Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kids of the future: high tech virtuosos, or just know-it-all @ssholes who won’t write handwritten thank you notes to grandma?

X-Posted to Closed Stacks
Recently The Huffington Postcame out with a list of items that will become historic by 2020 titled, You’re Out: 20 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade, which prompted a similar story on Money Talks News titled 30 Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never KnowWhile the Huffington Post entry limited it’s literary genocide to bookstores, while the second story did one better by lumping in there books in general as well as magazines and newspapers. Of course this is what got my attention for me to read the article, though we all know that this is old news and I won’t bore you with another article dedicated to print vs. electronic media, but I did think some of the other items that made the list were interesting and threw in a couple of my own. If you do archival work you may soon find yourself preserving some of these in the near future:

  1. Watches – Even now unless you’re pimping a rolex you can easily check out the time by glancing at your iphone and a survey by Beloit College of its class of 2014 found, “Few incoming freshmen know how to write in cursive or have ever worn a wristwatch.”
  2. The Heartfelt Mixtape – Future teen generations will never understand the importance of finding the perfect Sonic Youth song to follow something classic by Morrissey plus a bunch of obscure junk no one else has ever heard of, then decorating the cassette or cd case and shoving it through the vents of their crush’s locker.
  3. Handwritten Letters – When was the last time you went to the mailbox and found an actual letter? Thank you notes, party invitations, letters written on fun stationary with little arrows in the corner in case you didn’t know to flip the page over – all gone! How about letters in general? Now I feel like some rambling jerk if I send a friend an actual friendly email instead of simply Tweeting, “Your new baby rocks!” or updating my Facebook with pictures of my trip to France instead of telling people about it, or texting, “Howru? Im gr8! Tmb xoxo!”
  4. Staplers – If paper is getting used less and less, work places are choosing computer file folders over giant file cabinets, and students can just email their teachers their homework, the stapler will disappear.
  5. Checks – I still have a checkbook, but I rarely use it and feel like the biggest nerd when I do as it seems like this is a form of currency now reserved for little old ladies with change purses (and the fact that mine are Care Bear checks only adds to the embarrassment). A credit card will be all you need by 2020.
  6. Plagiarizing – Students of the next decade will never know the pure joy of copying a huge block of text word for word out of their parent’s outdated encyclopedia for their history project because learning institutions have access to programs that do all sorts of crazy full text searching or detecting unnatural sentence structures.
  7. Naughty Adult Stores – Thanks to the internet, one no longer has to turn to nudie magazine or x-rated videos and blow-up sex dolls and other toys can be ordered with a double click and discretely sent to your doorstep.
  8. Pub Quiz – Did the Nazis really invent Fanta? Was there a Betsy Ross Pez dispenser? Kids born today will never have to buy a round due to losing out on some trivia bet because they will be able to look up the information immediately on whatever iPad or magic phone equivalent they have (they will also have no clue what Fanta or Pez is and probably won’t care).

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