40+ Items Tech Will Kill this Digital Decade
Blind dates, instruction manuals, desktop computers, offline voting, homework, car keys, resumes, wristwatches, and more will be replaced this digital decade by advances in technology. This month everyone in the tech community and beyond is trying to predict what is going to happen in the coming year. As a different exercise, I wanted to take a look at what will no longer exist when this decade concludes.
I’ve taken my best stab, some more outlandish than others. Please see the list and video below (the video will not play on mobile devices due to YouTube restrictions on third-party content).
1. Wrist Watches: Sure some will still wear them for fashion or swimming, but ask a Gen Y or Z crowd to raise their hand if they aren’t wearing a wristwatch and you will see many naked wrists in the air
2. Paperbacks: I still love a good book in my hands, but more and more I find myself cheating on my first love with my new love – Ms. Kindle.
3. Traditional Homework: With offerings like Khan Academy and MITx more and more teachers assign watching a lecture or lesson on YouTube as the homework and then doing the “traditional homework” in the classroom with the help of the instructor and peers. Being able to watch the best in the world deliver a lecture on a topic is a much better way to learn when you combine it with in-class practice. I wish this were around when I went to school – break out the popcorn!
5. Car Keys
6. College Backpacks: Imagine how nice it will be just to carry around a tablet with all your textbooks accessible in the cloud. And they won’t cost $150 either. Also, you will be able to see the notes of all the other A+ students from around the world rather than praying that the used book you just purchased was from the next Einstein rather than the next Stoner. The books will be auto-updated as well.
8. Instruction Manuals: Replaced my much easier-to-comprehend “How To” videos
9. Corked Wine: Screw Tops are better technology, but not quite as romantic
10. Offline Voting: No more “hanging chads” and imagine the percentage of voter increasing when you can do it with a click of a button from your house. Even better, the results will be in real-time.
11. Cash: Mobile phones become transactional
12. Desktop Computers
13. Paper Shredders
14. Post Offices: We are already seeing a record number of Post Office closings across the United States. Take advantage now and send someone a handwritten note (watch the hand cramps)
15. 2D: And we thought High Definition was cool
16. Boring Airplanes: With WiFi standards on every plane soon, in the future we may not want to disembark!
17. Paper Resumes: Hello LinkedIn and online reputation management
18. Blind Dates: Sad, but true. With so much information out there and friends of friends, the truly blind date will cease to exist #adiosakwardmoments
19. Broadcast TV: As discussed in Socialnomics everything will eventually be streamed – it’s simply better technology
20. Education Inequality: With tools like YouTube for Schools and Khan Academy everyone will have access to great educational content. Everyone that is has access to the Internet. The hope is that with increases in WiFi availability and decreases in hardware costs on tablets and smartphones this becomes a reality.
21. Clipping Coupons: With the success of Travelzoo Local, Groupon, Living Social, and others, most coupons are becoming digital.
22. Hotel Internet Fees: Hopefully we can all wave bye-bye to the $14.95 Internet Fees at hotels, just like we no longer use the hotel phone for long-distance calls
23. Checkbooks: Online Banking and PayPal
24. Face-to-Face: Sad, but true. We have less interpersonal communication than in years past
25. Credit Cards: Dealing directly with iTunes, Amazon, etc., and using your mobile device saves everyone money… except Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express.
26. MTV: Actually that died already. Anyone wanting to launch their music career in “Lady Gaga” or “Justin Bieber” fashion knows YouTube is the key
27. Alarm Clocks: Replaced by Smartphones
28. Terrestrial Radio: Replaced by a satellite radio
29. Greeting Cards: If the post office is gone and we’re all trying to be green we all may get an e-Card in the years to come
30. Big Box Stores (like Best Buy): If the best reviews and ratings are online as well as the cheapest prices, why deal with all the hassles of going to the store to pay more? Similar to Blockbuster stores going away.
31. Gossip: Actually this will still exist, we’ll just type it
32. Tollbooth Operators
33. Leaders: Well future leaders will need new digital leadership skills starting today and in the digital decades ahead
34. Channel Surfing
35. Movie Phone Times: Remember having to sit through all the recorded times (great Seinfeld episode on this too btw) to get the movie time you wanted #painful #alwaysthelastonelisted
36. Armor Cars: See cash above
37. Airline Gate Agents: Now if only we could get a read of airline security lines…
38. Mail Order Catalogs
39. Expert Movie Critiques: Would you rather trust 4,573 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, Yelp, or Yahoo or two talking heads that have no idea what your tastes are? There is safety in numbers my friends #itssimplemath
41. Gas Stations: OK, this is more of a dream ☺
42. Smartless Phones
43. Memo Pads
44. Classrooms: Homeschooling will now be for the cool kids rather than the outcasts
45. Paper Maps
46. Texting in the Car: Well at least it will hopefully be illegal when you are driving. Studies have shown texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving
47. Computer Mouse
48. Privacy: All these benefits do come at a cost. As Scott Monty of Ford says: “We will all have our fifteen minutes of privacy.”
Research for my new book Digital Leader spurred this thought and video. While I researched what skills and habits were needed to lead our best life in this hyper-connected Digital Decade (hint: simplify and fail fast, fail forward, fail better) I thought it would be fun to showcase just how quickly items can change. Do you agree with the video?