18 Things That Were Normal in the 2010s but Aren’t Today

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For some of us, 2010 feels like just yesterday—Katy Perry's “Teenage Dream” echoed from our chunky iPods, skinny jeans were all the rage, and the first Avatar movie captivated audiences. Once in its awkward teenage phase, Facebook dominated social media with its blue-and-white interface. Fast forward 14 years, and that vivid era feels like a distant dream. Revisit 2010 nostalgia with these reminders from a popular Reddit discussion.


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Remember the thrill of hunting down that perfect new album, importing it to your iTunes library, and curating the perfect playlist? In 2010, iPods were not mere devices but cultural symbols. They soundtracked our commutes, workouts, and study sessions. Proudly pocketed or clipped to backpacks, they delivered our favorite tunes anytime. Eventually, iPhone memory improved, and streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify entered, offering vast music libraries on-demand, which led to the downfall of the iPod.

Netflix Red Envelope Era

Image Credit: Michel Ngilen from Des Moines, United States, CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons.

Young people associate Netflix with streaming, but once upon a time, it was a mail-order DVD rental service. When it came out, Netflix disrupted the market with iconic red envelopes, symbolizing convenience and affordability. And let's not forget the thrill of curating your queue and the suspense of waiting for the next envelope to arrive. As high-speed internet arose, Netflix pivoted to streaming, eclipsing physical media with its vast, convenient content library. The red envelopes, once symbolic, faded into nostalgia with the streaming era's dominance.

The World Ending In 2012

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Okay, be honest. We all harbored fears of an apocalypse, thanks to the whole “world ending in 2012” prophecy. Whispers about the ancient Mayan calendar sparked theories predicting December 21st, 2012, as doomsday. This led to disaster movies thriving at the box office, survivalist shows booming, and everyone concocting their theories about the impending chaos. However, the hype promptly died when December 2012 came and went, with the world still functioning as usual.

Phone Books

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It was 2010 when we relied on hefty phone books for contacts and local businesses. We flipped through the yellow pages for the business directory, our favorite pizza place, and the white listings to contact our family, friends, and everyone's home lines. Though bulky and occasionally outdated, they held a certain charm, proving handy when the internet faltered or batteries died. Today, those trusty phone books are relics, replaced by the sleek magic of smartphones and the omnipresent Google.

Digital Cameras

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Before selfies became a daily ritual, posing with friends in front of landmarks or making silly faces with digital cameras was a must. DSLRs were the rockstars of photography—bulky, powerful, and equipped with interchangeable lenses, attracting both amateurs and professionals. Once smartphones vastly improved their tiny cameras, clicks turned into taps, and digital pinches replaced the whoosh of zoom lenses.


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Before Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, we'd relish the thrill of choosing a movie—holding the case, reading the back, and envisioning scenes. We'd gather around the TV, popcorn bowls in hand, anticipation buzzing. Deleted scenes, bloopers, and behind-the-scenes features gave us a sneak peek behind the curtain, deepening our connection with the movie.


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Most kids today can't imagine sharing one phone with their entire household. Many of us remember the dial tone before pressing the numbers and that satisfying “click” as we hung up. But like all things, technology evolved, and sleeker and faster smartphones emerged, transcending physical location constraints. Now, texts fly back and forth with lightning speed.


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CRT TVs, short for Cathode Ray Tube televisions, dominated the market for decades before being overtaken by flat-screen technologies like LCD and LED. Sure, CRT TVs were not sleek; they took up half the room and weighed a ton, and their picture quality was nothing compared to TVs today. But there was something warm about it—or maybe it's those memories of cozy movie nights with popcorn and friends and the glow of the screen illuminating everyone's faces.

802.11n Routers

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In the late 2000s and early 2010s, 802.11n routers were game-changers, enabling movie downloads in minutes and seamless online activities. Thanks to them, sharing cat videos on YouTube, pixel-free video calls, and relatively smooth online gaming became realities.

However, the reign of 802.11n had to yield to newer, faster Wi-Fi standards like 802.11ac and 802.11ax, leaving our 2010 selves in awe of their unprecedented speeds. Still, the 802.11n router will forever occupy a special spot in our hearts, symbolizing the exhilarating leap into high-speed internet connectivity.

