Remember When These Internet Things Were Cool?

by Megan Grant
Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The ease and speed with which things hit the internet has hit an all-time high, meaning that the shelf life of online creations is much shorter than it used to be. There are so many things that used to be cool on the internet that just aren't anymore: They saturated our lives and showed up everywhere... and then in some cases, they disappeared completely, quietly backing into the shadows until I started writing this and realized that AltaVista is dead.


As a recent Reddit thread about what used to be "hip" and "in" online points oiut, the internet has changed immensely in the not-too-distant past. You can attempt to visit corners of the World Wide Web from even just a year ago and not recognize where you are today. Look at how much social media alone has changed in the last several months... and now, imagine what the Internet looked like in the '90s. That was literally decades ago. And if that thought doesn't scare the crap out of you, nothing will.

It's easy to forget things of days gone by, what with the popularity of such culturally significant content like Damn Daniel and people eating corn on the cob using a drill. (Seriously, guys, don't do that. Please.) Let's rewind a little bit, and think back to the days of Oregon Trail, Mavis Beacon, and these 10 Internet things that apparently aren't cool anymore, according to Reddit. Womp, womp.

1. Mapquest

People still use Mapquest — right, guys? ... Guys? Yeah. No. It's not like I still use Mapquest either. Most of the cool kids have since migrated over to Google Maps, but it turns out that the Mapquest website is actually still alive and well; in fact, it recently underwent a drastic makeover, although I still can't figure out where everything is.

2. LimeWire

Go to the website today and you get a sad, "This site can't be reached" message with a frown face. I used LimeWire back in college for about four minutes to download one Britney Spears song, and later received a terrifying email that I needed to get rid of it or they'd hunt me down and imprison me for life, or something like that. The peer-to-peer file-sharing pioneer was hugely popular for downloading and sharing music and other media, but the courts shut the whole thing down in October of 2010. Because, y'know, of that whole thing where pirating media is illegal.

3. LiveJournal

LiveJournal was all the rage in middle school. A couple times a week, I'd publish an entry about how complicated and emotional my teenage life was, and I'm pretty sure I was the only one who read it. Happily, LiveJournal has survived the years; while the look and feel have changed, evidence of the old site is still there.

4. AOL Instant Messenger

Let this one marinate for a second: AOL IM used to be high-tech. Before texting, before Facebook, before Gchat, people would sign into AOL to chit-chat. The messaging community hasn't gone anywhere, although I am curious who's actually using it. You can download AIM for iOS devices, but I'm kind of wondering why you'd download an app to text, chat, and leave voice messages when your smartphone already allows you to... text, chat, and leave voice messages.

5. MySpace

MySpace was like Facebook before their was Facebook, except way less sophisticated. You can still log in today, but the site shifted largely to a community for music lovers. I must say, though, that the site is beautiful and they've made some amazing changes. It used to look like this:

6. AltaVista

There's a chance you've never even heard of this one. Back in the day (I'm talking mid-'90s), AltaVista was one of the most popular search engines on the web. It was like the Google of 1995. But then... Google happened, and now Google basically rules the world. Yahoo! (yes, people still use it) bought AltaVista; and now, if you go to the ancient search engine, you'll be redirected to Yahoo! instead.

7. Peanut Butter Jelly Time

This offends me. The dancing banana will never go out of style. Don't ask me what the point of this is, because I don't have the slightest clue.

8. Bitstrips

A slightly more recent invention, Bitstrips is an app that turns you into an emoji and puts you into little comic strip scenes. I wouldn't exactly say that it's not cool anymore; but it definitely had its 15 minutes of fame and was everywhere, then faded into the background a bit. Here's my Bitmoji having a grand old time. I can't believe how detailed it is. I was even able to add make-up and bags under my eyes.

9. Hot Or Not

Go to Hot or Not's homepage and they boast that they're about meeting people, chatting, and even dating. But we know the truth: The site used to be mega popular because people could voluntarily submit pictures of themselves and other users would rate their attractiveness. Um... yikes?

10. Demotivational Pictures

To help balance out the "Live, laugh, love" and "Dance like no one is watching" quotes, demotivational posters offer a comedic but sometimes slightly more depressing take on life. Did these ever really stop being cool?!

Images: Matt Cardy/Getty Images, Wayback Machine (2); Giphy; Megan Grant/Bustle