27 Things That the Internet Has Changed Forever

In honor of National Day of Unplugging, let's remember all the stuff the World Wide Web has ruined for life

By Jenna Mullins Mar 04, 2016 1:00 PMTags

The Internet is a magical entity. It has given us cat videos, Google, GIFs. The ability to connect with people, places and things from across the world. The Internet has enriched our lives in so many ways.

And yet, it's constantly on the verge of destroying humanity.

But still. Cat videos are great!

Today is National Day of Unplugging, so you'd better power down all your devices and go outside, dude! But, not before reading this article. Because it's important and a great way to remember why we should all unplug at least for at least one day.

Inspired by this reddit thread, here are all the things the Internet has effectively ruined for good:

1. Eating fast food in ignorant bliss

Now that fast food establishments post nutritional value online, we can no longer ingest that Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger from Jack in the Box while thinking: "this can't be more than 300 calories, right?" Now we know how much we're eating when we hit the drive-thru, and that makes us sad. We still eat these terrible things, don't get us wrong. But still. We don't have to know how much sodium we're ingesting. Just let us live.

2. Purchasing tickets to events

"Why the hell do some venues allow for 99 tickets to be purchased at once?"—moreschwab

3. Being able to repeat outfits with no one noticing

That yellow dress is dope. Too bad everyone knows you wore it to a baby shower the weekend before you wore it to your friend's wedding.

4. Encyclopedia sales

Kids today will never know what it's like to write a paper using one of these bad boys.

5. Dating

There is no mystery to dating anymore. You can find out everything you need to know about the person you're about to meet for drinks. Sometimes that's a good thing, but where's the fun in discovering everything through Facebook?! And how many of you have vetoed someone based on their tweets? What if they were actually amazing people but you never gave them the chance? Dating is hard enough without the Internet.

6. Trivia nights

Trivia nights at your local bar used to be the best night of the week. And it still can be, but too many people cheat with their smart phones, so it's mostly about who can cheat the best.

7. Having a crush

Long gone are the days where you sit by a window, stare into the night sky and wonder what your crush is doing at that very moment. You know exactly what he's doing, because he just checked in at Target on Facebook. Plus, he Instagrammed a selfie so he could show off the "sweet new sunglasses" he bought. And then he tweeted that he was going to hit up Payless. So, yeah. You always know where your crush is and what he's doing.

8. The urge to leave the house

You can get stuff delivered through the Internet, watch whatever you want through the Internet and you can talk to whoever you want through the Internet. Who needs fresh air?

9. Exciting life milestones

When your Facebook is splashed with photo album after photo album of your friend's kid going to the park (all the damn photos are the same!), then you begin to dread birth and engagement announcements on Facebook.

10. Thinking for yourself

Sad, but true. Why think for yourself when you have millions of people online who can tell you what you should be saying and thinking?

11. Making any mistake ever

Heaven forbid you use improper grammar while leaving a comment in an article. It doesn't matter if your opinion is the most well thought-out and perfectly researched remark ever. If you accidentally say "their" instead of "there," the trolls will automatically deem you worthless. They are ruthless and relentless and they prey on any mistake, big or small.

12. Movies and TV shows

Spoilers will get ya. Every time. And then there are those people who love to debate why this TV show or that movie is the most terrible thing ever.

13. Silly debates among friends 

Remember when you used to argue with your crew about how Carol from Friends was played by a different actress in the pilot episode? If no one had the tape handy, that argument could have lasted for hours. Now, it's just quick Google search on a smartphone and you're done.

14. Childhood innocence

It's rule number 34 of the Internet: If it exists, there is porn of it. So you loved Ferngully growing up? Well, if you search the right websites, you will definitely have that movie and your childhood ruined forever.

15. High school

We do not know how kids today navigate the awkward years of high school. Everything is documented. Plus, kids don't just bully each other in person anymore. Now there's cyber bullying, which as we all unfortunately know can lead to truly terrible situations. 

16. Class reunions 

What's the point? Thanks to Facebook, "we know who has kids, where people have moved to, and how fat everyone has gotten."—DarrenEdwards

17. Doing harmless, stupid stuff

AKA being young and dumb. Before the Internet, you could do stuff like make out with a stranger or jump off a roof into the pool and the only proof anyone would have is a story. Now everything is filmed or photographed, and it can go on the Internet in the blink of an eye. Before, your mom or boss or friends would have no idea you fell and got a tampon stuck up your nose. Now, everyone will know.

18. Bookstores

R.I.P., Borders. 

19. Video rental stores

R.I.P., return slots.

20 . The grand tradition of shopping at the mall

Except for trying on clothes to see how they fit, what do you really need malls for anymore? It used to be a mecca for teenagers to flock to after school to just, you know, "chill." Now, you can order your penis-shaped pasta from Spencer's website.

21. Privacy

Before the Internet, facts about yourself would only be known by friends you deemed worthy. Now, people are willingly putting info about their bowel movements on Twitter.

22. Patience

"By dint of having everything we need online in a matter of microseconds, the internet generation is becoming allergic to waiting."—kodongo

23. Concerts

Half the people aren't even watching; they're recording it to upload to YouTube later.

24. Agreeing to disagree

When you argue online, there is no such thing as accepting that people have different opinions, also known as "agreeing to disagree." If someone thinks they are right, then according to the person you are arguing with, you are just a "pig-headed ass who is the stupidest person in the world." 

25. Simple skills everyone should know

Like reading a map. Do people know how to do that anymore? We fear for the day when kids just forget what books are altogether. 

26. Writing letters

Do high school kids still pass notes that are intricately folded and written in sparkly gel pens? No? And since writing letters is now a lost art, what in the hell did we learn cursive for?!

27. Going on the Internet

Somehow, the Internet has ruined the Internet.

What do you think the Internet has ruined forever?