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Time continues to march forward and the world around us changes, whether we like it or not. While some change is nearly instantaneous and powerful, other is so gradual and subtle that it’s barely noticeable. And before we know it, the things that we took for granted might have become just a memory.

Redditor u/isawillmakeyouhappy sparked an intriguing online discussion after asking people about all of the things, from technology and products to trends, that have “disappeared silently” over the years. Scroll down for a blast from the past and to see what might have gone away without you noticing.

Bored Panda wanted to get to grips with why we feel nostalgia for the technology of the past and whether it's possible to guess what kind of products will stay relevant in the future, so we got in touch with consumer psychology specialist Matt Johnson, Ph.D. He is the host of the marketing psychology blog and the author of ‘Branding that Means Business.' Be sure to check out our interview with Johnson below!

"Research in the psychology of memory has found that our recollection of previous events is generally positive. Overall, memory is kind—especially of distant times like our childhood. This is one of the reasons why nostalgia is so powerful—it's the warm glow of the past, being conjured up into the present moment," Johnson, the host of the marketing psychology blog and the author of 'Branding that Means Business,' told Bored Panda.

Because nostalgia is such a powerful force, some companies use it to market their products. "When it comes to evoking memories through marketing, nostalgia reigns supreme. Brands often employ various strategies, such as using a beloved retro song, reintroducing older product versions, or featuring familiar characters from the past in their advertisements," the consumer psychology expert told us.

"These tactics aim to establish a profound emotional connection with our personal recollections of days gone by. Such connections can significantly influence our future choices and behaviors. One could even argue that Adidas's resurgence in the sneaker market can be attributed to their revival of '80s and '90s shoe models like Superstars and Stan Smiths."

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This isn't the only approach, however. Johnson explained that another subtle method that brands and sometimes even politicians use to harness the power of nostalgia is portraying things as reminiscent of the 'Good Old Days.'

"An excellent example of this is the iconic Coca-Cola commercial from 1971, featuring a diverse group of young adults on a hillside singing in harmony, 'I'd like to teach the world to sing... I'd like to buy the world a Coke.' This commercial, released during a tumultuous period marked by the Vietnam War and civil rights protests, successfully tapped into the collective nostalgia for a simpler and more harmonious era, associating Coca-Cola with this longing sentiment."

#4

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning The capacity to give. I’m not talking in abstract, I’m talking about the possibility to just give things to people.

For instance, before you could just put money in meters in front of car, but they changed it so you had to put a ticket in your car. But then people start to give their tickets with unused time left on them, so they change it again and you have to indicate your license plate on it.
I used to receive what we call restaurant tickets in my countries. These are vouchers given by your company to pay part of your lunch. It was a great thing to give away to homeless people because it was basically money they could only use to eat and not for drugs. Now we have these credits on a card and we can give them anymore.
It was possible to give tickets to people to take the bus, now they are fading away and we have to use an app instead.

Even money is harder to give away. Hard currency is disappearing because it’s becoming that much easier to just pay with your phone anything you need. The end result is that it’s becoming harder to just give money to strangers. Also it makes it that much easier for banks and government to know exactly everything that you buy.

mickdrop , Cheon Fong Liew Report

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GoGoPDX
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree! Who care who pays for the parking spot. If someone pays for 4 hours from that spot, and only uses 2, they should have every right to have some else park there for the remainder 2 hours they paid for! There should be no stipulations in something given to you in exchange for work, like food vouchers. This is all greed from the higher ups in the world.

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#5

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Lifetime licenses….everything is subscription now.

needforspeed5000 , Ron Lach Report

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Brainmas
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is the worst. Just let me play the Sims without waiting half an hour for it to update every single time!

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#6

The rest of the product in bags, jars, and containers. Damn shrinkflation. Everything is slowly reducing in size and going up in price.

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Harley
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When I was young I remember air at the gas station being free. Now they charge for it. Talk about inflation!!

