18 Things That Are Sadly Fading From Daily Existence

Some of the things you see and use today may be nowhere to be found in ten or even five years from now. For these 18 items, sadly, all you can do is cherish the time you have left with them.

Alarm Clocks

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Many kids today won’t know what traditional alarm clocks look like. For them, an alarm may just be a feature of a smartphone, and the only time they see traditional alarms may be in cartoons or when they visit hotels. The digital counterparts are more common, and even these aren’t as popularly used as smartphones.

Cash

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Yes, your one-dollar and hundred-dollar bills may be nowhere to be found in the future. They will probably remain legal tender. However, digital means of payment like eWallets, credit cards, and built-in mobile payments have defeated cash as the number one choice for facilitating transactions. The BBC forecasts that cash will only account for 6% of payments by 2031.

Compact Disks (CDs)

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Growing up with computers, many of us used CDs for everything—from watching movies to playing music and even backing up data. Now, the internet and cloud services have replaced our need for them. Even video games are now experiencing a slow phase out of CDs with the introduction of digital-only consoles.

Dedicated GPS Devices

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Before, if you wanted to find your way in the forest or through an unknown road, you would’ve needed a GPS device. Now, smartphones have replaced them, and there’s no way they’ll become popular again. Even cars now come with built-in GPS functions.

Remote controls

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When they were invented, you’d think TVs and remote controls were an inseparable match made in heaven. However, with the Internet and gadgets becoming even more sophisticated, smartphones are slowly taking over control of your home entertainment systems. It doesn’t stop at TVs, either. Smartphones now slowly replace remote controls for lights, air conditioners, and even security locks.

Keys

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Now, just like with remote controls, smart innovations also slowly replace your keys, whether it’s to your home or car. Modern cars have already abandoned traditional keys for key fobs and push buttons, while we now use fingerprints as authentication to lock and unlock doors. Smartphones also have a part to play in rendering keys obsolete.

Cigarettes

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Cigarettes are also losing the burning flame that has kept them popular over the years. From stricter government controls to the emergence of alternative products as sources of tobacco and nicotine, many factors have pushed their use into a consistent decline. They may be completely gone in the US and across Europe by 2050.

Newspapers

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The newspaper is a dying industry when it comes to traditional news outlets. Digital media has replaced it, and those that couldn’t adapt fast have gone extinct. As Forbes shares, “The newspaper industry has been in steady decline, triggered by a loss in readership and ad revenue which have been migrating to other media.” The pandemic made it worse, too.

Public Payphones

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What was once the only hope for many people to reach distant relatives is now fast becoming a thing of the past. In 2022, New York City removed the last of its public payphones, one located at 745 7th Avenue, in an event held to “usher in the next generation of 5G connectivity.”

Physical Buttons

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Manufacturers of electronic devices today now opt for sleeker, smoother touchscreen navigation over physical buttons. The iPhones are a great example of this switch, and as the years go by, more appliances you use today will make this inevitable switch. Some may even come with only voice navigation features, eliminating physical interaction altogether.

Paper Dictionaries

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We bet if you had to know what the word “ubiquitous” means, the first place you’d head to is either Google or a dictionary app on your phone. It’s no surprise that the sale of paper dictionaries is rapidly declining. The fact that it’s easier to update their digital counterparts with new words makes their return very unlikely.

Landlines

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In an event called the “Big Switch Off,” the old copper network that powers landlines is expected to be transferred to digital mediums by 2025. The result of this move is that, as CNN shares, there will only be 5% of landlines working by 2030. There’s just no stopping wireless technology.

Phone Books

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Like many others on our list, the major nemeses of phone books are smartphones and the internet. People barely record new contact on sheets of paper when they could just pull out a smartphone and back them up in the cloud. Today, many even refer to these treasures, which have helped people for decades, as unnecessary waste that endangers the environment.

Paper Checks

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Making payments with online credit cards and debit cards is just too easy nowadays. ACH bank transfers, eWallets like PayPal and Venmo, and even cryptocurrency platforms make the process of cashing in paper checks too stressful for many, so people don’t bother. A post from Walden University says checks may not even be around by 2026.

Movies Rental Stores

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Digital streaming services are everywhere, and the days when you just had to go to a store at the corner of your street to get the latest movies have gone by. USA Today says over 86% of those that were open in 2007 were already closed down in 2017, and they’ll soon become entirely extinct.

Coin-Operated Parking Meters

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License plate recognition technology and automatic charges may replace all parking meters soon. However, the coin-operated ones are probably going extinct even sooner. Not only do they pose the risk of theft, but people don’t carry coins around like before, and the meters are difficult to repair due to the general unavailability of spare parts.

Wired Headphones

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It’s wireless earbuds and headphones everywhere, and their wired counterparts are slowly becoming hard to come across. Mobile phone companies removing headphone jacks from their devices hasn’t helped matters, and the convenience that accompanies their wireless competitors comes as a final nail in their coffin.

Disposable Cameras

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Disposable cameras have been a long-time favorite for people to capture the moment without needing to spend a lot on equipment. Today, powerful digital cameras are more affordable, and, of course, smartphones now come with excellent built-in cameras and photo filters that do the trick.

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