Remember waiting for your favorite song to come on the radio so you could record it onto a cassette tape? Or, how about when you’d stay on the landline phone for hours talking to your boyfriend or girlfriend until you both drifted off to sleep? You may still do those things, but it’s highly unlikely. So many things have come along to replace the cassette tape and the landline phone. And, just like those things are quickly disappearing, there are other things that will disappear in the coming years. Here are ten of those things.
You might remember us telling you that there are a few payphones still in existence today, mostly in New York. But, in the next few years or so, they may not exist at all. After cell phones became popular and affordable, payphones began being removed from public spaces. And, since most people nowadays, regardless of age, have a cell phone, it really isn’t worth it to maintain public payphones for the few individuals who don’t own a cell phone.
FUN FACT: A collaborative art project in Houston is bringing back payphones to highlight the culture of the city’s Third Ward. One phone will play music recorded by local musicians. A second phone will have ambient noise and sounds and the option to leave messages for others. A third phone will feature area residents telling stories about the neighborhood.
Most hotels (and college campuses too) have already converted to key card readers, so it only makes sense that our homes will be the next things to use key card readers instead of physical locks. And, if you’ve purchased a new car in recent years, it probably came with a key fob and mini-remote that can lock and unlock it with the push of a button. If your car was really high-tech, you might not have even needed that. Some car doors can be unlocked just by placing your hand on the door handle. Some cars can even be started inside your home without even having to put the key in the ignition. All you have to do is push a button.
And, as technology advances, we may even end up using biometric security (fingerprints, the iris of the eye, DNA) to lock and unlock our homes and cars. It’s already being used in corporate and government settings.
8. Cursive Writing
How can cursive writing disappear, you ask? Well, you may not be aware of this, but they’re not even teaching it in school nowadays. They haven’t taught it for quite some time now — for the last 15 years at the very least. Not only that, but there’s just a small percentage of people who even use cursive writing on a daily basis anymore. That’s because computers have replaced the need to write as often as we used to. Unfortunately, some young people may never know, unless taught by an older adult, how to even sign their name on important documents.
There was a discussion some years ago about the importance of pennies and the possibility of getting rid of them altogether. That hasn’t happened yet, but it could. And, it’s not just pennies that would disappear. It’d be all forms of cash. After all, being able to use credit and debit cards and other forms of electronic payments on the regular has made cash less of a necessity.
Something else that may become obsolete in the near future is check writing. For one, the habit of writing checks has been on a decline. Think about it. How often do you pay your bills with a paycheck? You probably don’t even get paper bills in the mail anymore. It’s become so easy to make payments online or over the phone. Not only that, but many stores no longer accept personal checks.
But, wait, that’s not all. According to Redbook magazine, going to the bank in general may become obsolete. “When you can deposit checks and transfer money with the swipe of a finger, even ATMs begin to feel a little unnecessary,” the magazine wrote on its website.
6. Parking Meters
Now before you get too excited, we need to tell you that just because parking meters may become obsolete in the near future doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay for parking anymore. You’ll just pay for it in a different way: with smartphones. This should come as no surprise. After all, technology is pretty much taking over every aspect of our lives. In fact, there are already many parking services that now post signs telling drivers what app to download and what assigned number to punch in.
5. Landline Phones
Wow, people still use these things?! Yep, they sure do. And, while most households have already made the switch from landline to cellphone-only, landlines still come in handy. For one, they rarely drop calls. This can be very helpful in the event of an emergency. Imagine dialing 9-1-1 on your cell phone only to have the call drop. For two, folks in rural America still rely on landlines for internet access (yes, dial-up still exists).
According to Jeremy Ashley, a vice president at Oracle, “the telephone as we know it — built around the system of a set number and connection — will cease.”
“The concepts of assigned phone numbers or email addresses are compromises we made with the mechanical system. In the future, these systems won’t require people to learn an extra artificial layer in order to communicate,” Ashley told NBCNews.com. Instead, we’ll be able to speak to our devices (cars, computers, and home entertainment systems) and they’ll connect us with the people we want to talk to, Ashley added.
4. Plastic Bags
Soon to be gone are the days of going to the grocery store and being asked, “Paper or plastic?” While many people have already shifted toward reusable tote bags, not everyone has jumped on board. That being said, it’s possible that in the near future all cities and/or states will ban one-time-use plastic shopping bags. That’s because these bags can break down over time, but may not ever decompose entirely. As a result, “many governments are putting forth legislation banning plastic bags altogether, forcing individuals to adopt eco-friendly alternatives,” an article published by MSN says.
No, eyeglasses won’t be obsolete because everyone will be wearing contacts. They’ll be obsolete because laser eye surgery is an effective way to treat a large number of vision problems. And, as this treatment becomes more affordable and less invasive, more people will likely elect to have it done.
Of course eyeglasses may not disappear altogether since you have to be a good candidate to qualify for laser eye surgery. But, we’ll likely see less and less people donning spectacles.
2. Manual Transmissions
Remember when manual transmissions were all the rage? Despite the fact that many of us never learned to drive a stick, cars with manual transmissions were the standard for driving. But, they’re now dying out. In fact, automatic transmissions are the new standard. And, with self-driving cars on horizon, it’s no wonder manual transmissions will become a thing of the past.
FUN FACT: According to an article published by MSN, all of us will have self-driving cars by the year 2066.
No, say it isn’t so! Unfortunately, it is so. According to an article published MSN, food researchers are constantly trying to invent an artificial sweetener that mimics the taste of sugar exactly without the negative side effects. Perhaps it will happen some day. And, while maintaining good health is certainly more important than satisfying a sweet tooth, one can only hope that the researchers come up with an alternative that’s as close to the real thing as possible. If not, there’s always honey — unless they plan on making bees obsolete some day!
Your turn! What other items do you see disappearing in the coming years? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. Thanks for reading!