Imagine that someone went into a coma 30 years ago and woke-up only to discover that some major changes have happened in his/her absence! It would be hard for anyone to explain to that person that you no longer need a paper ticket to travel, that you can take your phone on the street and talk as you go practically anywhere in the world. It would also be challenging to introduce the concept of the internet and research on the Net… and it will be even harder to get into the medical field, DNA has revolutionized police mentality and has made many secrets impossible.
Digital has killed the film and the developing and printing industry!
I can go on and on about what happened and the pace at which it happened. It used to take centuries to go from human and animal strength to steam, and from steam to electricity and internal combustion; but since the invention of the micro-chip, humanity has been floating on constantly moving clouds. Slowing down is a luxury no one can afford, you blink and somebody, somewhere on the planet earth, has passed ahead of you! The concept of buying durable goods that will survive you has become a fallacy, buy whatever does just the trick you need today and get the new version cheaper in six months.
There are still many things that will become obsolete and disappear shortly, we know for sure that paper checks will no longer exist. Their cost and the logistics surrounding their issuance make them impractical, plastic cards and online banking will lead to the demise of this instrument. The post office will never survive the ease and security provided by email and courier services, all you get in the mail today are ads, coupons and the eventual holiday card from your grandmother or old companies that still believe in personalized, signed wishes. I still enjoy them but will soon talk about them to the next generations, as a thing from the past.
It is interesting to ask young people about the newspaper they choose to read. Very few read newspapers except on planes if there is no WiFi. So much is accessible in an organized selective form and for free that you almost wonder why would somebody need to buy what we can all get for free.
The same applies to printed books, our telephone landlines and music.
Education and an open mind are the only saviors. They empower individual creativity and allow adaptability and flexibility. As soon as you become rigid, you break or die.
The one thing that we are losing that scares me to death is: Privacy. The concept is in real danger. All I described above means that we talk publicly, we think publicly, our movements are observed and controlled by some you know and some you don’t. We also get our information from the same sources and respond accordingly. Basically, the brain drivers, behavior controls and on a lighter note, the body searches we must go through for security purposes, the way we pay our tolls and the surveillance cameras are all conspiring to get rid of the very essential concept of privacy.
We don’t know yet what we don’t know, so we’d better get used to full exposure!