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Times change. We all know that, but in the past, we’ve had a bit more time to get used to those changes before something new comes down the pike.

For the past decade, our world and technology have been changing so fast and so often that it can seem like a whirlwind – and these 12 things that have gone all but obsolete are the proof in the pudding.

12. We all knew how to read maps!

Printing out your route from Mapquest before leaving the house.

Seems like there was one year where every car was guaranteed to have a Mapquest printout on the right front passenger seat.

And somehow mapquest was always wrong. Even if by just one street.

11. No way this happens today.

I remember 25 years ago getting on a plane and realized I forgot some important paperwork in the car.

The flight attendant let me get off the plane and I ran through the terminal and out to the parking lot to my car to retrieve it.

Then quickly ran back in, zipped past the security screener, out onto the tarmac and climbed up the stairs to the plane.

It was a rather small airport so it took less than 5 minutes. But I doubt I’d be allowed to do that today.

10. It’s been a wild ride.

Email has almost gone full circle in terms of usefulness in communication… (edit: personal communication, i.e. not work/professional/school. I clarifyed that at the end, but some responses suggest that point was missed)

2000: Email is common, but it’s not something people check very often. Easy way to disseminate information to a lot of people at once, but not great if you want/need instant feedback.

2010: Everyone has email and smartphones are becoming the norm, so everyone has email access at all times. With the limitations of SMS, is a popular and efficient way to do group conversions.

2020: Social media and dedicated messaging platforms have taken over, email is little but a vast wasteland of spam, so people stop paying attention it and don’t check it very often.

9. All of airports.

Waiting for your loved ones at the GATE rather than the luggage pickup.

I think low security is even overstating how bad it was.

My airport had 2 guys with those handheld metal detectors they casually waved and often times they just waved kids under 10 through.

Anyone could walk down to the gate with you without a ticket.

8. Or face the fine!

Rewinding movies when you’re done watching them.

BE KIND, REWIND

7. Do those still exist?

Teen magazines (Tiger Beat, M, Mad…) that you could take posters out of and hang in your room.

6. You know you still do this.

Blowing into video games to fix them.

5. We were very dedicated to our mix tapes.

Buying a stack of blank Cd’s so you can make your own custom mixes.

4. And AskJeeves!

Using Yahoo to search for things.

Or repeatedly signing up for 15 free hours of AOL using a spoofed credit card number and a fake name.

3. Or clicking the numbers multiple times.

T9 texting.

Having the keys memorized so you could text like Matt Damon in “The Departed”.

2. I barely remember doing this.

Switching to channel 3 to play video games.

1. It was good and bad.

Not freaking out when someone calls you out of nowhere.

Or comes by your place without messaging first.

It’s so, so crazy to think about our changing world in these terms.

Is this what getting old is like? I guess I’m there!


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