Thursday, December 31, 2009

12 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade

(from HuffPost)

Text messaging, BlackBerry Messaging, Instant Messaging, Tweeting, Google Wave-ing, and emailing have taken over communication. The popularity of text messaging is gradually edging out calling. The AP reports that Americans sent more than 110 billion text messages in December 2008, double the number in the last month of 2007.

Very interesting and true. Sending a quick text seems so much easier than engaging in pleasantries to express a simple message. The big shift for me was receiving texts from my mom.

-Newspaper classifieds
Not only have ad dollars followed audiences online, but the expansion of Craigslist -- from one city, San Francisco, to over 500 -- has sent chills down the spines of newspaper publishers everywhere, thinning newspapers and reducing ad sales.

I can remember searching for apartments pre-Craigslist but I can't imagine job searching w/o online resources. Good-bye newspapers.

-Dial Up Internet
Noisy, slow, erratic, and wired.

It almost feels nostalgic to think that I am the last pre-internet generation. I can remember the early internet and dial-up. It built character to witness the difference in information exchange, business, and porn.

Users have traded Britannicas on the bookshelf for the collaboratively-built, online-only Wikipedia.

Just the other day, an older film made an encyclopedia reference. I joked that it was obviously pre-internet. Despite corporations using backdoor tactics to influence wiki entries, I like the notion of a decentralized cooperative resource.

CDs, and the stores that sold them, have all but been replaced by digital music that can be downloaded online, one track at a time.

CDs are still around to some extent and I can't wait until they are gone! My car's stereo can't catch up fast enough.

-Landline Phones

I haven't used a landline phone as my primary phone since around 2002. It doesn't make much sense to.

-Film (Film Cameras)
Digital cameras--on phones, point-and-shoots, or computers--are capturing memories, instantly and cheaply, in place of film cameras.

It is almost a little sad to think of all the energy and money I put into film photography.

-Yellow Pages & Address Books
Phone books, address books, and the Yellow Pages have been made obsolete, their information transferred from paper onto smartphones, and the web.

What does anyone do with the phonebooks they keep delivering now but throw them away?!

Earlier this decade, "spam" came through the mail slot, not into your inbox.

As a youngster, I would spend hours and hours pouring over catalogs. Now I spend hours and hours on blogs featuring the newest products. When will the scourge of Victoria's Secret catalogs cease?!

-Fax Machines

Fax machines have always seemed antiquated to me since I only began using one for work in 2001.

Wireless internet, wireless updating, wireless downloads, wireless charging, wireless headphones: Although wires are still around (for now!), they're well on their way to being a thing of the past.

This is one area I am still trying to catch up on. My computer and TV are still tethered to wires.

-Hand-Written Letters
Love letters, thank you notes, and invitations have gone being hand-written to typed, and from the mailbox to the inbox. Sending online messages is a bargain next to $.44 stamp.

As long as I am thanking people older than me, a physical letter will still be in use. I must also admit- things like physical love letters are art and electronic versions don't compare (yet).


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