7 Obsolete Technologies ...

When I was a teenager, we had one land line with an answering machine. No-one we knew had a computer at home, and certainly no-one had a cell phone. You didn’t just rent VHS tapes at Blockbuster, either — most people had to rent the VCR, too. In fact, some videos were on BETA, not VHS. My how technology has changed in the last 20 years! Here’s a flashback, with my top seven obsolete technologies, just from my own era. Enjoy!

1. Home Phone Lines (aka “land Lines”) and Answering Machines

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Photo Credit: Natxo 68

In this day and age, nearly everyone, including 9-year-olds, has a cell phone. And no-one uses dial-up Internet anymore, so why keep the extra expense of a land-line telephone? Disconnecting your land line will also guarantee you won’t get telemarketers calling and interrupting your dinner with credit card offers or the like. Get rid of it!

2. VHS Tapes

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Photo Credit: Hollis Brown Thornton

Five years ago, VHS tapes were the way to go. They were half as expensive as DVDs, and my daughter had every Dora the Explorer tape available. Now, DVDs or Blu-Ray are the thing, and I pitched the Dora tapes as soon as we got a DVD player. DVDs are so much more convenient than VHS tapes — they take up less room on a shelf, and you can skip to the scene you want without having to rewind or fast-forward. And, of course, the sound and picture quality is better!

3. CDs

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Photo Credit: ~Fussel~

I know there are a few die-hard music fans that will dispute me, but I really do think actual CDs are going the way of vinyl, 8-tracks, and cassettes. Remember those? With iTunes and iPods, why buy an entire CD worth of songs you’re not sure you will like? Spend the $3 to buy the three songs you love, and save the other $12 to buy … more songs!

4. Pagers

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Photo Credit: whologwhy

Twenty years ago, pagers were for doctors and drug dealers. Ten years ago, they were an affordable alternative to cell phones, and you could use them to text, in a way: 143 meant “I love you.” Now, no-one uses them… or at least no-one I know… they’re totally obsolete.

5. Typewriters

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Photo Credit: Dave Ward Photography

I used to edit manuscripts typed on onion-skin paper on an IBM typewriter. Now, I wouldn’t have the time or patience. Why, when word-processing and digital files make it so easy to edit and return to the author? I don’t have one anymore, and I don’t know anyone, except my 85-year-old grandmother, who still does.

6. Film Cameras (except Polaroid)

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Photo Credit: Eric Flexyourhead

When I was a kid, and even a teenager, we broke out the camera for special occasions. Film was expensive, and so was photo developing. We had to wait at least an hour to see the photos we had taken, and sometimes even longer! Now even our cell phones have digital cameras, and you can see the pictures immediately! Somehow, though, Polaroids are still fun. Most other film cameras are only used by older folks, and by old-school professional photographers.

7. Checkbooks

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Photo Credit: oblivion9999

It’s been years, literally, since I’ve written a check. I use my debit card for almost every purchase, and I pay my bills with either automatic withdrawal from my checking account, or with online banking. It’s so convenient, and I don’t have to buy checks or postage stamps to mail them with a bill! In fact, I don’t even get paper bills for anything anymore, which is better for the environment!

I’m sure there are a lot of other technologies you can’t imagine using again… or maybe you still use some of these from my list! Which technologies do you think are only the domain of dinosaurs, and which will you use forever? Please let me know!

Top Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

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