Free Pure Flix Trial
3 min read

Flash from the Past: 9 Things Technology Ended

By Editors on Oct 21, 2017 7:00:00 AM

While technology has made our lives easier in many ways, sometimes we can’t help but feel nostalgic for days gone by. Back then, life didn’t move so fast and even the food was more wholesome. These nine things are a flash from the past because of technology.  


Remember when you loaded film into single lens reflex cameras, carefully positioning the strip on the little plastic teeth, then closing the cover before you advanced it so it wasn’t exposed to light?

Technicians used to stand in dark closets and unwind that film into canisters, working only by feel, then develop them through selective exposure and repeated chemical baths. Now everything is digital and most darkrooms have become a thing of the past.

Pay Phones

Pay Phone | Pure Flix

Do you recall when there was a pay phone on every corner? You usually had to work to get that glass door to close, then you put the black receiver to your ear and inserted some change to make a call. If you didn’t have coins, you could call collect and hope the person at the other end would accept the charges.

Remembering Phone Numbers

When you used the pay phone, you dialed numbers from memory. Now cell phones store contact information, so it’s possible to call everyone you know without ever having to look them up.

TV Guide

Every other week, families received a magazine full of program listings, celebrity updates, crosswords, and horoscopes. It sat on almost every American coffee table and was one of the most thumbed-through references in the home.

Now printed TV and movie guides are more difficult to come by, but not impossible to find. The vast majority are program guides that appear on the screen of your favorite TV or device. For example, the free Clean Classics Movie Guide is filled with old favorites, trivia, and behind-the-scenes tidbits!

VHS Tapes

One of the most exciting things to do in the 1980s and ’90s was to go to Blockbuster and browse the shelves. Families built extensive videotape collections or used blank tapes to record their favorites when they came out on cable.

VHS tapes might not be available anymore, but technology has allowed us to continue watching some of our favorite films online via streaming on

Floppy Disks

Floppy Disks | Pure Flix

Many people didn’t have computers in their homes, but they were available in schools, libraries, and businesses. Before flash drives or cloud-based storage, students saved school projects on floppy disks. Many fondly remember decorating the paper label with filenames and the gratifying click they made when inserted into the drive.

Passing Notes in Class

Remember those tense silent moments when you waited for your teacher to turn her back so you could slip a tiny folded piece of paper to a friend? He or she would carefully unfold it and hopefully scribble something back while you waited on the edge of your seat. Texting is more efficient, but maybe not as much fun.

Read also: Best Christian Movies to Reflect on With Friends

Travel Agents

A few still exist, but most people shop for and book trips online. As the Internet made online booking more convenient, travel agents went the way of pay phone repair technicians.

Mix Tapes

Gone are the days when you recorded your favorites from the radio or albums and replayed them until you knew every word. Now people access services like Spotify or Pandora or build playlists from cloud-based storage.

Technology improvements means we’ll never need another set of encyclopedias, and we don’t have to pay bills at the post office. It also sped up life’s pace. Experience a flash from the past today by writing a handwritten note, flipping through old printed photos, or discussing a classic movie with a friend after you watch it on

Nostalgic Movie Guide Call to Action | Pure Flix

More Articles

Christian Movies on Pure Flix

Watch Inspiration Every Day

Experience exclusive faith and family originals, movies, TV shows, documentaries, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Show Comment

Limited Time Offer For New Members

Watch God-Honoring and inspiring media on any device at any time.

Start Your Free Trial

Not Interested at this time