24 Things That Will Disappear When the Baby Boomers Are Gone

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As the baby boomer generation gracefully ages, they leave behind a world that's evolving at lightning speed. We'll explore things that were mainstays once upon a time and are on the brink of extinction as these pioneers of an era make way for the future.

1. Spam Calls

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Spam calls may see a decline as baby boomers dwindle. People have become more tech-savvy and have access to advanced call-blocking and filtering technologies. Additionally, regulatory efforts and increased awareness are aimed at reducing spam calls, making it less likely for future generations to experience the same level of nuisance and intrusion.

2. Travel Agents

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Younger generations often plan their trips using online travel booking platforms, apps, and resources. The convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of DIY travel planning are reducing the reliance on travel agents, reshaping the travel industry's landscape.

3. Paper Checks

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Paper checks are becoming less of a thing, and young folks prefer digital payment methods like mobile banking apps, online transfers, and digital wallets due to their convenience and speed. 

This transition reflects a broader trend towards a cashless and digital economy, reducing the need for traditional paper checks in everyday transactions, whether it be writing a personal check or receiving a check from your workplace. Paper checks are fast becoming relics of the past. 

4. Wellness Phone Calls

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Random phone calls to check in on people may become less common as baby boomers pass on. Younger generations prefer digital communication and scheduled conversations, making spontaneous check-in calls less frequent. This shift in communication habits reflects changing preferences for efficient and purpose-driven interactions.

5. Suits in the Workplace

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Newer generations often opt for more casual attire, reflecting evolving workplace cultures that prioritize comfort and individual expression. While suits won't disappear entirely, their significance in daily office wear is diminishing in favor of more relaxed dress codes. 

6. Personal Service

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Personal service, such as dealing with people directly, is shifting as baby boomers age. The new age is increasingly embracing automated services and digital chats for convenience and efficiency. This transition reflects evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements that offer streamlined alternatives to traditional interpersonal interactions.

7. Cable TV and Landline Phone

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Cable TV and landline phones are fading in relevance as baby boomers begin to phase out. This generation favors streaming services and mobile phones, which offer greater flexibility and customization. The convenience of on-demand content and the mobility of cell phones are reshaping entertainment and communication, reducing the need for traditional cable TV and landlines.

8. Silverware

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The use of traditional silverware is less prevalent than it once was. Younger generations often prefer more casual dining settings and practical utensils, like stainless steel or disposable options. This transition reflects changing dining habits and a desire for convenience, impacting the prominence of classic silverware in everyday use.

9. China Cabinets

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China cabinets were once the rage, and now they are all but extinct as newer generations prioritize minimalistic and space-efficient home decor, opting for open shelving or multifunctional furniture. This shift reflects changing interior design trends and the reduced emphasis on displaying fine china and formal dinnerware in modern homes.

10. Fax Machines

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Fax machines are nearly obsolete as baby boomers lose their imprint on society. Newer generations rely on digital communication methods like email and scanned document sharing, which are more efficient and eco-friendly. This shift reflects technological advancements and the reduced need for physical faxing in modern workplaces and personal communication.

11. Broadcast TV

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Image Credit: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Broadcast TV is no longer the powerhouse that it once was back in the baby boomers' heyday. With the advent of technology, people prefer streaming services that offer on-demand content and flexibility. The convenience of watching shows and movies anytime on various devices is reshaping how people consume entertainment, reducing the dominance of traditional broadcast TV.

12. Paper Maps

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People now rely on digital maps and GPS navigation systems on their smartphones and devices for convenience and real-time updates. This transition reflects the integration of technology into daily life and the reduced need for physical paper maps for navigation, which baby boomers have to rely on.

13. Writing Personal Letters

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Writing personal letters is almost unheard of as they are not as practical as they once were. Younger generations often communicate through digital means, such as emails, texting, and social media, which provide faster and more convenient ways to stay in touch. The art of sending handwritten letters is gradually fading, reflecting changing communication preferences in the digital age.

14. Physical Newspapers

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Physical newspapers are in decline as baby boomers enter their golden years. Many people now prefer digital news sources, accessing news on websites and through mobile apps for real-time updates and convenience. The shift reflects the changing media landscape and the reduced demand for printed newspapers in the digital age.