Blackberry Phones

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It's hard to imagine a time when iPhones were second in popularity to bulky Blackberries. These iconic phones offered lightning-speed BBM chats and the joy of crafting emails on a physical keyboard. BlackBerry was unmatched for business users in the early 2000s. However, trends shifted, and the mighty BlackBerry gave way to the iPhone's touchscreen and Android's open-source allure. Suddenly, the once-prized physical keyboard felt a tad old-school.

Gladiator Sandals

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Multi-strapped sandals, wrapping up the leg, were the “it” shoe of 2010, adorning celebs, fashion bloggers, and the coolest classmates. Whether a classic flat pair for a music festival or a fierce knee-high version for a night out, gladiator sandals added edge (and some height) to your look. Yet, like all trends, they faded, possibly due to their popularity or the rise of minimalist styles. But who knows? Maybe they'll have a comeback someday.

Physical Maps

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Who would use physical maps when our smartphones have built-in GPS? In 2010, paper maps, like the iconic Thomas Brothers maps, were indispensable for road trips and navigating towns. Vibrant colors, intricate lines, and tiny symbols hinted at hidden gems, inviting adventure. Tracing our fingers on paper maps and plotting our course brought a thrill with each turn. Best of all, paper maps never required the internet or failed us at inconvenient times.

Newspaper Classifieds

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Recall those Saturdays dedicated to grabbing the hefty newspaper for news and the classifieds section. Before instant Google searches, newspapers were the main avenue for reaching a broad local audience. Classifieds were brimming with ads—used cars, furniture, job openings, and garage sales. While the digital age brings convenience, it can't replicate the charm of that Saturday ritual with its ink-stained pages.

Silly Bandz

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2010 was when the coolest things on your wrists weren't Apple Watches but Silly Bandz—those colorful, flexible bracelets made of silicone rubber shaped like animals, objects, letters, and numbers. Sure, the fad eventually faded, replaced by the next shiny thing. But just thinking about Silly Bandz right now transports you back to a simpler time when trading a sparkly unicorn for a neon-green T-Rex was the most significant decision of the day.


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Farmville wasn't just a game but a phenomenon—a social network farming simulation on Facebook. Players created virtual farms, planted crops, and raised animals. You could help friends harvest, trade blue ribbons, and collectively unlock new crops and animals. It was the ultimate icebreaker, sparking conversations and friendly competition. Unfortunately, the original FarmVille ended in 2020 when Adobe discontinued support for Flash Player, which the game relied on.

24-Hour Walmarts

Jan 9 2020 Mountain View CA USA People shopping at a Walmart store in south San Francisco bay area
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Walmart started discontinuing 24-hour operations in 2013, and by 2021, all stores had shifted to a standard schedule from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Back then, Walmarts were late-night hangouts or a go-to-stop when you ran out of milk. Although there are no more 24-hour Walmart stores for understandable safety reasons, it's a nostalgic thought that we once could buy ice cream and gummy bears at 3 a.m.

Affliction Shirts

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Remember rocking those Affliction shirts in the 2010s? Many cool guys saved up for the edgy, alternative, and rock and roll-inspired graphic tees. Trends shift, and today's fashion landscape may differ, but those Affliction shirts serve as more than just clothes. They're a nostalgic portal to a time when individuality reigned supreme, and self-expression wasn't just tolerated but celebrated.


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MySpace in 2010 was more than a social media platform; it was a cultural phenomenon—where you could rank your top 10 friends, discover music, and create unique profiles. MySpace's emo fashion trends embraced individuality and pushed boundaries. Today, MySpace is still technically alive, but it's a shadow of its former self, with a smaller user base and a primary focus on music, serving as a promotional platform for artists.

Source: Reddit

Author: Hannah Healy

Title: Writer


Hannah is the published author of The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook and an avid writer in the health, entertainment, travel, and personal finance spheres. She is also the owner and founder of Healy Eats Real, a health and wellness website providing recipes and wellness information for over ten years. Hannah is the published author of The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook and an avid writer in the health, entertainment, travel, and personal finance spheres. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Redbook, Fitness, and MSN.