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internet ruined everything, changes the internet, pre-internet world
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Teens taking a selfie.

Whether you think the internet has been a net positive or negative for the world, there’s no debating that it has changed nearly everything. The change has been so rapid and abrupt that humanity hasn’t really come to grips with this new reality. It’s like we’re constantly playing catch-up.

There was the first wave of the internet that completely wiped out physical media such as record stores and magazines. Then there was a revolution with social media that changed the way people interact and gave everyone a voice online.

Some point to Facebook’s addition of the “like” button in 2010 as the moment when social media became an addiction, with people chasing approval and dopamine hits. While others say that the addition of the “share” button the same year completely changed reality because it allowed bad ideas to take wing.

Now, nearly 30 years after the internet became available to the average person, there is a generation growing up that never knew what life was like before the ’net. But for the rest of us, there are still memories of a time when people went to Blockbuster video to get a movie, dialed people on rotary phones and found an intersection on a Thomas Guide map.


I’m not saying those times were better, just different.

A Reddit user by the name of Jenn was feeling nostalgic for the pre-internet days so they asked the online forum, “Video killed the radio star. What did the internet kill?" The question was a reference to The Buggles' 1979 hit “Video Killed the Radio Star,” which was the first video ever played on MTV.

The post quickly went viral with more than 7,000 people chiming in with things that the internet relegated to the dustbin of history.

Here are 19 of the best responses to the question, “What did the internet kill?”

1. 

"Newspapers. Magazines." — Cuttlery

2. 

"Blockbuster." — sparkchaser

3. 

"Encyclopedias." — New_Television_9125

4. 

"Not being able to remember that guy from that thing." — Meffrey_Dewlocks

Volcano-ngh added:

"Not having to listen to my mom and my uncle list off names trying to remember the name of some actor in a 100-year-old movie for an hour with no resolution is pretty great."

5. 

"Maps. I have never used a tangible map since internet and phones." — TheMaskedAdvice

6. 

"Realistic expectations of success." — NelsonsBuddy

Cerker added:

"With your former limited peer group, your were bound to be 'the expert' or 'the best' in at least something. And could provide valuable contributions due to this. Now? You can always compare yourself to the whole world. You always find tens of people so far above your level that you have no realistic means to come even close to it. It was always that way, but they weren't that prominent in your life, always pointing out your mediocrity. I still struggle with it and it used to suck up all my motivation. Now I start to stop caring and just doing what provides my joy."

7. 

"The mail order catalogue. This was a huge means of buying goods, especially in rural areas or ordering niche items that normally aren't stocked in stores." — TheSeaMonkey

8. 

"Attention span." — LegacyRW

"I’ve actually just started working on this. Limiting my phone time and forcing myself back to reading, puzzles, projects that require concentration etc." — catsinlittlehats

9. 

"Broadcast television." — katomka

10. 

"My faith in humanity." — cucake_bliss

Uhh_JustADude added:

"Before, you knew most people were kinda stupid. It’s just that back then, they never amounted to much and certainly weren’t as enabled or encouraged. People used to have shame and self-awareness and to publish some bullshit for the whole world to see, one had to get it past editors who actually worked for their jobs and had degrees in journalism, English, and literature."

11. 

"Record stores. Not all, but lots. We used to have 10 in my city in the 1990s, now we have 2." — boxoffingernails

12. 

"Movie phone.

You haven't lived until you tried to spell the title of a movie on your keypad while declining the suggestions of the robot.
'Did you mean..?'

'_____ is also playing at…'" — brutcookie5

13. 

"Mail, not E-mail but good old fashion letter mail. The only kinds of letters i get now are bills and other shit i don't want." — Lekenthereal

14. 

"The Internet killed shame. Nothing is shameful anymore, it's all just monetized and fed to people from TikTok and YouTube videos, to 4chan and Reddit subs, to the very incel-laden dark alleys of the web. Nothing killed personal shame like the internet. We get to see the worst of humanity at our fingertips 24/7." — XmerianMonk

15. 

"Teens’ self-esteem." — inflewants

Interesseret added:

"This is pretty much the #1 on the list isn't it. Man, the internet has done terrible things to young people's self-image."

16. 

"4-1-1." — AllFuzzedOut

Nihlism4U added:

"Omg yes! Also just lots of random phone numbers you could call to get pre-recorded info...time, temperature, there was one I used to call a lot for like...daily science facts or something? Don't remember exactly, but I certainly used the phone as a lifeline to information as a kid in the '80s and early '90s."

17. 

"Democracy." — ChopEee

"This is sadly very true. The Internet has allowed the dissemination of fringe ideology to a huge audience. YouTube and Facebook algorithms help push more of that content in front of people. Those who had a predilection to buy into conspiracy theories and other sorts of fringe thinking previously never had easy access to this kind of content. Sure, we would still have Fox News and the like, but that’s pretty mild compared to what’s available online." — Pray44Mojo

18. 

"The mall." — dumberthenhelooks

19. 

"The experience of actually going out and doing things yourself." — Evening-Ad-9976

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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