May 25, 2020 | Maria Cruz

People Share What They Think Will Be Obsolete In Ten Years 

The world is rapidly changing, along with the things we once knew and loved. Cable companies are desperately trying to compete with streaming services. Self-checkout lines are slowly replacing the need for physical cashiers. These and other examples are just some of the few people have picked up on.

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#1 No Coming Back

Print encyclopedias. The Encyclopaedia Britannica announced that it was going to stop publishing print editions in March 2015. For all of the criticism that Wikipedia (perhaps unfairly) gets, it completely changed the game as far as how knowledge is transferred, and I don't think there's any way back from that.


#2 No Longer Viable

I remember one time when I saw some news story where they dumped a bucket of $50 in the form of pennies on the sidewalk. As you can probably guess, no one stopped to pick any up. Frankly, pennies just don't have any value in the eyes of the people. By definition, that means they’re no longer viable as currency.


#3 Better Movements

Car GPSs. I use a Rino GPS walkie talkie when hunting with other people. Every press of the talk button updates your position on devices within range so everyone can see where everyone else is. It allows for better strategic movement without making noise while also making it safer as people know what direction is safe and where everyone is.


#4 Going for a Drive

Hopefully not drivers. Even if self-driving cars become available tomorrow, it will take a long time for them to become affordable. It will take even longer for them to outsell regular cars. It will take longer still for them to become the majority of cars on the road. However, it is possible the companies that hire drivers will adopt the technology faster than the general public.


#5 Lack of Privacy

Privacy. I don't know about Apple, but Android version 7 and higher gives you the ability to control your data a lot better. You'll find most apps work just fine with the unnecessary permissions removed. There's been a lot of Facebook hate lately (justly so), but people seem unaware of how many other apps and services are doing similar things.


#6 More and More Parts

I work at a factory heavily reliant on a man force assembly line. More and more parts are becoming automated every year. So, my plant isn't going to necessarily have a need for me since my job is to put together work instructions and train for new stuff. Some dude two thousand miles away can reprogram the things to do the work and it will take him maybe one-tenth of the time it would take me to prepare, train and show evidence of preparation and training (at least six times a month).


#7 Always Online

Current video games. Paragon was only a few years old and it shut down. There are countless games out there that have since shut down. I've heard the new Hitman is really pretty good, but it's always online despite being a singleplayer game. I don't want to invest time in a game that I can't lovingly revisit in a decade or so. I mean, I just ordered some PS2 cords and games last week and have been enjoying Katamari Damacy . I wanna be able to do that in the future.


#8 Letting it Go

The medical industry won't let fax machines fade into the dust. Ever, apparently. Many doctors' offices and hospital systems won’t release information via email or even electronic record systems. They insist on having wet-signed releases of information and will only fax (or insist on USPS), not use electronic record distribution.

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#9 Ticking Away

I work as a clock repairman and I can see the selling of mechanical clocks eventually becoming obsolete. Repairing them will still be around for years until younger generations no longer pay to keep them going and end up throwing them away. On the other hand, mechanical watches, I believe, will always be around.

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#10 Tuning In

Television companies will still be around, I just don’t think they’ll be cable TV companies anymore. You're going to see more and more companies that integrate content production, distribution, and delivery. Verizon and Comcast are already doing this and other media companies are rapidly trying to do the same thing.

We've already seen Disney buy tons of other studios and media brands and begin working on their own streaming service. Don't be surprised when they start looking to acquire a huge telecommunications company. Also, as bad as cable companies are, there's no reason to expect the new mega-media companies will be any better (or God forbid, even as good) compared to them.


#11 Real Buttons

I hope phones with actual buttons don’t go away. Typing on a physical keyboard is still miles better than a touchscreen in terms of feel, accuracy, speed, etc. I wouldn't even need to look at the screen in the old days because you knew what you were pressing from the feel of it. Nowadays, I constantly have to make sure my fat fingers don't type “U” instead of “I.”

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#12 I’ll Write You a Check

I work at a bank and I think it’ll be writing checks. With the popularity of cards, ACH payments, and online bill pay rising, I can see checks slowly fading out. The older generation is holding tight but once they’re gone, the new generation will stick to electronic banking. Checks are a huge window to get scammed. Most people have literally all of their personal information on the top of their checks and all of their banking info on the bottom. Why people still continue to use them is beyond me, but I sincerely hope they become obsolete soon.



