Once the genie’s uncorked, iceboxes, LP records, and travel agents have already faded into the world of Endangered Species. In my lifetime I’ve gone from my family’s manual typewriter to a nifty electric Olympia to clunky Apple computers in the eighties. I ditched my desktop computer and accoutrements for a MacBook Pro laptop, and recently took on an iPad. Before I die, I expect I’ll be writing on something the size of a lipstick tube.
What’s pushed us past the point of no return in books isn’t TV or amazon.com or ebooks or the Internet; it’s social media, Facebook, Twitter, texting, and the like. We’ve changed the way we communicate with each other and what we talk about. As soon as we pass a station, it gets shuttered and the track behind us torn up. We can only keep through moving ahead.
If you’re retired or otherwise uninvolved, you can always dig in and refuse to move on. The only tweets you’ll have to pay attention to are the ones from your backyard. The rest of us have to change or die.
What does this mean for the future of stuff? I predict that it will gradually become obsolete, that people of the future will have less need to surround themselves with physical stuff.
If you’ll excuse me, I have to go read Twitter for Dummies.