Thursday, January 06, 2011

2011 Generation

The Huffington Post recently ran an article on 20 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade and a Yahoo writer picked up on it and added her own thoughts on Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know. Here’s the list (with occasional commentary – “hers” and mine)

1. Videotape

2. Travel agents

3. Separation of work & home. The revolution we were promised with the Internet is beginning to come into being. An increasing number of careers are no longer geographically fixed.

4. Books, magazines and newspapers. I mourn one of the three – books. I love the feel of a book in my hand, even the smell of an old book when you open its pages. However, practicality rules here. With my hubby’s ever-increasing library, we are looking at having to add-on or buy a new house! With a Kindle (or other eReaders), you can carry 1500+ books in the palm of your hand. The Huffington Post article believes bookstores are also headed to extinction. I hope not. I love perusing the clearance aisles of a bookstore and finding that hidden gem I otherwise would never have read.

5. Movie rental stores. A Netflix executive recently stated the company expects the streaming side of the business to become their prominent product in the rather near future.

6. Watches. That’s just one of the services our cell phones provides.

7. Paper maps. Three letters – GPS

8. Wired phones (landlines).

9. Long distance. (For my generation – remember when calling out-of-town friends/family was a big deal because of the expense?)

10. Newspaper classifieds

11. Dial-up Internet

12. Encyclopedias. We just took our set to Goodwill last week.

13. Forgotten friendsRemember when an old friend would bring up someone you went to high school with, and you'd say, "Oh yeah, I forgot about them!" The next generation will automatically be in touch with everyone they've ever known even slightly via Facebook” or other social media.

14. Forgotten anything else. “Kids born this year will never know what it was like to stand in a bar and incessantly argue the unknowable. Today the world's collective knowledge is on the computer in your pocket or purse."

15. The evening news.

16. Music CDs. Bobby is constantly reminding me not to buy a CD, buy the MP3.

17. Film cameras. Digital cameras have completely changed how we document our life. Click away - if the shot is bad you can delete it. No development expense.

18. Yellow & white page. They’ll continue to exist – as apps on your Smartphone.

19. Catalogs – Will continue in online form.

20. Fax machines

21. One picture to a frame. We have a digital frame to my Mom as a Christmas present a few years ago. It really brought home how extensively the “digital age” is changing even basic paradigms.

22. Wires to anything.

23. Handwritten letters. I hope this projection is wrong. Digital communication is quick, but ink and paper communicates so much more deeply. I believe the act of shaping the words with a pen shapes what you write – the thought process is different.

24. Talking to one person at a time. Unfortunately this one will be accurate. Skype to one person, text another and email yet another – all simultaneously. In fact, the Huffington Post article asserts calling itself will become obsolete in favor of digital means of communication.

25. Retirement plans. Yes, Johnny, there was a time when all you had to do was work at the same place for 20 years and they'd send you a check every month for as long as you lived. In fact, some companies would even pay your medical bills, too!”

26. Mail.What's left when you take the mail you receive today, then subtract the bills you could be paying online, the checks you could be having direct-deposited, and the junk mail you could be receiving as junk email? Answer: A bloated bureaucracy that loses billions of taxpayer dollars annually.”

27. Commercials on TV

28. Commercial music radio. Can you say Pandora?

29. Hiding.Not long ago, if you didn't answer your home phone, that was that -- nobody knew if you were alive or dead, much less where you might be. Now your phone is not only in your pocket, it can potentially tell everyone -- including advertisers -- exactly where you are.”

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