Show No Mercy: 10 Things The Internet Destroyed Without a Second Thought

While enjoying a daily scroll of my favorite internet forum, I came across a fun question, “If video killed the radio star. What did the internet kill?” Here are the top-voted responses. 

Mail Order Catalogs

Woman at her mailbox looking through the letters she recieved.
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Someone stated, “The mail order catalog. It was a significant means of buying goods, especially in rural areas, or ordering niche items that weren’t stocked in stores.” Another admitted, “Looking at all the toys in the Sears catalog before Christmas every year was always a treat.”

Shame

A woman peering out from the hand covering her face looking ashamed.
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“The internet killed shame. Nothing is shameful anymore. It’s monetized and fed to people from TikTok and YouTube videos, 4chan and Reddit subs, to the very incel-laden dark alleys of the web. Nothing killed personal shame like the internet. We get to see the worst of humanity at our fingertips 24/7,” another confessed. 

Attention Span

Bored woman with hands on her face and curly red hair.
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One volunteered, “Attention spans. People, especially younger ones, are losing interest in longer things due to TikTok video length and YouTube shorts. Some are even watching video classes in speed mode. The music industry is releasing new songs and albums with less than one [hour] of duration. I find this very concerning.”

Privacy

Mobile phone user accepting the terms of service and privacy policy displayed on the screen.
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“The internet killed privacy,” one replied. “We volunteer surveillance and yield our privacy away- ring doorbells, social media’ live’, work history, who is our friends and family, date of birth, etc., etc.”

Community

A cheerful group of friends all looking at something on one person's phone.
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Another added, “It’s privacy, but also, oddly, most people lost their local community, which would invade that privacy in a good way at the same time. Before the internet, the general public worldwide had more global privacy, but people also shared and could talk more with those locally near them.”

Respect for Differences

Group of friends enjoying time outside in a field.
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“Now people just flat out ignore each other if they like or follow anything not 100% in their common interests. It’s why everything has gone to extremes now in most discussions and especially political discourse.”

“Communicating only with your own echo chamber is a bad thing on any topic, even less intense ones like hobbies. It just makes life worse.”

My Faith in Humanity

A man faceplaming
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Someone volunteered, “My faith in humanity.” Another agreed, “So true. Before, you just had a heavy suspicion that fools surrounded you. Now, you have the depressing certainty. It sucks.” 

A third confessed, “Some dark corners of the internet make me really hate people. And I’d like to know if the internet ruined people or enabled us to see how terrible people are.”

Realistic Expectations of Success

Happy excited woman on an orange background.
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“Realistic expectations of success. I have a brother eight years younger than me, starting his final year of high school. When the school asked the entire student body what they wanted regarding career aspirations, 82% said something like a Twitch streamer, Instagram model, TikTok lifestyle channel, or online business selling stickers and Starbucks cups.”

“They need to realize for every ten people who get rich this way. There are ten thousand who can’t pay their bills every month,” another confessed. 

Maps

Map of continental United States.
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“Maps,” one replied. “I have never used an actual map since the internet and phones. And not just maps, but those car mount GPS systems. Remember Tom Tom and all the knockoff versions of it?”

We all use Google Maps on our smartphones. 

Not Being Able To Remember That Guy From That Thing

Woman scratching her head as if she's trying to remember. She's wearing a beige and red stripped shirt on a beige background.
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“Not being able to remember that guy from that thing,” one suggested. A second shared, “My wife and I sometimes play this game. We discuss something that might require a Google search and don’t search, but we try our best. We need to name the game. I’m considering calling it the 80s or Boomer.”

Finally, a third added, “Also, BEING the guy who could always remember the guy from that thing. It’s a worthless talent now. I wasted my brain space.”

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

An old shelf filled with old and antique looking books.
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“Encyclopedias and dictionaries” shared one. Another argued, “They’re online. What do you think Wikipedia is?” A third shared, ” I don’t trust what’s on the internet. Not really. It’s close, but sometimes things are missing or just wrong, and there’s little to be done about it.”

“An encyclopedia gets corrected for the following publication. The internet is always unchecked, as far as I can tell. I still tell people to find their answers in a physical book.” Anyone can edit a Wikipedia page.

Newspapers and Magazines

Man reading a newspaper with a tablet on the table beside them.
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Newspapers and magazines are the number one voted answer. One person stated, “Revenues from newspaper classifieds were significant, but another huge factor was revenues from major advertisers. The newspaper business was crazy lucrative when traditional media were the best option for advertisers.”

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Smiling millenial man with red hair and a red beard in what appears to be a classroom blurred out behind him.
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smiling Female executive with arms crossed standing in front of a group pf blurred out workers.
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A man using Discord on his laptop.
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A black and white photo of Albert Einstein, one of the most famous scientists in history, in front of a chalk board.
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Vintage computer on a colorful bright pink desk against a bright orange wall.
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Source: Reddit