Submitted by Jacki Unger
Some of these are not surprising and some are frightening.
1. The Post Office
Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. It is so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it for the 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.
3. The Newspaper
The younger generation simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. It may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused 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 internet connection 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 might happen with books. The internet price is less than half that of a real book.
5. The Land Line Telephone
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don’t need a land line telephone anymore. Most people keep it simply because they’ve always had it. And it’s much easier to hear voices on the land line phone.
The music industry is dying a slow death. It’s not just because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of innovative new music. Greed and corruption are the problems. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is from “catalog items,” meaning traditional music, older established artists that the public is familiar with.
Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. 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
Today your computer has a hard drive to 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. Using the cloud system, when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. 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. 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?
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. 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.
All we will have that can’t be changed are memories.