Thursday, March 08, 2007

Obsolete Everyday Things 

Yesterday, David started playing with the phone book that's been sitting on the floor since it was delivered last month. I realized that I hardly ever use it any more - it's been replaced by Google and Realpages. I'm guessing that within my lifetime phone books will be obsolete curiosities.

That got me to thinking, what other everyday things are slated for obsolescence?

watchThe first item that leaps to mind is the wristwatch. We're surrounded by so many devices with built-in clocks nowadays that watches have become mostly redundant. They will probably stick around for a while as fashion statements, but I expect that today's kindergarten students may be the last generation to wear watches for utility.

film containersThose plastic film containers that used to be a staple of every junk drawer have largely disappeared already. They may be useful for storing quarters and paper clips, but with most people using digital cameras nowadays almost nobody is accumulating new ones anymore.

mouse padWith more and more people using optical mice, mouse pads have become less prevalent. Within a decade, they'll probably be a technological curiosity, much like the 5 1/4" floppy disk.

As these everyday items become less common, it makes me wonder what new things around us right now will become ordinary and indispensable in the future.

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