Sunday, February 27, 2005

Disappearing America

Terry Teachout (what a great name!) and Jeff Jarvis are asking for suggestions for items we now (almost) never use. Suggestions, so far...

• Ketchup in glass bottles.
• Newspapers and magazines on paper. I can’t remember the last time I read one (except for a couple of the magazines for which I write). If I can’t read it on line, I don’t read it.
• Fax machines. I have one, but I rarely use it more than twice a month, both ways.
• Going to the post office to mail packages. I use FedEx and UPS almost exclusively.
• Black discs and cassettes. I got rid of the remnants of my collection when I moved to this apartment two years ago. I no longer own a turntable or a cassette deck.
• TV commercials. I now watch all TV programs after the fact (having previously recorded them on my DVR), meaning that I only see commercials as they whiz by silently and at very high speed.
• Typewriters. I disposed of my last one ten years ago. The only thing I miss about it is not having to address envelopes by hand....
• Floppy disks. I back up my computer on line every night.
• “Water-cooler” TV shows. The last TV series to be viewed on a regular basis by more than a handful of my friends was The Sopranos....

Jeff added:
: Stick shifts.
: Corded phones.
: Videotape.
: Christmas cards.
: Ice-cube trays.
: Car cassette players.
: Knobs on public washroom sinks.
: Bar soap.
: Aerosol cans.
: Downtowns.
: Local hardware stores.
: Polyester.
: Modems.

Here's what I added...
- Human beings answering the phone at businesses
- Car CD players (satellite radio, iPod, etc., breaking into my car CD listening)
- Walkman-style portable radio (now they are all CD/MP3/insert widget here)
- Local pharmacist (I still have one, though)
- Travel agents
- Mops (Swiffering away here)
- Toilet brushes (disposable now)
- Increasingly, our local movie rental place (as more offer mail-in services)
- Products that don't multi-task (i.e. moisturizing anitbacterial lemon hand soap is what you see now)


Blogger Jeff Jarvis said...

Most comments are good ones! ;-)

12:17 PM  

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