After receiving this email I googled the title phrase "9 Things That Will Disappear in Our Lifetime" and found scores of blogs who had already reprinted this viral email.The original email had cutesy animated pictures and some of the blogs even put their posts to music.
Some of these disappearing phenomena... checks, land line telephones... no big loss, but books, the luxury of walking over to your music library and playing a DVD, control over our personal property...difficult to imagine the world without. It got me to thinking about the many things that, in retrospect, are so different today from, say 30 years ago. They changed ever so gradually almost lulling us into thinking only of the benefits of the new changes not what we would be giving up.
If you've already seen this email, skip to the end to see my personal thoughts and some other disappearing commonalities I've noticed. Just in case you haven't seen this email, here's it is:
Something to think about.
Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them.
But, ready or not, here they come.
1. The Post Office. Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. e-mail, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.
2. The Check. Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.After reading about these soon to be extinct "dinosaurs" us seasoned humans have come to rely on, I wondered about banks? There are so many ONLY online banks already and most banks do much business online so why the building? ATM machines provide any cash (what's that) anyone may need. I honestly have not used cash personally for so long it amazes me when I hear of someone going to cash their paycheck. Even in the RV Park business I rarely see cash or checks any longer. Credit/debit cards reign at our San Antonio RV Park.
3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.
4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.
5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes
6. Music. This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies."
7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.
8. "Things" That You Own. Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.
9. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.
All we will have that can't be changed are Memories.
thought about even more eroding familiarities in our lives. The email talked about checks but what of
One of my favorite crafts is another disappearing trend: greeting cards. With the advent of e-cards and now - sending gifts with facebook, I see a greeting card maybe once a year. Not that I dislike email greetings, God knows I send enough of them, but I still love the idea of making cards and glue sticking charms, felt and antique looking ephemera on scrapbook paper or card stock. And receiving a customized message with a short poem or verse is so much more satisfying and memorable. I must confess I most often use the computer to assist in making them though.
Now here's one for us RVers. When's the last time you used a map. No, not a Delorme CD atlas or mapping software...a 36" X 48" state map folded into 8 1/2 X 3" sections. I have free maps of Texas here at the park and no one ever takes them. I do admit to using a local San Antonio and downtown map in the course of giving virtual San Antonio tours. But often while using a map a guest will mention their preference to "just use the GPS." I really WANT to like those things but even though I've had one for some time, it sits...I don't even know where it sits, but it's not in the car. Takes me too long to program it. I don't do much better with the one on my phone.
Quality time. Now there's an overused phrase for you. What does it really mean. But I'm pretty sure that all this technology that's meant to give us more free quality time is accomplishing exactly the opposite. I am the worlds worse on spending time on this crazy computer. Whether it's for business or pleasure, tracking social media accounts or maintaining charts, it has become third to only two other priorities and those
|Library Card Systems-A distant memory replaced by Computers|
but what about
Just a note on privacy, or the lack thereof: people talk about it and some are genuinely concerned about keeping it but the other side of the spectrum includes those who catalog their every move on facebook, checking in at each restaurant, store, gas station and movie theater they frequent and who they are with; and even more invasive is foursquare where people let you know when they get home, when they arrive at work and when they stop off at their friendly ATM. This post is probably being recorded and cataloged along side my name. Ooo...that's a little creepy. But it's true and it will probably soon end up on that long list I found at the outset when I googled "9 Things That Are Disappearing in Our Lifetime."
Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned HiddenValley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family. Connect with Teri on Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV
photo credit: jakebouma via photopin cc