Soon to be Obsolete?

I was cruising around on the internet the other day and stumbled across an article entitled, “Your Remote Control and 35 Other Things That Will Soon Be Obsolete.”  I was intrigued, and let’s face it, I like lists, so I clicked the bait.  Here are MY thoughts on those 36 things.

  1.  Cash – Hmmm.  I agree that debit cards, electronic banking, and apps like VENMO certainly lessen the need for cash, but doesn’t there have to be… “something” backing up all these electronic transactions?  Also, I can already tell I’m going to need the author of this article to define “soon” and “obsolete.”
  2. Remote controls – It sounds great to me.  Who doesn’t hate running around looking for that remote to the TV, the sound system, the Echo Dot?  But what is the alternative?  Will everything be voice activated?  That seems just as annoying since Siri and Alexa only understand what I have to say half of the time.
  3. Car keys – Yup.  With everyone walking around with a key fob in their purse/pocket, I can see it.
  4. Hotel room keys – Aside from the mom and pop motels by the seaside, I think this has already happened.
  5. House keys – Really?  You couldn’t have lumped these last three items together under one heading?  But let’s talk about house keys and the numeric code pads.  Make sure you have a pedestrian door code pad and not just one to the garage door.  Our ten year old neighbor had to come to our house when the power went out and she arrived home from school and wasn’t able to get into her own house using the garage door entry pad. 
  6. Manual transmission cars – Well, that’s just sad.  I like having bragging rights about how to drive one.  Also, every kid should have fun memories of learning to drive a car with manual transmission.  My girlfriend and I taught each other while test driving cars from used car lots. 
  7. College textbooks – Hear, hear!  That is the best one I’ve heard yet.  Surely it should be a money saver all the way around.
  8. Classroom chalkboards – I have fabulous memories of the chalkboards at school, clamoring to be the one to get to erase it or clap the erasers outside.  But I think they had already moved on to whiteboards when my son was in elementary school 20 years ago.
  9. Mail collection boxes – This one also makes me sad.   I get it.  I’ve seen it coming with the introduction of email, electronic bill pay, and on-line shopping.  But I still get a thrill from receiving a birthday card or thinking-of-you note in the mail.  I love going to the post office and perusing the current selection of commemorative stamps and picking out a new box of notecards at the Hallmark store. 
  10. In person voting – I’m all for it.  Let’s do this thing!  Send me my ballot.
  11. Shopping malls – The types of stores in the malls certainly have changed over the years, and it’s hard not to notice the number of empty malls around the country – particularly strip malls.  I’m not a shopper and this one won’t be missed by me, but the skeletal remains are a little disturbing.
  12. Pay phones – Although phone booths were certainly fun in their time, I haven’t seen one in years.  Well, aside from the time Mr. Weasley and Harry used one to get into the Ministry of Magic.
  13. Plastic shopping bags – Can’t be soon enough.
  14. Plastic single use straws – I hear a lot of noise about this one, and I’m okay with it, but I can’t say I’ve seen much change in the restaurants I frequent.  And restaurants are the biggest abusers.  Often, there is a straw in my pop before it even gets to the table, and I don’t even want one.  I hope this goes away and soon – even if it saves only one sea turtle.
  15. Business cards – Interesting.  Being in the business world, I wonder what the replacement will be.  And how am I going to enter the fishbowl free lunch drawings?
  16. Checks – I admit I still use checks on occasion, but fewer people are accepting and fewer people are using them.  In fact many millennials have never had any and do not know how to fill one out.
  17. Desktop computers – Goodbye great big CPU.  This is just natural evolution and I can’t imagine anybody will wish for the good ol’ days when they had a desktop computer and monitor setup that took up half their work space.
  18. Paper maps – End of an era.  Great memories, but I get it.
  19. Cursive – I laugh when I think about the hours and hours of classroom time I spent in the study and practice of this technique.  Oh how I concentrated, with my tongue peeking out between my lips while I practiced the swirl of my cursive capital S.  It also is not lost on me that my grandchild may not be able to read the beautiful and historic letters that my father wrote and sent home during his deployment during WWII.
  20. Print catalogs – I’m in.  Do it already.
  21. Fax machines – Our IT Manager told me 10 years ago that “nobody faxes anymore.”  If only that were true.  We receive scores of faxes in our office every day.  I’d love to see them go away.
  22. GPS devices – I can only assume the author means stand-alone mapping devices, since I don’t see global positioning technology going anywhere.
  23. Portable music players – One word:  smartphone.
  24. Sharing school photos – Are the school pictures going away, or the sharing of them?  I would think every parent would want to continue the tradition of school days photos.  But I do think today’s kids probably just post a selfie on Snapchat and call it good.
  25. Print magazines – Will I have to read my PEOPLE magazine news online?  Reading a magazine online is just not the same as receiving it in the mail and curling up under a blanket to read it with a nice glass of wine.
  26. Alarm clocks – Again, replaced by smartphones I assume.  I can’t imagine a time that we just won’t have to get up in the morning anymore.  Well, actually I can, but it is currently reserved only for retired people.
  27. Headphones with cords – Thank goodness!  I’m like Dr. David Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk when my headset cord catches on something and jerks my head to the side.
  28. Parking meters – Meh
  29. Landline phones – Five plus years ago, giving up my landline, particularly my long-time landline number, was tough for me.  These days, I’m surprised when people say they still have one.
  30. Music CDs – Thank you, Captain Obvious.
  31. Paper receipts – This is a good thing.  If they give me one, I put it in my purse until I have too many of them and then I throw them away.  I appreciate when cashiers ask me if I want a copy so I can say no.
  32. Movies on DVD – As with keys, I think this is a combo item.  It should have been lumped with #30 Music CDs.  Was somebody just trying to see how long of a list they could make?
  33. Paper bills – I gotta say it.  I still like getting a paper bill.  Or at least a paper copy of my credit card statement.  An email saying a statement is out there in cyber-land is not enough of an incentive for me to go and review the charges.  And I really need to go and review the charges to keep my spending in check.
  34. Paper airline tickets and boarding passes – Combo item.  See #35.
  35. Movie theater tickets – It makes me a little nervous to have ticket information on my phone.  I get anxious about my battery dying or not having a strong enough signal at the moment of truth.  I’m trying to have faith.  My husband has none.  He still prints out all of our event tickets before we leave home.
  36. Calculators – This list could have probably been 25 items or less if we had grouped all of the devices that are being replaced by smartphones.  I love all the things my smartphone can do for me and I spend a lot of time staring at that screen.  I also try to be conscious about how much I’m doing that, particularly when in a room with loved ones.  How great would it be, if we spent as much time looking into our partner’s eyes or our child’s face as we do at our phones?

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