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According to Johnson, it's difficult to say which products or technology will stay relevant in the future. However, he added that "we could get some indication by understanding the degree to which they tap into universal themes of human nature."

He explained: "There's a reason, for example, that the biggest, oldest, and most globally recognized brands have this kind of appeal. For example, Coca-Cola is aligned with 'happiness,' Nike is aligned with 'individual excellence,' and Apple with 'innovation' and 'think differently.' These are perennial themes that could be popular anywhere, anytime, and to anybody," the author of 'Branding that Means Business' shared how these approaches have given these brands longevity.

"This is in contrast to more niche products and brands with a smaller, specialized target market. So while we can't be completely certain, understanding the universal appeal of the brand's associations will be a strong indication of its enduring power."

#7

Pleasantly uncrowded tourist destinations.



There's just too many people, every damn where. I don't want to go anywhere.

IKillZombies4Cash Report

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#8

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Privacy

ThinkShower , cottonbro studio Report

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GoGoPDX
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This didn't go away quietly. It is something we decided to exchange for the convenience of smart phones, apps, computers, social media, "safety" etc.

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#9

Fear of consequences for actions, common sense and being outdoors without havimg to have an activity.

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This post might make you pay more attention to what tech and product trends are going out of fashion around you at this very moment. For instance, most of us probably know deep in our hearts that 3D cinema was a bit of a failed experiment. However, it wasn’t until we were reminded that it existed that we realized just how long it’s been since we’d gone to a 3D movie. 

Similarly, pay phones and phone books used to be ubiquitous around homes and towns pretty much everywhere. But the odds are that very few of us noticed the moment when they were finally phased out. Of course, they still exist in some areas of the world, but elsewhere, it’s hard to compete with easily accessible smartphones and the internet.

#10

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Catalogs, phone books, and checks, designated smoking sections in restaurants.

ETA: Does anyone remember the coin operated horses outside of grocery stores? Because I was trying to think of other things that just went away and I suddenly realized those are no where to be found now.

Wow3332 , Jamie Report

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#12

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Paid lunches. The term 9-5 used to be 8 hours including lunch. now most jobs are 9-6 with no paid lunch. but people still use the term nine to fives

pokemonandgenshin , Mizuno K Report

What our childhoods were like is likely to influence how we feel about certain things, from products to technology. If someone had a difficult childhood, for instance, they might not remember their past environments with fondness.

On the flip side, someone who had a very happy and wholesome upbringing might associate those feelings with the things that surrounded them back then.

That’s why someone might miss the aesthetics or technology of previous decades: they’re artifacts of happy (or happier) times when they had fewer responsibilities and more time to spend with the people they love.

#13

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Kids playing outside.

I grew up playing outside and I just don't see that anymore....

Floridaman9393 , cottonbro studio Report

#14

Common courtesy.

Culutre has tilted toward selfishness and your own experience.

Phrasing like "This is my truth" would be commonplace otherwise. Or an emphasis on niche concerns of the individual.

Dubious_Titan Report

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#15

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Colors of restaurants and fast food. Did anyone else notice how bland McDonald looks now and some other restaurants?

Wonderful-Middle1755 , Mike Mozart Report

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Bill Swallow
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Heck, I remember when Taco Bell had a seven-color logo. It was very festive, like a small Mexican village during a fiesta!

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However, it’s far from healthy to constantly think about the past. If you’re always reminding yourself how much ‘better’ things used to be, then you’ve gotten stuck in a nostalgic rut. It’s a warped view because we’re only focusing on the positives.

This can make you blind to genuinely good life opportunities and relationships in your present. Nostalgia is best enjoyed in small amounts when you need to quickly boost your mood and help you get through some tough moments.

Worrying about how everything was so much better a few decades ago, however, is exhausting and can make you less likely to embrace genuine improvements in tech. Being grateful for what you do have is an antidote to this. And if you have the patience and willingness to learn new skills and adapt to an ever-changing world, you might find that the present can be pretty darn great, too.

