The things that became obsolete in the 2000s
03 April 2015

The things that became obsolete in the 2000s

Every decade we lose things and gain things. Let's look back at the 2010s.

We take a look back at technologies that became obsolete in the 2000s. The smartphone and tablet and other new gadgets have had a major impact on changing our lives. Every decade we lose things and gain things. Let's look back at the 2010s.


Text messaging, BlackBerry Messaging, Instant Messaging, Tweeting, Google Wave-ing, and emailing have taken over communication. The popularity of text messaging is gradually edging out calling.

Americans sent more than 110 billion text messages in December 2008, double the number in the last month of 2007 and it just keeps accelerating.

Classified Newspaper Ads and Newspaper Advertising

Not only have ad dollars followed audiences online, but the expansion of Craigslist -- from one city, San Francisco, to over 500 -- has sent chills down the spines of newspaper publishers everywhere, thinning newspapers and reducing ad sales.

Dial Up Internet

Noisy, slow, erratic, and wired. Nostalgic? Listen to its beeps, fuzz, and hums on YouTube.

Print Encyclopedias

Users have long since traded Britannicas on the bookshelf for the collaboratively-built, online-only Wikipedia. If you take any courses you will thank your lucky stars that Wikipedia and Google exist. I know I do.

Compact Disks and DVD Disks

CDs, and the stores that sold them, have all but been replaced by digital music that can be downloaded online, one track at a time. Along with this trend,  album art cover, the album, and artists with long music careers are becoming a trend of the past.


We are unplugging our landlines at a rapidly accelerating rate. Land lines have become irrelevant to most people.

Cameras Using Physical Film

Digital cameras-- on phones, point-and-shoots, or computers-- are capturing memories, instantly and cheaply. Film cameras and printed pictures have long since disappeared, along with the nasty toxic chemicals that were being used.

The Yellow Pages and Blue Pages

There was a time when "let your fingers do the walking" meant opening a phone book -- not typing in a Google search query. Phone books, address books, and the Yellow Pages have been made obsolete, their information transferred from paper onto smartphones, and the web. Yellow pages have mobile apps but their model for generating revenue has died because Google searches have put them out of business.

Printed Promotional Materials and Catalogs

Earlier in 2010 "spam" came through the mail slot, not into your email inbox or SMS inbox. Times have changed and spam went digital.

Fax Machines

The promise being able to work from home and telecommute into the office did not become a reality. Fax was hot and now it's definitely not. It may be time to take that fax number off your business card.

Cables and Wires

Wireless internet, wireless updating, wireless downloads, wireless charging, wireless headphones: Although wires are still around, they are well on their way to being a thing of the past. Gone are the days of a big draw full of cables for your gadgets. Multiple cables have been replaced by USB, HDMI, and Thunderbolt.

Handwritten Letters and Notes

Love letters, thank you notes, and invitations have gone being hand-written to typed, and from the mailbox to the inbox. Sending online messages is a bargain next to cost of buying a stamp. If you send some people a written note today, they may even think you are being weird.

Dialup Internet Sounds
The BBC takes a family back to the 1990s forcing them to use obsolete technologies.