5 (More) Things That Have Become Obsolete This Decade


If you saw the Huffington Post’s online version today, they did a great photo essay about the top 12 things that have gone obsolete.  Some of them you may agree with; some of them you may not.  But I think they forgot some of the most important things that we can’t live without now that may not even have existed 10 years ago.

To start it off, here’s the Huff’s list:

  • Calling Someone on a Phone
  • Newspaper Classifieds
  • Dial-Up Internet
  • Encyclopedias
  • CDs
  • Fax Machines
  • Film and Film Cameras
  • Handwritten Letters
  • Catalogs
  • Landline Phones
  • Wires
  • The Yellow Pages (and address books)

Sure, it’s a good list, and it covers the basics, but here are five more things that I think have gone the way of the buffalo this decade.

1. Tube Televisions

It took a good few years, but LCD and Plasma Televisions have made mainstream markets, and in August had passed the 50% barrier, marking  a controlling figure.  With the digital cable switch happening earlier this year, it made the choice even more clear to switch (or convert to an analog signal).

2. Missing Television Programs

Not only can we watch our television in high-definition, but now we aren’t regulated to schedules or lineups.  Thanks to Hulu, On-Demand, and TiVo/DVR, if we want to watch a show, we simply log on or record it for later watching.

3. Physical Video Rental Stores

The aforementioned services, plus the RedBox DVD kiosks, Netflix, iTunes, and Movie Box have also spelled the demise of the physical retail rental store.  Thousands of Blockbusters have folded under pressure from clients to match the speedy service and selection of the online retailers.

4. Single Function Devices

10 years ago, you had a phone that made calls, a still camera that took pictures, and a video camera that took video.  My iPhone, and lots of other devices like it, have merged three (or more) devices into one.  And more and more apps are being developed daily to increase that functionality.  After all, could you imagine having a handheld device that’s only used for twitter?

5. Privacy

Let’s face it: “Privacy Is Dead: Get Over It”.  We tell the world our silly trivial daily exploits, and no tin-foil hat is big enough to stop the indexing of information.  People know our favorite restaurants, where we are, who we fellowship with, and even our drunken texts from nights past.

What about you guys?  What did you embrace 10 years ago, or even less, that you could care less about now?