15. VHS and Tape players

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VHS tapes and tape players are unrecognizable to the youngest generations, a testament to the degree to which they've been phased out. New generations consume media digitally, favoring streaming services, DVDs, and digital downloads. The convenience and higher quality of digital formats have made VHS tapes and tape players relics of the past, reflecting the evolution of home entertainment.

16. Physical Music CDs

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Physical music CDs are virtually artifacts at this point and are on course to become extinct as baby boomers age. The newer generations predominantly stream music through digital platforms, accessing vast libraries of songs instantly. The convenience, portability, and cost-effectiveness of digital music have led to a reduced demand for physical CDs, reshaping the music industry.

17. Physical Photo Albums

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Physical photo albums are less prevalent than they once were. The digital age has replaced them as newer generations favor digital platforms for storing and sharing photos, from social media to cloud storage. These platforms offer instant access, easy sharing, and unlimited space, making the traditional practice of assembling physical photo albums less common. This shift reflects changing attitudes toward preserving and sharing memories in the digital age.

18. Brick-and-Mortar Video Rentals

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As baby boomers age, the fate of brick-and-mortar video rental stores hangs in the balance. These physical outlets, once bustling hubs for movie enthusiasts, now face a dwindling clientele. Younger generations, armed with smartphones and high-speed internet, increasingly turn to digital streaming services. 

The convenience of accessing a vast library of movies and TV shows from the comfort of their homes has left traditional video rental stores struggling to stay afloat. This shift in consumer behavior reflects changing technology and the evolving preferences of a new era of entertainment consumers.

19. Standalone GPS Devices

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The era of standalone GPS devices is waning as baby boomers pass the torch. Younger generations rely on the convenience of GPS apps integrated into their smartphones, eliminating the need for a separate device. This transition reflects the ever-increasing role of smartphones as multipurpose tools, making traditional standalone GPS devices a niche relic of the past.

20. Film Cameras

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Film cameras, once ubiquitous, are fading into obscurity as baby boomers age. Digital photography's rise offers instant gratification, cost-effectiveness, and the freedom to take countless shots without film limitations. As a result, film cameras are now primarily collectors' items or cherished artifacts of a bygone era, marking a significant shift in how memories are captured.

21. Pagers

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Pagers, once a symbol of professional communication, are nearing obsolescence. People now embrace mobile phones with text and call capabilities, rendering pagers largely irrelevant. This shift reflects the evolving landscape of communication technology, where instant, two-way communication is expected, making pagers a nostalgic memory of a time before the ubiquity of smartphones.

22. Printed Encyclopedias

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Printed encyclopedias, once prized references in households, are fading from relevance as baby boomers age. The digital age has ushered in easily accessible and constantly updated online encyclopedias. Younger generations prefer the convenience of searching for information online, marking the end of an era when physical encyclopedias graced bookshelves.

23. Physical Bank Branches

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The presence of physical banking branches is diminishing as baby boomers transition. People are opting for online and mobile banking, finding it more convenient for everyday financial transactions and services. As banks adapt to this digital shift, traditional brick-and-mortar branches are no longer the focal point of banking services, marking a significant transformation in the banking industry.

24. Print Magazines

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Print magazines are undergoing a transformation as baby boomers die off. Younger generations, accustomed to digital content, prefer online magazines and publications for their real-time updates and interactivity. The convenience of accessing a wide range of topics on digital platforms has led to a decline in the demand for physical print magazines, altering the landscape of the publishing industry.

Entertainment Writer at Wealth of Geeks | + posts

Creshonda Smith is a creative writer that thrives on learning something new everyday and sharing that knowledge in a way that captivates others. She has 15 years of experience as a freelance writer for various companies, but she was previously a Clinical Social Worker, having obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Ohio State University. After nearly 10 years in the field, she decided it was time to return to one of her childhood passions—writing that inspires. Creshonda will tackle any topic, but she prefers lifestyle articles centered around Health & Wellness, Parenting & Family Advice, Food + Drinks, Personal Growth, and Traveling. She has four beautiful children and has been married for a decade. Her favorite hobbies include traveling to anywhere there's a beach, reading, writing, and playing UNO! Creshonda has been a contributing writer for Wealth of Geeks since June 2023.