The only thing you can count on is change. Everything changes, social norms get replaced, and beloved companies disappear without a trace.
Some things go out in an epic blaze of glory, while others slowly fade, wearing out their welcome. Some, however, disappear so fully that we don’t even remember them.
While scrolling through the R/Askreddit Community, I stumbled upon a thread asking users to share some of these forgotten things.
Do you remember any of these?
Toys in Cereal
Remember when cereal boxes and cracker jacks came with fun toys? A childhood delight was sifting through that box to find the treasure buried inside!
Kids these days won’t understand the joy, as many cereal companies did away with the free toy.
“Now you get to scan a QR code, give them all your personal info, download their app, which allows them to monitor all your phone usage, but you get an emoji,” said one user.
“As a kid during that time, we definitely noticed. It was a pretty big deal for us once we stopped getting toys in our cereal,” shared another.
The yearly mass migration of monarch butterflies delighted kids of all ages, but the majestic insect swarms are now rare events.
One user explained why we don’t see monarchs anymore and gave tips for attracting them to your home.
“It’s a combination of a rise in pesticides combined with an absolute dearth of the plants that the Butterflies eat on their journey. If you plant Monarch Butterfly friendly gardens, you’ll actually likely become a stop on their migration patterns because it’s so needed.”
If you want to see the monarchs, heed their advice!
3D tvs were supposed to be the next big thing in entertainment, but their spectacular flop made them less than a blip on the radar, and now folks don’t even remember they existed.
“It’s been replaced by VR. Watching movies in 3D on those things is awesome,” said one user, guessing why 3D Tvs didn’t take off.
The friendly clown mascot of McDonald’s was a treasured friend for generations of children, but he slowly faded and is only remembered in museums and as the namesake of McDonald’s charity.
“You remember the old clown everywhere in and around McDonald’s commercials and stores?” asked one user. “Gone. Phased out when that “clown scare” prank trend was going around.”
Other users said their McDonald’s still has Ronald McDonald imagery, so he’s not gone everywhere.
Reddit Live Streams
Reddit’s experiment with live streaming was so short-lived many of us didn’t even notice it.
“Remember that guy with a guitar in your feed? He disappeared a long time ago, but you didn’t even notice it.” said one user.
“Now, this one is really unnoticed,” added another. “There was a time I wound get irritated constantly seeing all these live streams in my feed. And now that you mentioned it, they’re all gone.”
Remember catching fireflies on a hot summer night? Kids these days might not, as the luminescent insect is slowly disappearing from more populated areas.
“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!” shared one user.
A biologist in the thread chimed in to say that artificial light disturbs fireflies, so you’re more likely to see them in places without a lot of people.
Others mentioned that disappearing fireflies and monarchs are only the tip of the iceberg, and it’s a massive problem.
“Insect numbers worldwide are down 70 percent. We are in big trouble,” stated one.
Smart Phone technology lets us keep all our photos in our pockets, but they lose their appeal. People used to proudly display family photos throughout their homes, but it’s rare to see those nowadays.
“The only times I really notice them is in homes of older people,” shared one user.
Some said people are too lazy to print and hang photos, but others said style aesthetics are changing, and younger folks don’t want to clutter up their walls.
“I came across a home decor page (last couple years or so), talking about how family photos in the home was odd and not good decor,” one user commented.
Pensions were replaced with individual savings plans, changing our thoughts about retirement.
“30 years ago, it was a standard benefit. 401ks turned out to be an excuse for corporations to junk pensions,” said one user.
Although some lamented the loss of a defined benefit plan, others are glad to be free from pensions. Many mentioned that pensions limit mobility and are at risk if the company goes bankrupt. 401K plans make switching jobs easier.
“I’ve heard too many horror stories of people working at some company for a long time just for something to happen and get laid off or fired and lose out on their pension. The 401k I can take with me from job to job” shared one user.
Privacy didn’t exactly disappear, but we were more than happy to give it away. Give someone a social media app, and they’ll tell the world everything about themselves.
It’s hard to escape, even if you don’t actively participate. Public places are full of cell phones; you never know who might be filming.
“I live in fear of being randomly filmed one day doing something and going viral,” said one user.
Others mentioned that companies track all our movements online too.
The hot new trend of five years ago now lurks in hidden corners of toy stores, gone and quickly forgotten.
Although you can still find fidget spinners, they’re not nearly as popular as before.
“Go to any 7-11 or random gas station along an interstate, they still have them tucked in to the lonely corner where they keep random things like kids toys and cheap cell phone chargers,” said one user, highlighting the descent of a once-hot item.
So Many Things Lost to the Sands of Time
With every passing year and decade, more and more cultural icons get lost in time. What would have made this list if the question had been asked ten years ago? There are thousands of things we no longer remember, even if they were popular in their heyday.
What would you add to the list? What items disappeared that only you still remember?
This post was inspired by a thread on R/Askreddit.