The Huffington Post ran a feature called “12 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade.” Given many of the comments we’ve seen here and there, we fully expected to find radio, broadcast television or both on the list some way or somehow. We’re very glad to find that they are not there.
The fingerprints of the internet and wireless, or the combination of internet and wireless, are on just about every casualty identified by HP. In fact, one of the casualties is simply “wires.” The only casualty not directly tied to them is film and film cameras, but even its demise is, it goes without saying, digitally-based and the digital photography now firmly in place is there partly because it is so internet-friendly.
Here, then, is the Huffington list, with our comments in parentheses:
* Calling on the phone (as opposed to emailing, texting, etc. – guilty as charged on the email part, although we still don’t get texting – but out kids sure do)
* Newspaper classified ads (threatening to take down the entire industry with them)
* Dial-up internet (could not do our job with dial-up – good bye and good riddance)
* Encyclopedias (nowhere to store that many books)
* CDs (we still love them – we want the album, not just a single; we hope this downloading only a single will go out of favor just as the old 45 RPMs did)
* Landline phones (we still need ours – lousy digital reception inside the house in this particular location)
* Film and film cameras (what ever happened to all those old photo development kiosks?)
* Yellow pages/address books (just getting ready to update the old address book – are we geezers or what?)
* Catalogs (still like to flip through them, actually)
* Fax machines (still around but essentially done in by email)
* Wires (we don’t know about you, but there are still plenty or wires around this place)
* Hand-written letters (too hard to fix errors, and where did we put those stamps, anyway?)
RBR-TVBR observation: We still like several of the items on the Huffington list, which perhaps dates us. And we certainly like our broadcast content local – and keeping a strong local presence is the only way broadcast outlets will avoid being on a similar list a decade or three down the road.