Recently todayshottrends.com posted an article about “Things killed by the Internet.” I found some of the things listed pretty interesting. However I do not think all of these things are completely gone. I just think the internet may have changed the way most people do things. It has played a role in changing the way we operate in general. I propose that most of these things, are not dead. There are things the internet has changed or had an effect on. One example, a lot of people will argue that the world is going paperless. Personally I think it’s a great thing. However it’s not going to happen overnight. What about the way we send information?
In the article, item number one is stamps. Stamps will always be around. There will always be a need for hand delivered hard copies or documents. Especially documents of a sensitive nature (legal documents). Someone out there is always sending something anonymously (not just in acts of terrorism or illegal activity). However I will agree that emailing and buying postage online is very popular. Not to mention how easy and waste-less digital imagery is. Which brings us to number two, faxing.
Faxing still happens on a daily bases. We may change how we receive or send our faxes. Emailing may be more efficient for sending images/documents. But there are people in this world, that faxing is still their main form of electronic delivery. Whom will more than likely will send faxes to someone, who will receive it as an email. But it’s not going away anytime soon. A fax is just a phone call away, without a trip to the internet. What about looking up phone numbers?
The article also listed telephone directories. I would almost agree with this one. However, what if you’re power goes out and you need to call the power company? Unless you have an emergency contact list or the number saved in your cell phone. How are you going to know who to call? I ran into this issue not long ago when my cable/internet went out. I had to find a neighbor with a phone book. When everything is perfect in the world of utilities, I think there is evidence of change in how some people look-up phone numbers. Moving on, next is picture albums.
Online picture albums are excellent way to share photos. I just started using Flickr myself. There are also some great photo picture frames that can connect via WiFi to your online photo sharing account. However even with high resolution photo technology, it’s still not a replacement for holding a real photo album. There’s something warm about being able to handle and touch photos. Do you get the same feeling passing a photo frame or iPhone around the coffee table? The internet may have changed how we share photos with people that we’re not geographically close too. But the photo album is not going to go away anytime soon. Too many scrap-bookers out there that agree with me. Speaking of sitting around the coffee table.
WATCHING TELEVISION TOGETHER
The article also suggest that watching television together is non-longer popular. I think the internet may have played a part in why families and friends don’t watch together. But I still think, it hasn’t killed it. It may have enabled more people to watch shows on their own. However it would be very hard to believe that sports fans, not sharing the big game with their friends at the local pub. However the internet combined with the changing family lifestyle, it’s a possible recipe for defeat. But the internet isn’t killing the idea of sharing time in front of the tube altogether. It’s changing the way we get our television programming. At our house, we no longer have cable. Most of what we watch comes from Hulu and we watch it together.
THE MYSTERY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
Foreign languages are mysterious, I do agree. I can use online tools to help translate some languages for better understanding. However I’m not comfortable saying, I could use these tools to master these languages. But never the less, even after using translation tools. I still find the meanings of strange words mysterious. I don’t know, it may just be me. Even with years of study, foreign languages are hard to understand. So languages are still mysterious.
Newspapers are losing their market share to internet media. It’s not new news. However they’re still around. People still want to be able to touch their news. It’s like a book. There is something special about the look and the feel of news print. Not to mention, how easy it is to read pages of news print verses pages of content on screen. As I said earlier with phone books, what are you going to read when the power goes out? Do you want to know something going on in your small town? Your best bet, is to pickup a newspaper. Not a lot of small community news outlets, maintain online editions. It’s not dead yet.
I can honestly say, I can count how many times I’ve been to a library in the last year on one hand. However I can’t say I wouldn’t go if, I had more time. I’m not much of a reader. But when I do have time. My choices are simple, I can either go online and find an ebook. I could buy a book from an online or offline retailer. My last option would be to go to the library. Which of these three options are free? Well legally and technically only one, the library. Yes, I know there are online libraries. But let’s not go there. The best place to find books and media free is your local library. Librarians, don’t worry about your job being replaced by the net.
Encyclopedias, I can agree with being nearly dead. I haven’t used an encyclopedia since I was in grade school. You don’t see many sales people for encyclopedias anymore. As much free content available for online. Why would you want to pay for an expensive multiple-volume set of static information? The only response I have is, if you’re wanting a record of a time period. Most internet encyclopedias are dynamic. They’re always changing, as the world changes. But I can only see this for historical reference. My cousin CJ, who is a history buff, he collects encyclopedias. However, I’m not completely sure, why he does. For most people, I would say they’re dead.
I think this one is a given. There is no room for privacy online. Some information is leaked out. But a lot of private information is given knowingly. One can not be too careful. Before you sign up for something, tweet something, Facebook something or etc, ask yourself “What am I giving out about myself? Am I giving out information that could harm me or my family?” Just some thoughts to ponder. Everything you do and everything you say is indexed. I don’t mean to scare anyone. But it’s the truth. Check your social networking privacy settings and watch what you say or give out.
Final thoughts. The internet is a great tool and force. However it hasn’t completely replaced all of these things. Some people will be late adopters of technology. That’s part of why some of these things still exists. I hope I haven’t offended anyone with this post. I just wanted to state my opinion on this article. Again, the internet has changed the way we do things, not killed old means. Feel free to comment your thoughts.