Here is a list of 24 things that evidence says are on their wayout in the near future
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Here’s a list of 24 things which evidence says are on their way out in
the near future
24. Yellow Pages
This year will be pivotal for the global Yellow Pages
industry. Much like newspapers, print Yellow Pages will continue to bleed
dollars to their various digital counterparts, from Internet Yellow Pages
(IYPs), to local search engines and combination search/listing services like
Reach Local and Yodel Factors like an acceleration of the print ‘fade rate’
and the looming recession will contribute to the onslaught. One research
firm predicts the falloff in usage of newspapers and print Yellow Pages
could even reach 10% this year — much higher than the 2%-3% fade rate seen
in past years.
23. Classified Ads
The Internet has made so many things obsolete that
newspaper classified ads might sound like just another trivial item on a
long list. But this is one of those harbingers of the future that could
signal the end of civilization as we know it. The argument is that if
newspaper classifieds are replaced by free online listings at sites like
Craigslist.org and Google Base, then newspapers are not far behind them.
22. Movie Rental Stores
While Netflix is looking up at the moment, Blockbuster
keeps closing store locations by the hundreds. It still has about 6,000 left
across the world, but those keep dwindling and the stock is down
considerably in 2008, especially since the company gave up a quest of
Circuit City. Movie Gallery, which owned the Hollywood Video brand, closed
up shop earlier this year. Countless small video chains and mom-and-pop
stores have given up the ghost already.
21. Dial-up Internet Access
Dial-up connections have fallen from 40% in 2001 to 10% in
2008. The combination of an infrastructure to accommodate affordable high
speed Internet connections and the disappearing home phone have all but
pounded the final nail in the coffin of dial-up Internet access.
20. Phone Landlines
According to a survey from the National Center for Health
Statistics, at the end of 2007, nearly one in six homes was cell-only and,
of those homes that had landlines, one in eight only received calls on their
19. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs
Maryland’s icon, the blue crab, has been fading away in
Chesapeake Bay. Last year Maryland saw the lowest harvest (22 million
pounds) since 1945. Just four decades ago the bay produced 96 million
pounds. The population is down 70% since 1990, when they first did a formal
count. There are only about 120 million crabs in the bay and they think they
need 200 million for a sustainable population. Over-fishing, pollution,
invasive species and global warming get the blame.
For the better part of three decades, the VCR was a
best-seller and staple in every American household until being completely
decimated by the DVD, and now the Digital Video Recorder (DVR). In fact, the
only remnants of the VHS age at your local Wal-Mart or Radio Shack are blank
VHS tapes these days. Pre-recorded VHS tapes are largely gone and VHS decks
are practically nowhere to be found. They served us so well.
17. Ash Trees
In the late 1990s, a pretty, iridescent green species of
beetle, now known as the emerald ash borer, hitched a ride to North America
with ash wood products imported from eastern Asia. In less than a decade its
larvae have killed millions of trees in the Midwest, and continue to spread.
They’ve killed more than 30 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan
alone, with tens of millions more lost in Ohio and Indiana. More than 7.5
billion ash trees are currently at risk.
16. Ham Radio
Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often
worldwide) wireless communications with each other and are able to support
their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary,
while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory.
However, proliferation of the Internet and its popularity among youth has
caused the decline of amateur radio. In the past five years alone, the
number of people holding active ham radio licenses has dropped by 50,000,
even though Morse Code is no longer a requirement.
15. The Swimming Hole
Thanks to our litigious society, swimming holes are
becoming a thing of the past. ’20/20′ reports that swimming hole owners,
like Robert Every in High Falls, NY, are shutting them down out of worry
that if someone gets hurt they’ll sue. And that’s exactly what happened in
Seattle. The city of Bellingham was sued by Katie Hofstetter who was
paralyzed in a fall at a popular swimming hole in Whatcom Falls Park. As
injuries occur and lawsuits follow, expect more swimm
ing holes to post ‘Keep
14. Answering Machines
The increasing disappearance of answering machines is
directly tied to No. 20 our list — the decline of landlines. According to
USA Today, the number of homes that only use cell phones jumped 159% between
2004 and 2007. It has been particularly bad in New York; since 2000,
landline usage has dropped 55%. It’s logical that as cell phones rise, many
of them replacing traditional landlines, that there will be fewer answering
13. Cameras That Use Film
It doesn’t require a statistician to prove the rapid
disappearance of the film camera in America. Just look to companies like
Nikon, the professional’s choice for quality camera equipment. In 2006, it
announced that it would stop making film cameras, pointing to the shrinking
market — only 3% of its sales in 2005, compared to 75% of sales from
digital cameras and equipment.
