Earlier this month, Netflix announced it would send out its last DVDs to customers on September 29. Over its 25-year history, the company sent out over 5.2 billion DVDs, and in its peak year, 2010, it had over 20 million subscribers to the DVD service.
It’s incredible to think how ubiquitous those red envelopes were just a few years ago, and in a few months, they’ll be history.
Netflix’s announcement made headlines worldwide, but not every cultural staple has its moment in the sun before it’s gone. There are a lot of things that come in with a bang and go out with a whimper. Many of them are never thought about again.
A Reddit user named Musicmaniac247 asked the online forum, “What eventually disappeared and no one noticed?” The question received over 23,000 responses in just one day. The reactions ranged from natural phenomena to cultural habits to things you used to be able to pick up at the store but are permanently out of stock.
Things always come and go with the times, but these days, more cultural touchstones are going by the wayside due to rapid changes in the environment and technology.
Here are 19 of the biggest things that “eventually disappeared and no one noticed.”
“Our need to know who our neighbors are. I listened to a podcast about human interaction recently and the host said that the internet slowly made it possible to live without knowing who the people are next door. It used to be that we would hang out with people in our street or attend dinners, birthdays, and whatnot. Now, everyone seems to have no need to even so much as introduce themselves. The only time we do get to know each other is if we have a complaint.” — Anima99
“Toys in cereal boxes.” — getupk3v
“Somewhere along the way 9-5 turned into 8-5.” — nocerazbj·
“We’re in the process of full size can of Arizona teas for $.99 disappearing. I’m seeing a lot of places starting to carry the smaller plastic bottles for $.99 or the larger plastic bottles for more. I’m honestly surprised that they’ve lasted for this long at the same price.” — WeirdJawn
[Note: As of October 2022, the Arizona company stated that it has no plans to raise prices on its $.99 full-size cans of tea and will keep them at that price as long as possible.]
“CD/DVD drives in laptops.” — DVLCINEA
“Longevity in careers has largely gone away. People used to get a job and after being there for decades reap the benefits of being seasoned employees (higher salaries and better perks).” — arthurdentxxxxxii
“People fainting when something unexpected happens. And people carrying smelling salts for just such an occasion. It’s so 19th century.” — CobaltNebula
“TV bumpers. There used to be a little sequence between the show and commercials. Some of them were really interesting and creative. I think my generation remembers the ‘wand IDs’ on the Disney channel (where a Disney celeb would use a wand to make the logo). There were also bumpers that were PSAs or other actual content.” — LtCommanderCarter
“Having many family photographs in homes. Not completely gone, but homes used to be plastered in them. The only times I really notice them is in homes of older people.” — boxoffingernails
“3-D television.” —1feralengineer
“Someone answering the phone at businesses.” — suffaluffapussycat
“Blimps, helium is expensive and drones can do some of their missions.” — Loki143
“Fireflies aka lightning bugs. I live rural and I used to see hundreds on a warm summer night. Now I get excited if I see just one. I mentioned it to other people who live in the same area as I do and they were just like ‘Huh. Yeah. You’re right!'” — ZookeepergameSea3890
“Privacy in your daily life.” — Annoyedatreddit1
“Lobster tanks in grocery stores! Not that I particularly want them back, but those are nostalgic af.” — BIGPOOPYTYME
“A common pop culture (in the U.S., at least). Until at least the ’80s, most people watched the same TV show, saw the same movies, listened to the same music, could recite the same commercial slogans or jingles, bought into the same fads. I don’t know when it happened, but now we are all siloed into highly specific subcultures.” — Choreplayed
“Color from the world. Everything is becoming grayscale. Look at commercial buildings and fast food buildings. McDonald’s used to look fun and exciting, now they’re all gray and boring.” — Sosantula21
“The need to remember phone numbers.” —imcoolmymomsaidso
“The COVID quiet. You remember how quiet things were? When we all just took a chill pill? I remember. Everything is loud again. From streets to stores. Sidewalks. Everything is loud. I couldn’t point to when it happened, it just disappeared. And nobody seems to talk about how nice the quiet was.” — RubSalt1936