There comes a time in all of our lives when we realize that we’ve just got too much stuff. It’s everywhere; a catalog of all the things we’ve spent our money in over the years. Bits of old electronics adorn all our cupboards. Gadgets are strewn all over our sheds and studies. We’re inundated.
But do we really need all that old stuff? Or could we make do with a lot less? Ironically, it’s all this new technology that’s actually streamlined what we have and making our lives more simple. New technology has allowed us to consolidate what we have into a smaller and smaller space. The following are all the things you once needed but don’t any more thanks to tech.
Pagers – Before Apple launched what we now call the smartphone in 2007, there was a rumor the company was working on a strange device. The company was going to move beyond making its Mac and its iPod to something new. The new device would be a mixture of a cell phone and a pager. It would combine the two devices into one.
Well, we all know what happened next. Apple did combine the two devices – and then some. But that meant that pagers suddenly went from hot technology to zero in a matter of months.
Printed Bills And Bank Statements – Do you remember getting bills through the post every month or so? Well, that all came crashing to a stop with the advent of online banking. Thanks to modern technology, none of us need to hold on to old printed bills and bank statements. If you’re still on this old system, it’s time to get rid of it. Every major bank now does online banking, and it makes all of our lives a lot more convenient.
Fax Machine – It was once thought that the fax machine would be the communication device of the future. The fax was actually a far more simple technology than landline phones. But the idea never caught on as much as landline phones. Though faxing did become a thing in the 1980s and 1990s, it never really matured. Once the internet arrived, it was practically obsolete. There’s no reason to have one of these things anymore, so it’s time to relinquish yourself of it.
Dictionaries – There was a time when you needed a dictionary if you wanted to find out the meaning of a word. And that time was not so long ago. How things change? Now our smartphones are pocket dictionaries, as well as everything else. And more often than not, they’re able to predict what word we want to use. Even more scarily, they’re able to insert the right word when we’ve used the wrong word.
Newspaper Subscription – Once upon a time, a paperboy would put a paper on your front door every morning for you to read. And while this pastime still continues, it’s becoming rarer. No industry has suffered more than the newspaper industry in the era of the smartphone. Sales are down across the board and once mighty establishment players are struggling. It’s all because of apps like Flipboard, Feedly, and Google’s new offering. These apps are also a lot better than what we had before because they’re customized. In other words, we get all the news that we want. So get rid of that newspaper subscription and join the smartphone era. It’s free.
E-readers – Wait a second, aren’t’ e-readers supposed to be a modern technology? Weren’t they the thing that replaced books? Yes, they were. But now it seems that e-readers themselves have been superseded by a more advanced technology – the smartphone.
One of the big appeals of e-readers is the fact that the screen can be read in full sunlight. And some people just prefer the look of the pages anyway. But there’s no denying that other, more general devices can effectively do the same thing. You can quite easily read a book on a smartphones or tablet. And you have the added convenience of only having to carry around one device. But don’t worry: you haven’t wasted your money. Sites like www.buybackexpress.com/sell-electronics/ reimburse people for their old e-readers.
CD Collection – There was once a time when people proudly displayed their CD collection of music or video games or whatever. But now that all the music on Earth can fit on a handheld device it all sort of seems pointless. Of course, some people like to have their music on display. But most of us would rather just have more space, without all the clutter infesting our homes. It’s easy to copy the music on your CDs onto your computer or some other device. Then you can get rid of the physical CDs and keep the music.
Check Books – Last year Apple launched their new Apple Pay service. Other smartphone manufacturers soon followed suit. It marked a transitional point in our history. We found out that wallets would soon also be gobbled up by smartphones.
Although that hasn’t happened yet, one thing has happened. Check books are now obsolete. Anybody can make a bank transfer to anybody else, through a banking website. They can, if they want, also avoid banks entirely and pay somebody through Paypal.
Address Book – In the past, you had two options. Either you could memorize the phone numbers of your contacts, or you could write them down. People used to have alphabetical address books where they would physically write in their contacts. That was the old way. Now there’s no reason to have an address book to keep other people’s details. It’s all on your phone, as you know.
The Yellow Pages – Just like we no longer need an address book of our personal contacts, we don’t need one of people we don’t know either. Social media has opened up contact details for the vast majority of people. And those details are often a lot more complete and up to date than in the Yellow Pages. Big Yellow Pages books took up an enormous amount of space in our homes. They were drawer-filling beasts, and we’ll be glad to see the back of them.
Disposable Cameras – Disposable cameras were once all the rage. Here was a camera that cost next to nothing that you could take with you on trips. It was great for when you had to snap pictures on a geography expedition or when you were on holiday. But even though they were cheap, they couldn’t keep up with the new smartphone competition.
Encyclopedias – It might surprise you to learn that there was an internet before the internet. It was called an encyclopedia. And it was often a set of colossal books that sat on a shelf somewhere in your house. What was more, they cost a fortune.
And there were a couple of problems with encyclopedias. The first was that you had to search for what you wanted manually. You had to leaf through the index or the contents page by hand. And often it took a while. The second problem was that there were gatekeepers. Everything you read had gone through a thousand filters. If you wanted to know something about the world, you had to get it in a sterilized form. Of course, nobody needs massive encyclopedias anymore. They can learn about events across the world through social media.
Photograph Albums – There was once a time when the only way to keep your photos was in a physical photo album. These were usually leather-bound and quite expensive. And you had to spend hours carefully filing your photos into all of the hundreds of little sleeves inside. Of course now, digital albums are available. And like so many digital technologies, they’re better than their analog equivalents. Digital albums are customizable, searchable and editable.
Maps – You might not remember, but maps used to take up a huge amount of space and cost a lot of money. But what’s so strange is that paper maps were used by the majority of people as late as 2009. That gives you an idea of how fast things can change. Now paper maps have been made largely obsolete. Perhaps there’s the odd need for one when you’re hiking off road away from civilization. But other than that, it’s the ubiquitous smartphone to the rescue again. And as with other things, the smartphone version isn’t just more convenient; it’s better. After all, paper maps never had a dot on them telling you where you were all the time.
Your Smartphone – I’ve just spent this whole post arguing that you don’t need all this stuff because of smartphones. And now I’m saying that you no longer need a smartphone? Well, yes, I am.
Technology is moving on at an ever greater clip. And the smartphone? Well, it’s been around a while. Nearly ten years in fact. And that’s a long time in the world of technology. Recently both Apple and Samsung launched their new smartwatches. And although they haven’t disrupted things yet, they will do as they get better. It’s clear that wearables will soon start to replace smartphones as they become ever more capable. Will your smartphone become just more clutter?