18 Things That Are Sadly Disappearing From Everyday Life

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By Darryl Henderson

Certain things that used to be very popular and common are slowly disappearing from our lives. With technological advancements and shifting priorities, many of the things we used to use daily are just a thing of the past. Here are 18 things that are sadly disappearing from everyday life.

Handwritten Letters

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Handwritten letters were the go-to form of personal communication in the past, but just like payphones, they have been replaced by texts, emails, and social media messaging platforms. Once a cherished way to talk to a loved one, they are rarely found in mailboxes today, which we find rather sad.

Cursive Writing

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The BBC reports that cursive writing is on the decline. It was taught as an essential skill in many schools but was phased out of many curriculums with the rise of digital communication and typing. Despite this, many see cursive writing as a lost art form and still enjoy practicing it.

Physical Clocks

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Physical clocks, both analog and digital, dominated timekeeping in years past, but with the rise of smartphones, classic wall clocks, and wristwatches became much less common. Nowadays, almost everyone uses their phones for alarms and general timekeeping; even digital clocks are pretty rare.

Print Newspapers

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Print newspapers have experienced a sharp drop in readership due to the presence of online news sources. Many companies are struggling with reduced advertising revenue, and a significant number of local newspapers have shut down or gone online. Gone are the days of reshuffling your paper!

Landline Phones

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Landline phones are more commonly being replaced by mobile phones, although they 

used to be a primary means of communication in every household. They are now

considered redundant, even for older generations, with many cities removing the infrastructure altogether. 

Video Rental Stores

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Video rental stores like Blockbuster fell out of favor with the emergence of streaming platforms, which we find awfully sad. Picking up a movie from a rental store at the weekend was once a popular activity for families, but now the availability of thousands of movies on demand has made them obsolete.

Physical Maps

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According to CBC, a huge number of adults can no longer read maps. Back in the day, this lost skill was essential, as physical maps were the only way of getting around. However, they have now been superseded by GPS and digital mapping apps, which, frankly, are a whole lot more convenient. 

CD and DVD Players

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CD and DVD players are no longer commonly used and have long since been replaced by digital downloads and streaming platforms. Physical media sales have significantly declined, reflecting a shift in how we enjoy music and movies. Barely anyone keeps a physical music or movie collection anymore!

Photo Albums

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Digital photo storage has largely replaced physical albums, which were once a common household item for preserving memories. They are now often replaced by digital frames and cloud storage, which people see as more convenient and useful. However, it’s just not the same.


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Rolodexes were essential for business and networking but have been replaced by digital contact lists and databases. Now, they are seen as antiquated office items and are rarely stocked in stores or used. Good riddance–they were so frustrating to sift through!

Analog Televisions

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The transition to digital and smart TVs led to a rapid decline in analog television sets, which were once a must-have in every home. They are now seen as outdated, seeing as there have been significant advancements in home entertainment. 


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Payphones were once frequently used in many cities and towns, but now, they’ve been completely replaced by emails, text messages, and social media. The Guardian says the last remaining payphones you see now are just a remnant, while some have been turned into mini libraries or contain defibrillators.


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Typewriters were once the standard tool for writing and office work, but after being replaced by more advanced computers and word processors, they are now just a collectible item. However, some people still enjoy the nostalgia and satisfaction of working at an old typewriter.

Printed Encyclopedias

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Printed encyclopedias were the go-to source of information for students and researchers in the past. In modern society, however, they have been largely replaced by online resources like Wikipedia. While rare, they are still sometimes purchased for decorative purposes, but most consider them too clunky to be practical.

Film Cameras

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Film cameras were replaced by digital cameras and smartphone photography, even though they were originally the only method of capturing images. Some enthusiasts and professionals still swear by film photography, which is why they are still in use in some circles.

Personal Cheques

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Checks have become obscure due to online banking and electronic payments, which most people see as far more convenient. They were a common method of payment for goods and services in the past, but very few businesses and individuals still use them today.

Fax Machines

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Fax machines were once very important for business communications, but they have now been replaced almost entirely by email and digital document sharing. They are still used in some sectors and are strangely popular in Japan, but elsewhere, they’re almost non-existent.

Public Libraries

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The last and perhaps saddest thing disappearing from life is public libraries. These safe havens now struggle with funding cuts, with the BBC reporting that they have reduced opening hours, funds, maintenance, staffing, and visitors. This is all a result of competition with extensive digital reading options and online resources, which is heartbreaking for us bookworms.