#16

Actual ownership, of anything. It's all sold as a service now a days.

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Ash
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i still own a whole bunch of dvds, because i wanted to make sure that i always had access to those movies and didn't have to like, rent them online or something. now i don't have access to them anyway because i don't have a dvd player or even a dvd drive in my laptop. i can only watch what i can find on amazon, netflix, etc. It feels very precarious.

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#17

All the phone numbers I had locked in my memory.

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Ash
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i recently made myself memorize my roommate's cell phone number, because if i'm ever stuck and don't have my phone, that's the one number i'm going to need to be able to call.

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#18

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Mechanical credit card machines that took an imprint then you had to sign.

optoph , South_Dakota_Boy Report

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ckcl
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Some cards still have the raised numbers that allow this to work. Others are totally flat.

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#19

The happiness we had in childhood

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#20

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Ringtones

yeahsurealright- , Tofros.com Report

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Sand Ers
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Normal people figured out that paying more for a tiny scrap of a song then you'd pay for the whole thing was a scam in plain sight.

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#21

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Predictability

The Milkman, the Paperboy, Evening TV

PhatRender-R , srgpicker Report

#22

Being able to purchase even the most simple things, without having to give up all your personal info..

Hell, they at least ask for a name when you want a nasty burger from any fast food joint..

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#23

Original screenwriting

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#24

Rock radio stations. I live in a town with 1m ppl and there isn't a single rock station that isn't classic rock

BigBillyGoatGriff Report

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Kali Chaos
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The utter tragedy of being on a road trip, radio constantly scanning and never settling on anything remotely tolerable. Time to crank the ol' Discman to full volume, wrap it in three sweatshirts to prevent skips and plug it into the black cassette.

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#25

US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's massive gambling debt

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#26

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Garage sales, and a local newspaper that lists where they are on.

There was a time a furnished half my house and filled my kitchen from garage sales.

bourneidentikit , Clem Onojeghuo Report

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#28

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Soooo much in games. Cheat codes, unlockable cosmetics, DLC that isn't just a veiled micro transaction. Games being sold for 60 us dollars.

Kuma9194 , Alexander Kovalev Report

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Zedrapazia
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To be fair, in some games I can understand the price raise. I mean, games keep having better graphics, smarter enemy AIs, bigger maps (open world for example) and more realistic animations. I understand why those cost more because it takes more resources to make them, and even though I don't like it, I also understand why some content is cut due to the time limits the development has. However, this only goes for actually large games such as Baldur's Gate 3 or the recent Final Fantasy titles, there's absolutely no reason why some random effortless CoD, Fifa or Pokémon should cost that damn much.

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#29

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Missing people on milk containers.

No-Singer4938 , sklov113 Report

#30

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Bugs, especially on the car windshield. I'm somewhat horrified thinking about how much bug juice was on the car's windshield and grill when I was a kid, but today my own vehicle is very clean.

chairitable , John Flannery Report

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Ron Man
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Still lots of bugs. Modern cars have windshields with a different angle now. Bugs either go over the top or shoot to the sides instead of splatting.

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#31

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Cigarette lighters/ashtrays in cars

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#32

A customer came to pick his car up from the shop last week and asked if we took checks. I'm like...nah dog. He was bitching about it, but then pulled his debit card out that's attached to the same bank account and swiped it no problem. Like...why?

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Carole G.
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because a check may take your $ out in a couple of days. Debit is instantaneous.

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#33

Laundry detergent ads talking about how the detergent was good at removing grass stains from children's clothes.

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#37

Courtesy to film horizontally

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Peter Trudell Jr
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I saw a comedy bit a few years ago (5?) that was about getting people to shoot pictures landscape instead of portrait. I'm a photographer... it bugs the hell out of me when people default to portrait...

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#38

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning AOL messenger (and ICQ). I used to love having people pop in and message me on these apps. ICQ was great because it allowed for people on AOL, yahoo, MSN, etc. to communicate. Sad that it just disappeared. I met so many great people.

