out that this payment method is too much of a hassle to deal with. So there really is no reason for you to hold on to that little checkbook you have lying in the drawer of your bedside table.

Long Distance Charges

Calling someone overseas used to be both tricky and expensive. The cost for one minute of a delayed phone call with a bad connection often made us think twice about the person we were calling and if they were really worth it. Then came the internet and everything changed.

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With free apps offering internet-connection-based calls such as WhatsApp or Viber, talking to a loved one in a different continent is as simple as calling them locally. And we haven’t even said a word about video chat!

Alarm Clocks

Waking up early for work or for school is one of the hardest things we do on a daily basis. That might be the reason why we dislike the sound of our alarm clock. Well, used to dislike it. It’s not that getting up in the morning has become any easier, but we simply don’t use a separate device for it.

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Just like many other gadgets that we once used routinely, this too has found its way into our phones. Now we can choose a song we want to wake up to, or use an alarm app to determine when to wake up based on our sleeping patterns!

Reference Books

Looking for a dictionary word, an encyclopedic entry or some general information? We think it would be safe to assume that the first place you look is not a reference book in the nearby library. Those huge books are simply less effective comparing to the internet at our fingertips.

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Also, reference books often need to be edited in order to keep them updated with the latest information. This means that each of them is doomed to become irrelevant and that’s just wasting paper if you ask us.

Thumb Drives

Sure, carrying a thumb drive is a lot easier than lugging around the big block of an external hard drive. It’s light, easy to use, and we can easily fit it in our pockets, wallets, or with our keys. Still, despite it being so efficient, soon enough we will have no use for it.

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Thanks to cloud storage technology, we won’t have to physically carry any type of storage unit, no matter how simple or light it is.

Fax Machines

Okay, we’re just going to say it – fax machines were always terrible. This machine was invented over a century ago and has never been 100% efficient. Missing toner, paper jams, and smudgy text is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why this machine has always been horrible. Thank god no one uses it anymore.

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With modern technology that allows us to instantly send texts and images, fax machines are making their way out of this world. They will only become fully extinct, however, when the government stops using them.

Keyboards

“Alexa, play Single Ladies by Beyoncé.” “Siri, set up an alarm for tomorrow at 8 am.” Talking to devices is becoming increasingly common in the last few years. We can ask our smartphone to text someone while we drive and keep our hands on the wheel, and we can ask our smart TV to change the channel without looking for the remote.

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Voice commands or voice-to-text features are the things that will ultimately make our keyboards history. Sure, every now and then your phone would think you said “compliment” instead of “compliment”, but it is constantly learning and improving. Soon it will tell you what to write. We’re not nervous at all.

Punch Clocks

Punching holes through a paper card sounds like such an antique technology it might as well have been used by cavepeople. The truth is that it was actually in use in our lifetime. Bosses and employers are always going to want to keep track of their employees’ work hours, but that doesn’t mean they use punch clocks to do it.

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Many workplaces these days simply use a magnetic card, a fingerprint scan or an attendance app to keep things in check. And hey, if it means humanity uses a little less paper – we’re all for it.

CDs

Making your significant other a mixed CD used to be the ultimate romantic gesture. The fact that people don’t do it anymore doesn’t mean that we’re less romantic. It just means we don’t use CDs anymore. With music streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music, we can listen to pretty much any song we like and send our crush a custom-made playlist.

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Music streamers also mean we don’t have to worry about a place to store our music collection. Just like vinyl records, CDs might resurface in the future, but that means only hipsters would listen to them anyway.

ID Cards

Along with driver’s licenses, ID cards will soon be something only our parents had. We have phones that recognize our faces and doors that recognize our fingerprints. There is no reason why we would need a plastic card with our picture on it for people to know who we are.

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The way we see it, next time you get carded at a bar you will just need to have your fingerprint scanned to prove you’re 18 or older.