As landlines die, 7 other things time is forgetting

A woman, using a phone. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

A woman, using a phone. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire - Credit: PA

In the days before mobile phones it was the best way of keeping in touch.

However, new research has suggested that the landline telephone is in real decline, with one in five households choosing to ditch their landline, or not even have one to begin with.

And the same research suggests that seven out of 10 people only rent a line to make their broadband packages cheaper.

While many people in Norfolk say they do still use their landlines, particularly to speak with their parents or family members, it is fair to say landlines are not as heavily relied upon as they once were.

But they are not alone. 

Here are seven other things that are struggling to stand the test of time, as the digital era ushers in changes in our habits.

DVD players

Readers Rewards DVD player presentation
Photo: Simon Finlay
For: Readers Rewards
EDP pics

A DVD player, which was given away as a prize by this newspaper in 2007. - Credit: Archant © 2007

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When DVD players arrived in the late 1990s they were game-changing: no longer would we be bound by cassette tapes, having to rewind at the end of the use.

They came piled with extras and the ability to select scenes or skip episodes of series 'was a big step forward from the days of VHS.

However, like so many pieces of technology, they are beginning to crumble at the hands of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Video recorders/cassette tapes

The days of the cassette tape are numberedPhoto: Adrian JuddCopy: For: EDP pics © 2007

The days of the cassette tape are long since numbered Photo: Adrian Judd - Credit: Archant © 2004

It goes without saying that if the heir to the video's viewing throne, the DVD, is already being moved on, so too is what pre-empted it.

The one thing VHS did have over DVD though, was the ability to be record something from live television.

However, with digital television boxes allowing us to record without them, there is little use for these relics. Yet we bet you still say you're taping when you set up your digibox to record.

The same goes for audio cassette tapes.

iPods and MP3 players

An iPod Classic, a product which Apple discontinued in 2014

An iPod Classic, a product which Apple discontinued in 2014 - Credit: Archant

Much like DVD players, iPods and MP3 players presented a whole new world of opportunities when they came along.

Gone were the days of picking one disc for a walk or a run - your entire music collection could come with you.

However, they are now something of a kindred spirit to landlines and DVD players, as mobile phone and streaming services take priority.

Such has the demand for the original iPod, now known as the iPod Classic, declined that giants Apple opted to discontinue them in September 2014. This reporter still has and uses his, though.

Fax machines

Weather equipment. Pictured: Mildenhall Weather station fax machine. Date: 26 oct 1962.

A fax machine at a weather station, pictured in 1962 - Credit: Archant

What an extraordinary invention the fax machine was: in just moments you could have a letter or a document sent to somebody through thin air.

No longer would you have to wait for a letter to be delivered or have to make trips to deliver documents.

Then came email and you know the rest.

The telephone book

The new BT Phone Book.Photo: Bill SmithCopy: Rowan EntwistleFor: EDP newsEDP pics © 2003 Te

The BT Phone Book. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: EDP pics © 2003

There was a time when the telephone book was a staple of any household.

People of a certain age will remember leafing through it, whether you'd trying to contact a friend or find a plumber.

But over the years, and with the rise of the Internet, there was less and less need to keep it - and just like many other things it has moved online.

Sadly, the virtual version is nowhere near as effective as a booster seat or helping to reach high shelves.

Cheque book


Cheque books are fewer and far between these days - Credit: Archant

In an age where even cash is being used less and less, cheque books are even less commonplace.

There was a time when writing a cheque was nothing out of the ordinary - and your first book was something of a novelty.

It can't just be this reporter who as a youngster got a kick out of writing cheques for a penny to his mates, just because he had one.

Now though, the place you are most likely to discover one is tucked in a birthday card from a grandparent and very few other locations.

Cameras with film

Photographer Tom Mackie with his 5x4 film camera. Photo: Bill SmithCopy: Emma OuttenFor: EDP Cen

A 5x4 film camera.

Who remembers the days of going on holiday and filling a roll of film with precious memories?

If you do, we suspect you also remember that feeling of having to wait about a week for the film to be developed, only to find your finger was over the lens on at least a third of what you took!

While the camera itself is by no means a thing of the past, they too have entered the digital age.

And even they have succumbed to the mobile phone revolution to a certain extent - because who uses a phone as just a phone in this day and age?