- Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part
on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come...or should
I say...here they are already!
- 1. 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.
- Email, Fed Ex, 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.
- 2. 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. This plays right into the
death of the post office If you never paid your bills by mail and never
received them by mail, the post office would absolutely 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. The rise in mobile
Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine
publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the
major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.
- 4. The Book. You say you will never give up
the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages.
I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my
hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could
get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest
music. The same thing will happen with books. 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. And think of the convenience! Once
you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you
find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next,
and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.
- 5. 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're always had it. But you are paying double
charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you
call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your
- 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
is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates simply self-destruction.
Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning
traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists.
This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating
and disturbing topic further, check out the book,
- "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper,
and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies."
- 7. 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
all lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching
TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest
common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about
every 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
- I say good riddance to most of it It's time for the
cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what
they want to watch online and
- through Netflix.
- 7. The "Things" That 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. They may simply reside in "the
cloud." Today, your computer has a hard drive and you store
your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or
DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing.
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. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac
OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will
open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be
saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud
- In this virtual world, you can access your music or your
books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the
good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or
will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?"
Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes
you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book
from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.
- 8. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we
can look back on nostalgically, it would 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. And "They" will try to get you to buy something
else. Again and again.
- All we will have that can't be changed are Memories.
- One of the things that I notice almost EACH DAY, is that
within my mailbox there are handfuls of advertisements that I do not
want, did not wish to receive, and yet this makes up the bulk of my mail
and they have received a reduced postage rate (while I have to pay a premium
rate). I remove this junk from my mailbox, walk approximately
six feet to my trash can and they are thrown into it. But, the Post Office
has apparently spent the majority of its time delivering such trash.