The internet is nothing short of a modern marvel—everyone connected in time and space and just about every bit of information organized into a giant database, available to anyone who has access. Also, so many cat videos.
It plays a part in almost every aspect of our daily existence. But the entertainment and convenience it gives us don’t come without a price (besides your monthly internet charges).
There are things that are gone now because of the internet. Not all have vanished completely, but have become much less popular, like people reading books, for example. We all still have access to books (still free at your local library!) but because most of us spend so much time on our phones and computers, playing games and posting on social media, there’s not as much need for the distraction that books provide.
Think about how different our lives are then they were a few decades ago. So much change can’t come without throwing a few things by the wayside. So while we’ve come to rely on the internet, let’s pour out a few books in honor of the things we’ve had to sacrifice.
1. RIP “No spoilers.”
Being able to avoid spoilers for big movies.
2. RIP bulletin boards.
When I was a kid there were local Bulletin Board Systems. We chatted, we left messages, arranged Doom death matches and played Door games.
Then you’d see those people in real life, at school and user meetups. It was all local.
3. RIP telling jokes.
Having a mental catalog of great jokes that most people hadn’t heard. It was so much fun to drop a few at parties and get some laughs.
4. RIP privacy.
Going through life without worrying about somebody taking a video of you and positing it for everybody to see.
5. RIP idiots not sharing their thoughts far and wide.
If you were exceedingly dumb or had terrible ideas, your reach was really only your direct circle of friends. Now idiots can broadcast their ideas across the planet with a click
6. RIP movie rental stores.
I’m seeing a few people say movie rental stores. I think specifically the moment when Mom and Dad say “let’s go rent movies tonight” and you knew you were in for a night of staying up late and eating junk food.
7. RIP video game secrets.
Video game secrets. It was really cool hearing kids talk about “if you beat every person in a row without losing, you fight a secret boss” in street fighter 2. And the only way youd actually know for sure is it lf it happened in front of you
And being the first to spead news of secrets and easter eggs among your group of freinds.
Now you can look up whatever you want to know, and where to find any object in almost every game there is.
I miss playground rumors. And when games had genuine mystery.
8. RIP time off.
There is now a work culture of always being reachable by email or text for whatever happens. A lot of places expect you to be pretty much on call even when you’re not at the office anymore. I worked at an ad agency where days off sometimes didn’t even feel like that, because I would still be getting emails about things and was expected to be checking them. There should be some level of balance between work and personal life and I feel like that is fading because so many places are adapting this type of culture, especially start-ups.
9. RIP Saturday morning cartoons.
Saturday Morning Cartoons. As I get older, I realize the ritual of a thing is just as important as the actual thing itself. It’s not just about the cartoons. Watching them as an adult, many of the cartoons from the 80’s and early 90’s we’re terrible. Rather it was the “event” of Saturday Morning Cartoons that I miss.
My daughters can watch whatever they want whenever they want to watch it. They don’t know what it is like to have to waitfor a week for a new episode. They usually just binge their shows whenever they want. If my kids want to spend the entire weekend watching My Little Pony, they can. And they can to it the week after, too. They don’t know what it is like to miss an episode of Power Rangers because it was now scheduled at 7am instead of 6:30 and I had to leave for school.
They also don’t have to watch TV together. They can just watch whatever on their phones or tablets or on the TV in the living room. NOTHING (except my wife and I) stop them from consuming the specific entertainment that they want.
10. RIP arguments that ended in phone calls to experts.
My dad says he misses having arguments with friends which could only be resolved by phoning whoever was most knowledgeable on a subject e.g. Did you know lightning travels upwards? No it goes down! Let’s phone your dad, he’s a meteorologist.
11. RIP stopping by.
Just going over to your friends house or the park unannounced to see if they were there and hang out.
12. RIP yard sales.
Yard sales, garage sales and flea markets.
People still have them, but it’s way harder to find stuff at a good price. Ebay and Amazon have ruined that, because everybody just looks up what things are selling for. And sometimes Ebay is ridiculously inflated.
I found a rare Nerf gun that we had been looking for at a flea market once, and the lady was charging $150, because that was the going rate on eBay. People are always selling action figures in crappy condition for $20, because they don’t realize that that price is mint-in-box, and all of the arms and legs are required. Like, I just wanna grab a TMNT toy for my kids. I’m not paying $20 for your broken toy.
It used to be about persistence and digging up a good deal somewhere. Now, I may as well just buy it off of Ebay. The cost is the same and my house smells better than most of the people at the flea markets…
13. RIP AOL chatrooms.
Around 2006-ish, the internet moved from being a way to talk to new people to a way to keep talking to people you already know. That’s super useful and all, but there was a lot to be said for building friendships with total strangers who you only knew by a username, but would still chat to every night. It was part of the internet of discovery rather than the internet of familiarity.
I miss it, at times. It was nice to have it be so easy to build those connections.
14. RIP photo albums.
Photo albums. My parents have all these awesome albums from when they were kids, and then when they got married and then from my childhood. I love leafing through them when I’m at their house.
My own photos are all on Facebook or Instagram and it’s not the same at all.
15. RIP concerts.
I miss when concerts didn’t have a sea of people filming a video from their phone
16. RIP concert tickets.
I miss the days it was actually possible to buy most concert tickets without hovering over a mouse button waiting until the precise moment they go on sale and without competing with bots.
17. RIP books.
Reading a book before bed. Now I mostly surf the web until I get tired.