Change is part of human life. Our world is constantly changing and evolving to fit our needs and to keep up with technology. In years past, we have seen the typewriter replaced by the computer and the clothes line replaced by dryers. Not everything has been completely replaced though; many things have been updated such as a wooden box camera to a digital camera. Those who adapt to the change will be the ones to thrive in the changing world. All others will be left behind. Here are 12 guesses on the next things that will disappear in our lifetime:
- 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. The result of this means less mail traffic and the post office will suffer.
- 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. Emails and companies like FedEx 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.
- The Newspaper – The younger generation simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. 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, but it’s not stopping the decline.
- The Book – You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hands and turn the literal pages, but you will. 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. Another convenience is not lugging around a stack of heavy books.
- 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. For the extra service, you’re paying double. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for free.
- Corporate Music – 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. Opportunities on the internet such as online radios and websites like Pandora allow people to listen for free and reach the masses directly without a company.
- Network 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. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every four minutes. People will choose what they want to watch online and through companies like Netflix.
- Personal Files – Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies and documents. Your software is on a CD, and you can always re-install it if need be. 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. If you click on an icon, it will open something in the internet cloud. In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device.
- Privacy – If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it will 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. “They” will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again. You know who “they” are!
- Fax Machine – Ever since the introduction of email, the fax machine has not been needed or used as much. The only things the fax machine is still used for are when a scanner is not available to email a document somewhere, secure documents that need to reach a location quickly, or when a signature is required. In the future, everyone will relay documents through their smart phones. Eventually, people may even teleport and then people will no longer need to send documents.
- Keys – What will you need keys for when you have pin-codes on doors, face recognition, and a chip inserted in your hand?
- Jobs – The robots are taking over! Not completely, at least not yet! We will probably see higher unemployment rates due to technology, though.
There’s probably a lot more that will be added to the list very soon.