Linux4ever_Leo , CYB3RPOL1CE Report

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Little Wonder
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I miss ICQ, it used to have a random chat option where you could connect with just some other user who also had it turned on. 9 times out of 10 it was some dude who wanted to talk about his penis, but sometimes you could meet cool people.

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#39

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning The plastic caps on the bottom of 2 liter soda bottles.

Apprehensive_Pause12 , seeingeyefrog Report

#40

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Play places at fast food establishments. There aren’t that many that still have them.

justhewayouare , Mike Mozart Report

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Leanne Hailes
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Awwwweee! This is exactly how McD's high chairs looked 🤔 about 30ish years ago

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#41

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Voice overs in movie trailers.

At this point I associate it more with Honest Trailers and was even wondering if that's what made me assume they were a thing but I even remember when Chris Pine was presenting the award for best cinematography at the 2013 Oscars and he made a joke about how all trailers started with "In a world...". There was even a movie called "In a world..." that came out in 2013 about a woman trying to make it as in Hollywood doing voiceovers for big movie trailers but for some reason I can't think of when exactly voice overs in movie trailers died out, I just remember that they were a thing and then they weren't.

Sugarbear23 , Tima Miroshnichenko Report

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Ron Man
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's because there was only 1 main guy who did the voice overs, and he passed away. Nobody's been able to fill his shoes so trailers moved on.

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#42

Lay-a-way plan. Which I’m sure was due to the rise in credit cards, but still

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#43

St. Bernard rescue dogs with little barrels of brandy attached to their collars.

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Zedrapazia
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because they never existed. Whilst Saint Bernards were actually used to search for people that got buried/lost in avalanches, they didn't have alcohol with them because drinking that would only make you cool out faster (even though they could carry other things). The typical Barry with the little barrel was a marketing gag.

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#44

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Single-topic blogs. Remember things like Regretsy, Stuff White People Like, Look at this F*****g Hipster, Cake Wreck, People of Walmart, FML, S**t My Dad Says, Awkward Family Photos, etc.? Those were everywhere from about 2007-2013. And then suddenly they went away.

I suppose some of them survive in the form of subreddits now.

Dahhhkness , PeopleofWalmart Report

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lily jones
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well judging by another recent BP post the People of Walmart are alive and well

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#45

The horrible and terrifying migrant caravans from a few election cycles ago.

It seems like every election season, they think of a new thing to get everybody all distracted and scared so they don't have time to discuss more important issues.

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#46

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Picture-in-picture as a television feature. You don't hear about that anymore.

Colonelfudgenustard , jsakic99 Report

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Ron Man
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think every TV still has that option. A lot of streaming services will do that too, depending on the device you're using.

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#47

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning LMFAO

To people who don't know, they are the guys who made Party Rock. Haven't seen them ever since.

TheDonMan1997 , Eva Rinaldi Report

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Em
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They made an album called Party Rock, followed it up with Sorry For Party Rocking, then quietly disappeared.

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#48

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning Pagers. I remember thinking "who's going to page you at school, and how are you going to call them back?"

Lord_Dino-Viking , thekiddzac Report

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Ron Man
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

lol Nice pic, BP. That's not a pager! And OP, you would use a pay phone to call them back.

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#49

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning 3D TVs and to a lesser extent 3D in cinemas.

For a while, so many movies in the cinema had a 3D option. Many were not even shot with stereoscopic cameras, they just had their regular frames reprocessed digitally for the 3D effect.

3D TVs were the next "logical step" bringing this same effect to the living room. But it turns out that something that works in an environment where you sit still in a fixed spot doesn't work as well in an environment where you look at the screen from all kinds of angles and directions throughout a single viewing.

Rannasha , Leandro Ciuffo Report

#50

Gone Without A Sound: 50 Things That Disappeared Without Warning The "I'm feeling lucky" button on Google.

Tomfooleries , Si1very Report