15 Once Highly Respected Things That Are Laughable Now

By Krystal Brown

In the ever-evolving landscape of culture and society, some things that were once held in high regard have now become subjects of humor and skepticism. As we journey through the annals of time, it’s fascinating to see how perceptions change. Here’s a deep dive into 15 things that were once highly respected but are now laughable.

Dial-Up Internet

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Remember the screeching sound of connecting to the internet? In the late 90s and early 2000s, dial-up was the gateway to the World Wide Web. Families would eagerly await their turn to surf the net, often after 9 PM when rates were cheaper. The patience required to download a single image, let alone a song, was monumental. Fast forward to today, with high-speed internet and 5G, the mere mention of dial-up is enough to induce laughter, especially among the younger generation who never experienced the struggle.

The Unquestionable News

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There was a time when Walter Cronkite’s voice was the beacon of truth. The evening news was a ritual, and the newspaper’s morning headlines were gospel. However, with the advent of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, skepticism has grown. Accusations of bias, fake news, and media-driven agendas have muddied the waters. The unquestionable authority of news outlets has been replaced by a cacophony of voices, each clamoring for attention.


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Before the digital age, encyclopedias were the treasure troves of knowledge. Families invested in these multi-volume sets, often displayed proudly in living rooms. School reports meant hours poring over these pages. Today, with the entirety of human knowledge seemingly available at our fingertips via search engines, physical encyclopedias are nostalgic relics, often collecting dust on bookshelves.

Y2K Panic

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As the millennium approached, there was a palpable fear that computers would crash, planes would fall from the sky, and the world would descend into chaos. Billions were spent in preparation. Now, over two decades later, the Y2K panic is a humorous reminder of a time when the world braced for a digital apocalypse that never came.

Floppy Disks

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These square pieces of plastic were once the epitome of portable data storage. Essays, projects, and even games were stored on them. Today, with cloud storage and terabyte hard drives, the floppy disk’s storage capacity seems laughably minuscule. They’re now more likely to be seen in tech museums than in any functional capacity.


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Before the era of smartphones, pagers were a status symbol. Doctors, businessmen, and even teenagers sported these devices on their belts. Receiving a page meant finding a phone to return the call. In today’s age of instant messaging and video calls, the idea of such a one-way, delayed communication device seems almost absurd.

Milkman Deliveries

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The sound of glass milk bottles clinking was a common morning melody in many neighborhoods. The milkman’s daily deliveries ensured fresh dairy on doorsteps. With the rise of supermarkets and long-life milk, this personalized service has become a quaint memory for many.

Overhead Projectors

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School presentations once meant transparent sheets and overhead projectors. Teachers would write with special markers, and students would watch as notes were projected onto a screen. Modern digital projectors and interactive whiteboards have rendered these old devices obsolete, making them a symbol of classrooms of yesteryears.

Phone Booths

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These iconic glass boxes were once on every street corner. Whether making an important call or seeking shelter from the rain, phone booths were a staple of urban life. With mobile phones becoming ubiquitous, these booths have disappeared, often romanticized in movies and pop culture.

Handwritten Letters

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The art of penmanship and the joy of receiving a handwritten letter are fading. In an age of emails and instant messaging, the personal touch of ink on paper is rare. While they might be less common, the charm and intimacy of handwritten letters remain unmatched.

Film Cameras

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The ritual of loading film, carefully selecting shots due to limited frames, and the anticipation of developing photos is a bygone era. While digital photography offers convenience, film cameras, with their grain and imperfections, evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Travel Agents

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Planning a trip once meant a visit to a travel agency. Brochures, tour packages, and agents’ advice guided travelers. Online booking platforms and review sites have transformed the way we travel, making personalized recommendations and instant bookings the norm.

Fax Machines

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Sending documents through phone lines was revolutionary. Businesses and offices relied on fax machines for quick communication. In the age of email attachments and digital signatures, fax machines are a fading technology, often associated with slow and outdated office practices.

VHS Tapes

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Movie nights meant VHS tapes and VCRs. The ritual of rewinding tapes and the occasional frustration of a jammed tape are memories many cherish. Streaming platforms and digital downloads have changed the way we consume media, making VHS tapes collectibles.

Mainstream Media Bias

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Trusted news sources are now scrutinized for bias. With the democratization of information and the rise of independent journalism, mainstream media’s unquestioned authority has been challenged, leading to debates and discussions about objectivity and representation.

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