#13 The Football State

Maybe not in the next decade or so, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if football and the NFL entirely are vastly different than they are today. With all the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) research coming out, I truly think you'll start seeing more and more parents not allowing their children to play.


#14 Serving Next in Line

Bank tellers. I was a teller for over three years and saw my machine overlords begin to be installed. Sure, there will be bankers and likely one "lead teller" always available for the three hours a day that banks are open, but “enhanced” ATMs are replacing tellers daily. I don't think they'll even make it 10 years.


#15 In One Place

Shopping malls. Don’t get me wrong, I honestly love them, but they just keep refusing to innovate. They used to have the same Sears store, JCPenney etc., which were completely stuck in the past. When done correctly, they are very cool, though. If you think about it, a ton of stores in one place is a great thing.


#16 New Design

Reddit. If the new redesign is anything to go by, they’re desperate to increase the view count on posts and increase ad revenue. Visit Reddit in incognito mode, the default design is the new redesign, and they have a small popup at the top giving you the option to visit the old design. They want new users to use the new design. I see no other reason why they decided to make such a drastic change to their layout.

Reddit must be in need of more cash flow and saw that the old layout wasn't helping. Most hate the new design and won't use it. New users might be caught up in the new look, but who knows if the engagement will last as Reddit in the new look is just another social media site. If it gets desperate and forces the new look onto existing users, we might see another Digg migration.


#17 A Need to Innovate

Youtube may be on the brink. They’ve been pushing big efforts towards their TV service, but I don't see it gaining much traction. They need to innovate in other ways. That and the fact that they pick and choose to cater their brand. In the end, it isn’t helping their cause to many users who prefer to view specific content.


#18 Keeping the Tradition Alive

I’d have to say that I think traditional casts for broken bones will soon be a thing of the past. 3D printing will make lighter more breathable customized casts. It’s too late for me. I broke my wrist as a kid and they set it wrong. I have no cartilage left, so I hope they come up with something before the whole thing fails.

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#19 A Rapid Pace

People who do stuff like data entry, case processing and basically anything computer-based. Offices are fast becoming like factories with far more automation taking the strain of this kind of stuff. The technological age is basically doing what the industrial age did when we started putting machinery in factories. You can replace teams of people with machines and robots. The same applies to computer-based work and it's accelerating at a rapid pace.

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#20 Here to Stay

My prediction is that CDs will eventually fade, but vinyl will stick around. CDs don't really have anything to offer that digital download and streaming doesn't (except in some quality cases). The latter comes with added convenience. Vinyl, on the other hand, has a completely different aesthetic and experience.


#21 Burger Robots

McJobs. In 10+ years, robots will be flipping burgers because kids don't want those kinds of jobs anymore. A burger-flipping robot may cost about $350,000, but it'll pay for itself in the first fiscal quarter. It won't take sick leave. It won't quit in the middle of a busy shift. It doesn't require health insurance. It'll never claim worker's comp. It'll just keep flipping burgers, making sandwiches and cooking fries 24/7, forever.


#22 Housing Market

I think it’ll probably be real estate agents. In my experience, most are pretty much useless middle-men who take about six percent commission on hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing virtually nothing. They then drive up the already-exorbitant prices in the housing market by tens of thousands of dollars.


#23 Fraction of the Cost

I think mattress stores and the current mattress industry is going to go extinct very rapidly. Their business model is terrible. They’re overpriced and buying a mattress is a complete pain. You have to haggle for the price and because of the way the mattress companies name their models, it’s impossible to accurately compare prices.

Already some of the memory foam mattresses you can buy from Amazon are cutting deeply into their sales. They’re one-third of the price and deliver it right to your door. If a company comes along and can sell quality mattresses at a fair price in a convenient manner, the mattress store industry is going to be gone.

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#24 Wage Gap

The middle class. The wage gap between rich people and everyone else is increasing massively. The cost of living is increasing as well, to the point most people I know have to make sacrifices they've never had to think about before. It's the essentials that are increasing in cost; groceries, housing, transportation.


