Record players are making a comeback. You can even find typewriter-esque keyboards (complete with the satisfying clacking sound) for your iPad. It's safe to say that many of us have become nostalgic for some of the technology of the past. Yet, there are plenty of things we've gladly left behind.
Forget calling the movie theater to check movie times. Instead, it's easier to do a quick internet search. And calling to order pizza? We can do that via an app. What other things do we no longer do thanks to modern technology?
1. Print a Paper Map
No road trip of the past was complete without a printed map straight from MapQuest, highlighted with the important routes. Going back even further than that, do you remember the big Rand McNally Road Atlas? Now, many of us open up Google Maps or let our GPS navigate for us instead.
2. Wait for a Song to Come on the Radio to Record It
Back in the day, with a cassette tape in the player and ready to go, angst-filled teens would sit around the radio and wait for their favorite Rolling Stones song to come on. When they heard it, they pushed that record button faster than you could say, "Gimme Shelter."
Now, all you have to do is ask Siri to play your favorite music. Or, you can simply open the Spotify app or Apple Music and rock.
3. Use an Encyclopedia (or a Dictionary) to Look Something Up
In the past, when you would forget how to spell something, you would need to look it up in the dictionary. Or, if you needed to know more about the cats of Ancient Egypt, for example, you'd use an encyclopedia. Fast forward to now, and a quick online search will give you all the info you need in seconds. Even Merriam-Webster has an app.
4. Advertise in Newspapers & Phone Books
In the days of yore, businesses would advertise in the daily newspaper or the Yellow Pages inside the phone book. The Yellow Pages were directories specifically for businesses and were easy to find in the front of those hefty phone books.
Now, it's best to use your online resources such as Google My Business or a Facebook Business page to market your services. Most businesses opt to spend their marketing dollars on their online presence instead of print. After all, 70-80% of people will research a business on the web before making a purchase.
5. Set an Alarm on an Actual Alarm Clock
It was normal quite a few years back to have an actual alarm clock on your nightstand. While some of the earlier alarm clocks featured bells that would wake you up, radio alarm clocks were popular just a few decades ago, allowing you to wake up to your favorite station. Now, many of us just set alarms on our phones.
6. Return Camera Film to the Store
Family trips to the zoo. Sleepovers. Birthday parties. Pictures of these fun events used to be taken using cameras that required actual 35mm film. Or, on a Polaroid camera where the result was a photo you had to shake to develop on your own.
When your disposable camera or 35mm film was used up, it had to go back to the local department store or photo shop to be developed. Now, we open our phones and tap.
There's no need for bulky photo albums either—it's all stored in the cloud. And when you want to take a trip down memory lane, there's plenty of ways to do so. For example, Facebook will simply remind you through Memories.
7. Fax Documents by Hand
If an important document needed to be sent to another office or business in the past, it would need to be carried to a physical fax machine and faxed by hand. That's no longer required. Technologies such as faxing apps have turned even our phones and desktop computers into fax machines.
8. Call a Store to See If They're Open
It's easy to open Facebook or search Google for a business to see their open hours. In the past, shoppers needed to call a business to determine if they were open before wasting a trip.
Even if you need to reach out to the business, many have Live Chat assistants ready and willing to answer your questions on their websites.
9. Write Essays & Documents by Hand
With word processing tools such as Google Docs and Microsoft Word, school essays, books, and even legal documents can be prepared quickly and shared with anyone in seconds. In days of old, essays needed to be written by hand (painful for sure), and documents required typing using a typewriter.
10. Check for Messages on Answering Machines
Back when everyone had landline phones, answering machines played the role of modern-day voicemail. You would come home from school or work and push "play" to listen to the messages you received while away. Now, you can do that from your phone.
11. Manually Clip Coupons
Everyone likes to save cash. And it's so much easier now than it was in the past. Previously, you would need to grab a newspaper or weekly circular and cut out the coupons you wanted to take with you to the store. Now, apps like Honey and Ibotta help you save money automatically with each online purchase.
It doesn't stop there. Even stores like Target have in-store apps that feature deals you can use while shopping.
12. Carry Around Multiple Devices
In the past, you would need to carry around your phone and your MP3 player. You may have even carried around a beeper or a Walkman. Now, everything you need to connect to the world around you, including music, access to your friends and family, social media, and shopping is found inside one small device.
What Does the Future of Technology Hold?
Technology has already turned the world upside down, just in the last decade. So what can we look forward to next? Will we finally get to see those flying cars we've been warned about? Only time will tell.