Another year is coming to a close and a new year is set to begin – and the unknown that it brings – is before us. What changes will 2017 bring?
Since no one knows for sure, it is up to columnists to make a few predictions. Some get the jump on others, just to say they predicted a “billionaire populist” would be elected president.
I prefer to second-guess those prognosticators and my favorite is the tech writer – I won’t use his name – who, like clockwork – tells us each December what technology is replacing.
With that, here are the many beloved things disappearing before our eyes – according to Tech Guy:
• The Post Office – get ready to live in a world without the post office, Tech Guy says. “They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is no way to sustain it long term. Most of your mail is junk mail and bills, anyway.” Except, the post office makes money sending out junk mail. They also make money delivering packages for UPS and Fed Ex. While the post office will surely change – no Saturday deliver? – it’s not going anywhere in the next decade.
• The Check – The UK is already laying the groundwork to do away with check in 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process and handle checks and plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the demise of the check, the Tech Guy writes. I’m OK with that change – and don’t write more than a half-dozen checks a month anyway, usually to folks who won’t take plastic.
• The Book – Tech Guy claims that statistics from any library will tell you the growth of online books spell the demise of printed books. I would say, “Whooooaaa.” Just because there is a trend of fewer books being sold and checked out of libraries, it doesn’t mean they will cease printing books in the next decade. Or in my lifetime.
• The Newspaper – A delivered newspaper is going the way of delivered milk, claims the Tech Guy. Hmmm…the new big thing in groceries is delivery – so, maybe we’ve come full cycle? There are a number of companies buying up newspapers – see: Columbia Daily Tribune – and papers as small as this one or as big as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had profitable years in 2016. Certainly newspapers don’t carry the heft they did 10, 15 or 25 years ago. But I don’t see recycled newsprint going completely away in the next decade or two.
• Land Line Telephone – It’s history, says the Tech Guy. No kidding? I got rid of my land line about 2004.
• Cable Television – skyrocketing cable TV rates have led to an entire new class of citizens: Cord Cutters. I agree. I watched a few minutes of a pro football game last week on a live Twitter feed. i watch movies and TV shows on Netflix. Streaming will likely send cable companies the same route they did video stores.
Not all of the changes noted by Tech Guy writers will happen overnight. But a little at a time, over the next few years – or decades.
Remember the days of hanging your laundry on the line in the back yard and attic fans because we didn’t have central air?
Change is coming along with it a mixed bag of good and bad.