Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

February 16, 2014

NOW HEAR THIS: Going the way of the dinosaur

By LARRY M. JONES

Recently my wife passed along to me an email she received from a friend. It listed 10 things that will disappear in our lifetimes. I’m sure that some of you also received it, but for those who didn’t, I’ll summarize it.

The first, and perhaps the one that has received the most press, is the post office. Can you imagine a world without mail service? Well, get used to it.

Email has all but replaced letters from friends and family. Magazines and newspapers which were previously delivered to the “pore farm” by the mail carrier are now being sent via e-editions. Nine out of 10 of my bills are paid online these days. FedEx and UPS have long since dominated package delivery, and now I read that they’re being threatened by “Amazon Prime Air” which claims to be readying a delivery system via drones.

Checks are also on the chopping block in the near future. This is closely intertwined with the decline of the postal service. If you don’t receive your bills by mail, and you don’t pay them by check, there goes an industry. I currently don’t write one-tenth the number of checks I did, even 10 years ago.

The next two items on the extinction list are virtually one in the same – books and newspapers. Ease of access via electronic links, along with the cost of printing and publishing, makes this form of media an easy target. Don’t buy stock in a paper company.

The surge in popularity of the smartphone has had a tremendous impact on the aforementioned banking, mail service and printed media, but it has another primetime industry in the crosshairs – landline telephone service.

With improved cell phone coverage, telephone lines will become a thing of the past. Down on the “pore farm” I was in college before we got our first phone, and now, 50 years later, they’re going away.

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