12. Incandescent Bulbs
Before a few years ago, the standard 60-watt (or, yikes,
100-watt) bulb was the mainstay of every U.S. home. With the green movement
and all-things-sustainable-energy crowd, the Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb
(CFL) is largely replacing the older, Edison-era incandescent bulb. The EPA
reports that 2007 sales for Energy Star CFLs nearly doubled from 2006, and
these sales accounted for approximately 20 percent of the U.S. light bulb
market. And according to USA Today, a new energy bill plans to phase out
incandescent bulbs in the next four to 12 years.
11. Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys
Bowling Balls. US claims there are still 60 million
Americans who bowl at least once a year, but many are not bowling in
stand-alone bowling alleys. Today most new bowling alleys are part of
facilities for all types or recreation including laser tag, go-karts, bumper
cars, video game arcades, climbing walls and glow miniature golf. Bowling
lanes also have been added to many non-traditional venues such as adult
communities, hotels and resorts, and gambling casinos.
10. The Milkman
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1950,
over half of the milk delivered was to the home in quart bottles, by 1963,
it was about a third and by 2001, it represented only 0.4% percent.
Nowadays most milk is sold through supermarkets in gallon jugs. The steady
decline in home-delivered milk is blamed, of course, on the rise of the
supermarket, better home refrigeration and longer-lasting milk. Although
some milkmen still make the rounds in pockets of the U.S., they are
certainly a dying breed.
9. Hand-Written Letters
In 2006, the Radicati Group estimated that, worldwide, 183
billion e-mails were sent each day. Two million each second. By November of
2007, an estimated 3.3 billion Earthlings owned cell phones, and 80% of the
world’s population had access to cell phone coverage. In 2004,
half-a-trillion text messages were sent, and the number has no doubt
increased exponentially since then. So where amongst this gorge of gabble is
there room for the elegant, polite hand-written letter?
8. Wild Horses
It is estimated that 100 years ago, as many as two million
horses were roaming free within the United States. In 2001, National
Geographic News estimated that the wild horse population had decreased to
about 50,000 head. Currently, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory
board states that there are 32,000 free roaming horses in ten Western
states, with half of them residing in Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management
is seeking to reduce the total number of free range horses to 27,000,
possibly by selective euthanasia.
7. Personal Checks
According to an American Bankers Assoc. report, a net 23%
of consumers plan to decrease their use of checks over the next two years,
while a net 14% plan to increase their use of PIN debit. Bill payment
remains the last stronghold of paper-based payments — for the time being.
Checks continue to be the most commonly used bill payment method, with 71%
of consumers paying at least one recurring bill per month by writing a
check. However, on a bill-by-bill basis, checks account for only 49% of
consumers’ recurring bill payments (down from 72% in 2001 and 60% in 2003).
6. Drive-in Theaters
During the peak in 1958, there were more than 4,000
drive-in theaters in this country, but in 2007 only 405 drive-ins were still
operating. Exactly zero new drive-ins have been built since 2005. Only one
reopened in 2005 and five reopened in 2006, so there isn’t much of a
movement toward reviving the closed ones.
5. Mumps & Measles
Despite what’s been in the news lately, the measles and
mumps actually, truly are disappearing from the United States. In 1964,
212,000 cases of mumps were reported in the U.S. By 1983, this figure had
dropped to 3,000, thanks to a vigorous vaccination program. Prior to the
introduction of the measles vaccine, approximately half a million cases of
measles were reported in the U.S. annually, resulting in 450 deaths. In
2005, only 66 cases were recorded.
Perhaps nothing on our list of disappearing America is so
dire; plummeting so enormously; and so necessary to the survival of our food
supply as the honey bee. Very scary. ‘Colony Collapse Disorder,’ or CCD, has
spread throughout the U.S. and Europe over the past few years, wiping out
50% to 90% of the colonies of many beekeepers — and along with it, their
3. News Magazines and TV News
While the TV evening newscasts haven’t gone anywhere over
the last several decades, their audiences have. In 1984, in a story about
the diminishing returns of the evening news, the New York Times reported
that all three network evening-news programs combined had only 40.9 million
viewers. Fast forward to 2008, and what they have today is half that.
2. Analog TV
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 85% of
homes in the U.S. get their television programming through cable or
satellite providers. For the remaining 15% — or 13 million individuals —
who are using rabbit ears or a large outdoor antenna to get their local
stations, change is in the air. If you are one of these people you’ll need
to get a new TV or a converter box in order to get the new stations which
will only be broadcast in digital.
1. The Family Farm
Since the 1930s, the number of family farms has been
declining rapidly. According to the USDA, 5.3 million farms dotted the
nation in 1950, but this number had declined to 2.1 million by the 2003 farm
census (data from the 2007 census hasn’t yet been published). Ninety-one
percent of theU.S. FARMS are small Family Farms.
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