Ten Things that Will Disappear in Our Lifetimes

Disappear

Perhaps you’ve already seen this interesting and provocative prognostication. Author is unknown. Comments below each item are edited for brevity. My brief comments are at the end.

1. The Post Office

The Postal Service is so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of our mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Check

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. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would surely 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. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it.

4. The Book

Some say they will never give up the physical book they hold in their hands. Many said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. But they quickly changed their minds when they discovered they could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. And the price is less than half that of a real book.

5. The Land Line Telephone

Unless one has a large family and makes a lot of local calls, it’s not needed anymore. Most people keep it simply because they’ve always had it. But now most cell phone companies allow unlimited local and long distance calling at no extra charge.

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 are the problem.

7. Television Revenues

Viewing of programs on national networks is down dramatically. 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 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

8. The “Things” 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. Many “possessions” are virtual and already simply reside in “the cloud.” If we save something, it is saved in the cloud, sometimes free, often with a monthly subscription fee.  In this virtual world, could it all disappear at any moment in a big “poof?”

9. Joined Handwriting (Cursive Writing)

Cursive writing is already gone in some schools that no longer teach “joined handwriting.” Nearly everything is done now on computers or keyboards of some type (pun not intended).

10. Privacy

There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into computers and cell phones. In reality, someone knows 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 and again.

You may or may not agree with any or all of these projections. I don’t agree with #6. Music will survive. Some of the rest are already reality. Others may occur in the future. Time will tell.

What would our grandparents have thought if someone had told them that an automobile would be able to start with no keys in hand, stop itself with no one applying the brake, and park itself with no one touching the wheel? All those things are happening today. Not all of them are bad.

So stay tuned. And stay grounded. Technology is changing how we live and also how long we live. Possessions are finite. Life is real. Life is fragile. Life is precious. Life is a gift of God. His love for his world and for his people never changes.

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