#25 Its Physical Form

Physical newspapers will burn out. But digital ones are going to stay around for a very long time. I live in a smaller city in Indiana and we have digital and physical newspapers. The digital subscription is super cheap and you can read the articles as soon as they’re finished. It’s the best way to get local news.


#26 Meeting New People

Making new friends randomly in public situations. We're already so connected all the time, people tend to stick to their existing group wherever they go, in whatever they do. In lines, at bus stops, on the phone. Friendships may happen through pursued online connections, meeting a friend of a friend at a gathering, activity, workplace, etc. But I think the "randomly struck up a conversation with someone while waiting in line and made a new friend" isn’t happening. They even have derogatory labels like "rando" now...


#27 Selling New Books

Barnes and Noble or other book stores that sell new books. B&N isn’t competitive with their pricing, they don’t really have sales unless you’re part of their paid yearly membership, and they don’t even match their own online prices. I can’t understand how a physical bookstore selling books for full price can be around much longer.


#28 Charting the Change

Checks are already a thing of the past for most things in the UK. I haven’t actually written a check in at least ten years if not more. Here’s something fun that just occurred to me, too. I've used so few checks in my lifetime that the little slips that stay in the checkbook chart the change in my handwriting over the years.


#29 Major Streaming Services

If I’m being honest, I do believe that the cable companies will eventually go away. But, we’ll more than likely end up with 60 different streaming services. These services will also compete with each other and eventually consolidate into a few major streaming services that will be comparable to cable television.


#30 Game Stores for Games

I think GameStop. My local mall GameStop barely has games now. They have three little shelves for switch, PS4, and Xbox One and the rest of the store is T-shirts, Funko Pops, and other nerd merch. It's always empty. However, the Game Trader down the road from it is packed with games from every generation and is always super busy. The only merch they have is a little rack of video game themed keychains and some imported figurines. It's almost as if people go to game stores for games and not Funko Pops…

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#31 Massive Advantages

I don’t think anyone can argue that there are some things that are still nice to have in print, which is why so many books still exist. However, encyclopedias aren't nice to have in print. Being able to keep an encyclopedia constantly updated and search its entire text in seconds are massive advantages over print.


#32 The CTE Conversation

Potentially American football. CTE studies are becoming more and more rampant with people younger and younger being found to have brain damage. It's just not a sustainable practice and even though I love the sport, I can’t help but feel like some kind of electronic alternative will begin making its way onto the scene. Something somewhere between football and esports. It'll be interesting to see where the CTE conversation takes us.


#33 Better Picture

Cameras that aren't at least mid-to-high end. Smartphones are competitive in quality with an increasingly wide swath of the low end and returns are already diminishing rapidly if you want to go beyond what today's flagship phones can do. Plus, it's really hard to justify bringing along an actual camera if you're not getting a significantly better picture.


#34 Robotic Assistance

The majority of open heart surgery. At the rate heart surgery is advancing and the development of robotic assist machines, I believe the opening on the chest cavity for heart surgery will no longer be required in the majority of surgical cases. Our hospital implemented a TAVR procedure last year which allows surgeons to completely replace a heart valve by entering the heart through a major artery. It's insane to watch the speed in which medicine advances.

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#35 Taking Over

My current job at a plastics factory. The machines do so much of it already, pretty much all we do is check a couple of pieces and put them in the shipping box. On a couple of machines, they even fill the box and send it down the belt for me to just tape up, slap a label on it and put it on a pallet! In the next 10 years or so, it'll be all automated to the point that we won't even have to check the pieces for contamination or short shots. I'm not ready for all these machines taking over a lot of my work.


#36 Arcades for Adults

Chuck E. Cheese. Kids don't want to play arcade games. Adults who had nothing better to do when they were kids but play arcade games do, however. They should reconvert all their old franchises into arcades for adults and I think they'd see an uptick in business. They can even let kids still come during the day or something, but at night, stay open, serve drinks, and let people buy a ton of tokens.

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#37 Impending Doom

I legitimately think it’ll be cashiers who get the boot in about ten years. This job is right up there with paying someone to pump your gas (which is now very rare in the U.S.). We now have an increase in online shopping, in-store pickup options and highly sophisticated self-checkout stations (like Amazon, for example).

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#38 Logging Off

Social media and being online 24/7. I think the internet is going to be much different in 10 years, or at least the whole mentality of it. I hope it goes back to how it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s. You'd go on the internet to do what you needed and you got off and lived your life. Today it's a constant, ever-looming entity.

