Slideshow: 10 Things That Became Obsolete This Century

Technology changes quickly, and what was once the must-have invention of the year can become totally obsolete in just a few years. We’re not just talking about the latest models of laptops and smartphones either; we mean items that have completely been wiped off the map by something new. Here are 10 items that have become totally obsolete just since the 21st Century rolled around.

Internet as slow as a snail

Dial-Up Internet

Remember that annoying beeping and static that preceded internet access? It might seem like ancient history, but it really hasn’t been that long since dial-up internet was pushed out by its high-speed cousin. Throw wireless internet in there, and dial-up was about as likely to stick around as a snowball during a Texas heatwave. But let’s be honest… Nobody is going to miss it.

Phone booths

Pay Phones

Superman would have a hard time finding a phone booth to change in these days. Pay phones have become totally obsolete in this century. When everyone has a cellphone in their pockets, who needs a public phone? It’s probably a good thing since nobody carries cash on them anymore. We’d be at a loss if we actually had to find a quarter to make a call.

Newspaper classifieds

Newspaper Classifieds

Remember when the classifieds were used for everything from selling used cars to finding a date? It’s weird to think about, but that was hardly more than a decade ago. Now, there are online listing services like Craig’s List. Not only are they free, but they make it easy to list and to find what you’re looking for.

Woman looking at a map


Once upon a time, you had to find your route on a map in order to get to your destination. Then there were online services where you could print out directions to wherever you were going; however, maps still made a good failsafe in case your directions went awry. But once the GPS hit the scene, the map got stashed in the glovebox and completely forgotten. And when those GPSs were preinstalled on smartphones? Well, let’s just say that maps burn quite well.

VCR and VHS tapes


It probably doesn’t seem that long ago that you bought VHSs. You may even have a VCR in your home still. However, it’s been 14 years since DVD players began to outsell VCRs. That was in 2002, and one year later, VCRs were being outsold by DVD players at a rate of 40 to 1. Even if you still have one in your house, you’d be hard pressed to find any new VHSs for it. But who wants to take the time to rewind movies anyways?

Neon movie rental sign

Video Rental Stores

Speaking of movies, remember Blockbuster and Hollywood Video? Let’s take a moment of silence to remember their passing. With the introduction of Redbox and instant movie streaming services from vendors like Amazon, video rental stores took a deadly blow to their income. Now, if there are any of these stores left in your area, odds are high that they’ll be closing their doors very soon.

Looking through the yellow pages

Phone Books

The yellow pages and the white pages were once the go-to source for finding addresses and phone numbers of both businesses and individuals. Now, if it can’t be found on the internet, then it might as well not exist. Every modern business has an online listing, and there are services to find people online too. So set that phone book by the fireplace and use it for kindling.

Pile of floppy disks

Backup Disks

Floppy disks fell out of style with the advent of the computer disk. But the reign of the CD was a short-lived one, and it wasn’t long before USB drives overtook CDs. Now, many computers don’t even have a CD drive, much less a floppy disk drive. You can quickly save data on a USB drive, or even better, save it to a secure cloud storage service like eFileCabinet Online. It’s easier and more secure, and it works from anywhere.

Waiting for a fax

Fax Machines

Fax machines were once the greatest office machine ever invented. The concept of instantly sending a paper document to someone miles away was astounding. Now, you can do it in just a few clicks and avoid the fax altogether. You can send documents via email or, if you’re looking for a more secure way to share files, you can send them through a secure online portal like SecureDrawer. With better options like this, the fax machine is nothing more than a bulky dust collector.

paperless filing systems can help this scenario


This is arguably the biggest casualty of the century. What was once a multi-billion dollar industry is now fading into the background. The world is going digital, and a digital world has very little need for paper. It’s inefficient, cumbersome, and wasteful. If you haven’t said goodbye to paper yet, it’s probably only a matter of time before you do—and the sooner you do it, the better it will be for your business.

By | 2017-06-05T17:01:57+00:00 January 5th, 2016|
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