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Reddit Asks the Question: 'What really cool thing was killed by modern technology?'

By Petr Knava | reddit | May 24, 2017 |

By Petr Knava | reddit | May 24, 2017 |

In which Reddit tells everyone to get off its lawn (and I… find myself agreeing with it mostly…)


Those signs at train stations/airports that made the clicky sound. Those that were used before they used screens.

Those were beautiful.


Old school telephones. Slamming the handset down on the heavy cubed base when you were mad.


The freedom to fuck up unnoticed.


Imagine what presidential elections will look like in 2048.

99% of people who tried to run would end up with their old dick and tit pics getting leaked all over the internet.

Every stupid text ever sent to an angry ex will end up in the public domain.

Those cool “look at ‘so and so’ back during their time at harvard will be replaced with pictures of them passed out drunk on the floor having pissed themselves under a pile of bottles.


Seeking out information. My uncle used to listen to long-wave radio broadcast from Eastern Europe during the Cold War and would write to these stations asking about life in these countries. He has an amazing collection of pins and english-language propaganda and signed letters from higher-ups in state run radio stations from communist countries.

Now we just google everything. 1000% more efficient, 10,000% less interesting.


This will sound weird, but Urban Legends. All those scary stories that kids and teens told each other… there was no easy way to check on it. The world felt a little more exciting and dangerous. More magical. Now you just go on Snopes and you don’t have that hours long conversation at your sleepover, debating whether or not it’s even possible to die from Coke and Pop Rocks.

I mean don’t get me more I love having my questions answered, and I love the age of information. But sometimes it was so special when we didn’t have access to so many answers. It was fun to try to work it out for ourselves.


Being able to memorize phone numbers like a roladex


Taking pictures of your arse on cameras people left unattended - always funny when they got the film developed a couple of weeks later.


Finding a porno mag in the bushes.


I’m surprised nobody has mentioned mixtapes yet.. I really miss the times where you’d hand your crush a cassette that you recorded for them.


Sending letters to penpals in the mail.


Getting your photos back after developing. I’ve bought my kids cheap point and shoot film cameras and they love getting their photos back from the shop.


Four player, split-screen video games. I love playing online but it just isn’t as good as having all your mates over and playing on the same screen.


The ability to be completely unreachable for hours and hours each day and not have people lose their shit. I’d jump on my bike on a Saturday and go out with my friends and my parents would have no way to locate or contact me.


Pushing someone into a pool who is fully clothed. Used to be a fun prank. Now it’s expensive.


Getting a fat, glossy monthly magazine related to your interests.

I have fond memories of the excitement of seeing the latest issue of Your Sinclair, easily the greatest video games mag that ever existed.


Concerts, put your fucking phone away and enjoy the damn show.


Products that were built to last.
Now everything is designed to break.


Friends showing up randomly at your house to see if you wanna hang out.


Console games you can just switch on and start playing right away. No system updates, day one patches, home screens, store pages, advertisements etc. just put the game into the device, hit the power button and you are ingame.


Blockbuster. It was never about the movie, it was the whole experience. I remember getting bummed out when the New Releases section was out of stock with what I wanted, but then you get to strolling along the aisles; action, drama, comedy, taking it all in. Holding each case in your hand, reading the description, knowing you got one choice so it better be good. I miss it, I miss a whole lot of things. Though I do like the convenience of being a weekend hermit every now and then, entire libraries at my fingertips and I don’t even gotta put pants on. It’s a beautiful thing.




Petr Knava
lives in London and plays music

Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.