What Devices Do You Wish Would Go Away That Still Exist?
From glass chopping boards to cassette tapes, here are 20 answers to the question, “What outdated devices do you wish would go away that still exist?”
- Glass Chopping Boards
- Parking Meters
- Laser Pointers
- Cable Chargers
- Hand Dryers
- Clam Shell Packaging
- Smart Home Devices
- Leaf Blowers
- Express Coffee
- Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
- USB-C Ports
- Tanning Booths
- CDs and DVDs
- Fax Machines
- Dog Shock Collars
- Corded Desk Phones
- Cassette Tapes
Glass Chopping Boards
Glass chopping boards have been a necessary evil in my family’s kitchen for as long as I can remember. They are virtually indestructible and yet so incredibly delicate, determined to break every time you do anything slightly more difficult than gently placing an item on it.
What’s worse, the broken pieces end up scattered across the floor, making it incredibly dangerous for anyone who walks past. Glass chopping boards may be convenient for most people, but frankly, I wish they would just disappear forever!
Parking meters should become obsolete sooner rather than later because they represent an outdated and inefficient system that inconveniences drivers and harms small businesses.
By forcing drivers to feed coins or swipe cards, parking meters create unnecessary stress and waste valuable time. The revenue generated by parking meters often goes to the city government, rather than to local businesses, which hurts small shops and restaurants.
It’s time to embrace new and innovative technologies that can make parking more convenient for everyone.
There is no use for a laser pointer. If you’re leading a class and want to point something on the screen during your PowerPoint presentation, you can probably use a laser pointer.
But I still think an old-fashioned ruler or pointer still does the trick in that instance. Laser pointers can be dangerous to other people if you shine them in their eyes. I’ve seen teenagers get charged with federal crimes for pointing them toward the sky at aircraft.
Other than getting your house cat in a frenzy, there is no proper use for laser pointers, and I wish they would go away. They’re more trouble than they’re worth.
Cable chargers are one of the most frustrating devices around. We leave them on our bedside tables, in our bags, and in car glove compartments, all while they take up space and weigh us down with their uselessness.
Cable chargers have made our lives feel more chaotic than ever before; it seems like we’re constantly making sure we have the right cable or charger for each individual device.
Technology should provide us with a more seamless experience, but cord chargers are still trapping us in an unfixable habit loop instead. I just wish they’d gone away already!
I wish hand dryers would go away forever. Many studies have shown that these devices can spread bacteria and viruses by blowing contaminated air into people’s hands. When people use hand dryers, it creates turbulence that can cause the bacteria and viruses in the surrounding area to become airborne and then deposit onto people’s hands.
Then there’s the negative environmental impact. While hand dryers may seem like a more eco-friendly option than paper towels, they often require a lot of energy to operate. Some conventional hot-air models use up to 2,000 watts of electricity, which poses a serious risk to the environment.
Clamshell packaging is one device that I desperately wish would go away. These hard plastic shells are tamper-proof and notoriously difficult to open.
It’s nauseatingly frustrating enough when the item I’m attempting to free from its plastic prison is something small, but imagine the struggle of trying to force a pair of scissors into a heaping mound of styrofoam and plastic just to get access to your newly gained purchase.
Clamshell packaging not only wastes precious time and resources but also causes repeated fraying at the edges of my nerves as I attempt these Herculean opening feats each time I need something from its depths.
Smart Home Devices
I’ve never understood the appeal of smart home devices. Yeah, it might make your life a little more convenient, but at what cost?
A 2021 research project showed that smart home devices aren’t as secure as you might think. They are vulnerable to data attacks.
Smart home devices listen in on your daily life and track your habits. All this highly sensitive information is vulnerable to abuse if it lands in the hands of someone with the wrong intentions.
And while they aren’t going away, there are a few strategies you can use to protect yourself. You could cover up cameras, mute your mics, and turn off smart devices when it’s not needed.
What is the actual point of a leaf blower? They blow leaves off of pathways and lawns, only to have the wind blow them back on again.
It’s the most pointless device ever created. Not only does it serve no purpose, but it also creates noise and air pollution, which is unforgivable considering the lack of efficiency.
Coffee pod machines have become a staple in many businesses, and while they may offer convenience to employees, they are also wreaking havoc on the environment. Coffee pods are plastic and most are not recyclable, meaning that they end up in landfills, where they will sit for hundreds of years.
Even so-called “biodegradable” pods take decades to break down, and in the meantime, they release toxins into soil and waterways. Not to mention, the production of these plastic pods requires large amounts of energy and resources.
Although I believe businesses should invest in more sustainable coffee solutions, such as reusable mugs and high-quality drip coffee machines; there are even reusable coffee pods coming into play. However, this requires more time and effort, and it’s the convenience of the pre-filled coffee pods that will win out most of the time.
Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
The device I wish would go away with is a robotic vacuum cleaner. They are a relative invention that boasts to clean up after us with minimal effort, but I find them to be more of an annoyance than a help.
They take up a lot of space in the home and can often cause malfunctions if not properly maintained. Their robotically patterned movements across floors can often leave lines on carpets or hardened dirt streaks that need manual cleaning—wiping out any advantage gained from their usage in the first place!
