Technology has made many items slowly disappear and some have become extinct. While I was vacationing in Europe, I walked past a table of ‘antique’ typewriters that I can remember using not that long ago when I learned how to type in high school. I can still remember the teacher saying A-A-A space, S-S-S space, D-D-D space, F-F-F space while moving my fingers through the keyboard. Now, it seems more important to have super fast dexterity in your thumbs than it does knowing the QWERTY keyboard. Here’s a list of five things I think will be obsolete within 10 years.
- Checks– I don’t know about you, but I hate writing checks. Probably five years ago, I actually took a little pleasure on that special day nearing the end of the month where I felt so powerful putting my John Hancock on the bills I paid each month. Now, I haven’t produced a business or personal check in almost a year. In fact, Britain is laying the pavement to get rid of checks by the year 2018. Between on line bill pay, credit card, and soon to be Near Field Communication technology, checks likely won’t be around 10 years from now.
- Newspapers– It’s nice to find out the local news in your community or even read a USA today while resting in the airport. However, as tablets become a more integral part of how we use technology, the physical newspaper may be a thing of the past within the decade. Most of newspapers just simply aren’t profitable anyway, and many of the articles aren’t even written by local writers. You might still have to pay for a local or national subscription, but you won’t end up with fingers that are smudged with ink after you get your daily update.
- Home Phone– We may be getting closer to this one than others on the list. Many people who move now simply don’t even install a land line home phone. Some of the traditionalists still believe it’s good to have one in case of an emergency, and certainly the phone company isn’t going to push you away from something that is a big money maker for them. Now that the major cell phone carriers offer free minutes on your mobile phone between the most used callers, it may make even more sense than ever to bury that land line. Ten years from now, you won’t even see them as an option on new homes.
- Bookstore Chains– I don’t think we will ever be rid of that romantic bookstore where you whisk your way through an array of books and guides to kill some time while you sip your coffee. However, with the recent closing of a physical bookstore chain such as Border’s, there is great interest to see if a model like Barnes & Noble can withstand the pressure of having a physical presence. You may find these places a great place to kill a few hours with your kids, but they don’t make any money on babysitting. You actually have to buy books or magazines.
- United States Postal Office– You can only lose money so long before you recognize that maybe it’s time to go out of business. With competing companies like FedEx, UPS, etc., and being able to do much with printing labels on the Internet, you may just seen the USPS out of commission. A combination of increasing push for electronic statements, catalogue offers, and overnight shipping labels may make this animal extinct.
I’m sure after these five disappear into extinction, next up will be our privacy. It feels like most of that is gone anyway with a camera ready nearby to catch our goof up on some new you tube video. Just remember, less than ten years ago Facebook wasn’t even a company!
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc
oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice and Smart Money Moves to the X and Y Generation.
Phone 1.800.355.9318 or 770.777.0427
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