Going outside and talking face-to-face is going to be cool again. Kids these days are growing up with parents who have their faces glued to their phones non-stop and I think they're going to be kind of resentful. It's starting now with Facebook; kids under 18 don't have a Facebook, and if they do, it's one their mom made them when they were an infant.


#39 Rapid Change

Humans. Either temperatures will keep rising, making food production more difficult, or enough volcanic ash hits the atmosphere to start the next ice age. If that happens, it could block enough insolation to cut food production back to the equatorial range. Maybe we get lucky for another couple of solar cycles with really low sunspot activity, but many options for rapid change are lining up. Rapid change messes up everything for us.


#40 Glued to Technology

Backpacker hostels. With the rise of Airbnb and its popularity, within 10 years, people would rather stay at a local house for a cheaper price. I work at a worldwide hostel chain and can tell you 98% of people are in their rooms or in the lounge glued to technology. Five years ago, hostels were all about meeting other people and having fun.


#41 Different Directory

Print directories, such as the Yellow Pages. I once worked for a publishing company that published a “Yellow Pages-modeled” directory of charities for planned giving (the intended market was estate planners, funeral parlours, etc.). It blew my mind that they still printed as many as they did when every year they would recycle several thousand copies.


#42 Close to Obsolescence

Paper checks. Or at least they'll be much closer to obsolescence. I'm 38 and I've used a debit card my whole adult life. I had a checkbook for things that required it, but those things are becoming few and far between. I worked retail (AutoZone) as recently as 2015, and in the year and a half I worked there I saw maybe five checks. It was hard to remember how to even ring them up. We had the EFT scanner that would stamp the check as paid. People would look mildly confused when I handed it right back to them with the receipt.

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#43 Going Digital

Traditional film x-rays. Digital x-rays have come a long way, now producing much higher quality images and film. Also, they’re much more convenient and efficient between the speed of receiving a readable image and transferring the images to whoever needs them. Plus, they remove the need for processors, chemicals, and other equipment and supplies.


#44 Mob Mentality

It’s a little scary, but thinking for yourself. There seems to be a rather strong trend toward mob mentality these days due to the parasite that is social media. People are convinced to believe all sorts of incorrect nonsense and have absolutely zero desire to think objectively about the issue or verify it for themselves.


#45 Becoming a Novelty

CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays. They're already an "endangered species" in terms of technology. A lot of new computers and TV equipment don't bother with them and they're being quickly replaced by streaming technology and personal devices. Soon, they'll be a novelty or something for enthusiasts, like cassettes and vinyl.


#46 Unique Advantage

I can't decide if paying for cable will become obsolete. I'm 24 and so are my roommates and we don't have cable yet. We watch shows and movies all the time. None of our friends have cable either. My parents still have it, but I think they mostly have it for news and sports. So, I could see cable sticking around but transitioning to primarily live broadcasts because, at least the way I see it, that's the only unique advantage that cable has.

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#47 Moving Online

Universities as campuses (somewhere near a decade or two). They’ll move online. All the information you need to complete any college education is already online. Universities just package it poorly. As they move online, courses will get even more specialized and likely shorter than in the past. Hopefully, the day will come where degrees aren’t needed and actual proficiency and mastery are the standards.


#48 Wireless Payment

. There's already no need to actually put them in the machine. You just bump your wallet against it and it registers. I imagine there will be some form of wireless payment method that is connected to something that you're wearing 24/7. I also think that it won’t just be a card. It could be any item that's large enough to hold a chip and a spool of wire.


#49 Work From Home

Possibly commuting to work. For most jobs where computer work makes up the majority of the work day, employee presence in the office is no longer required. Employees can do the same work by telecommuting. Large companies are already starting to implement "work from home" policies, where assigned desks are removed and workers are encouraged to telecommute between one to three days each week. The supposed benefits of these policies included reduced costs for office spaces, fewer sick days, and access to a broader talent pool.


#50 Making Bail

I haven't researched it much, but I think bails bondsman companies will be gone. In my area, police departments and jails are starting this in house, and it only makes sense. Let them pay 10% directly to get out. If you think someone is a risk, make them stay. If someone doesn't show, send an officer to get them.

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