The noise produced by some models can be loud and unpleasant; it’s especially startling when moving around at night time!
While there are some exceptions to this rule, the vast majority of printers and printing supplies seem to be massive scams.
The number of times I’ve had printers refuse to print something in black and white because the cartridge was out of cyan ink (which also turned out to be not true, after a quick wipe of the cartridge connectors) is the number of years my life has shrunk because of pure rage.
HP in particular can be an excellent example, especially given the price tag on their personal printer cartridges from which you are normally lucky to print 20 sheets before something goes wrong.
I think only one type of port should exist for electronic devices/chargers, in this case, USB-C ports. Why? Because it is painful having fifty wires for fifty different devices, and they’re all unique to one another.
Thankfully, this has already started in Europe, as the law has passed for USB-C ports. Imagine you desperately need to charge your phone to make an important call, but all you can find are chargers that are not usable.
Pagers are absurd now and there is no place for them in the modern world. High-tech companies with old-school leaders still use them. They are annoying and frustrating and all we need are more devices to deal with.
I did landscaping for the largest law firm in Tennessee and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw pagers on belt loops all over that $12 million dollar office.
Saying that landlines are a relic of a bygone era might be an understatement. What used to be a staple of telecommunication for over a century is now an expensive burden.
Now that there are so many ways to communicate, it is probably time that we say goodbye. It is next to impossible for landlines to offer the same level of convenience and portability offered by most of those other mediums.
Nobody should have to face the punishment of being tied down to some old phone attached to a fixed place. Some phones don’t even offer the option of having caller ID and voicemails. We are living in a time when people from Mexico, Egypt, and Bangladesh can work for the same company at the same time remotely. Smartwatches are now offering satellite connectivity for emergency situations.
As we are getting ready to move into the age of VR and smart glasses, it is surprising to see the existence of landlines. It’s been real, but we’ve moved on to improve things.
For the sake of looking good, or what some people define as good, young people all over the country are quite prepared to waste their money and risk their chances of catching cancer by tan booths.
There really is no need for it. Most of the US has plenty of sunshine. If they want a tan, surely they could spend a few hours in the sun. It isn’t only cancers they gamble with.
These booths can cause eye problems and affect the immune system. They may not think of it yet, but overuse will cause their skin to lose elasticity, causing premature aging. Is it really worth it? I think not, and the sooner we see the end of them, the better we will all be.
CDs and DVDs
It’s hard to think of an anachronism more unnecessary in 2023 than physical disks. With computer storage capabilities at an all-time high, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would clutter their physical space unnecessarily with disks.
More frustratingly, in the video game space, many publishers have agreements with physical retailers to avoid undercutting them with digital-only versions. I’ve seen the price of digital copies amount to the same price of physical copies, despite being significantly cheaper to distribute. As a result, the continued existence of physical disks actually penalizes digital-only customers, adding further insult.
Fortunately, many newer PCs, game consoles, and other devices have dropped CD drives permanently, signaling the end of these outdated technologies.
I recently had to take a trip to the doctor’s office in New York’s Upper East Side, and it shocked me when the doctor gave me his fax number to share my blood test reports.
How was I supposed to find a fax machine in this day and age? It’s like trying to find a dinosaur in the modern world. This is a relic of the past. It takes forever to send documents and then you’re left waiting by the machine, praying it doesn’t jam. Plus, it’s such a waste of paper! I’m sure the dinosaurs would be much happier in Jurassic Park, rather than stuck in the corner of an office. We all need to switch to email already.
In the end, after some convincing, I shared my reports right away through iMessage and the doctor looked like he’d seen a ghost (but it worked!). So let’s just get rid of fax machines once and for all, at least in the healthcare system.
Dog Shock Collars
I know… Shock collars for dogs (also known as “e-collars”) are a highly controversial subject, but I’ve been able to train my dogs perfectly with no one! While some claim that their use improves the bond between them and their pets, many others caution that certain types of shock collars could cause more harm than good.
The most common danger associated with using a shock collar is physical injury. It’s possible to set the collar at too high of a level so that it causes pain or even burns to your dog’s skin.
Also, research suggests that negative reinforcement techniques used by shock collars actually weaken training responses instead of strengthening them, having minimal practical effect compared to positive reinforcement methods like reward-based training.
Corded Desk Phones
I believe the days of using a corded desk phone are long gone. Once ubiquitous in businesses, they have given way to more convenient alternatives like mobile phones and software-based softphones.
Corded desk phones are cumbersome, costly, and inconvenient because they need their own wiring. They can’t integrate with other software, and they can’t use mobile phones and softphones as communication tools. Corded desk phones are becoming increasingly obsolete because of the prevalence of mobile and softphone technology.
We should stop using landline telephones in the office and instead transition to wireless technology. In doing so, businesses can boost productivity, cut expenses, and give workers greater freedom.
Cassette tapes are an outdated technology that is rarely used today. Despite this, they still exist and people can find them in homes and stores around the world.
The problem with cassette tapes is that they are prone to warping and breaking, and the sound quality they offer is far inferior to modern digital audio formats.