The times they are a changin', and I couldn't be more thrilled. The Internet has managed to kill off several parts of society that we all thought were permanent. Thanks to the wonderful invention that brought us Facebook and endless kitten videos, the following things are either dead or dying.
5. Fax machines. These contraptions are still in use, but I believe their days are numbered. Fax machines seemed to have a very short shelf-life to begin with. With email so free and easy, why bother waiting for a phone to slowly send your document? These days, people only use them to send contracts or documents that need to be signed, and even that can now be done online. I signed a contract the other day via iPad. Yay for no more annoying screeching modem sounds, badly inked copies, and papers falling on the floor of our offices. Better yet, no more busy signals and phone calls from people asking "Didja get it? How about now? Or now? Should I re-send it? How about now? Didja get it this time?"
4. Home Telephone Service. We can mostly thank the cell phone providers for the demise of the Home Phone, but the Net deserves a little credit, too. It's thanks to the Internet that we now have companies that charge a flat rate for Home Phone Service. Everyone with a computer can now use Skype or even a Google phone. Apple users have Facetime at their disposal. Finally, we can stop being married to the local phone company, who has been overcharging everyone since Alexander Graham Bell made his first call to a sex line (also pretty much extinct, thanks to The Net). Did you know that many phone carriers still make customers pay an extra fee for owning a touch-tone phone? That's like having your car insurance company charging you a fee for not owning a horse.
3. Overpriced Music. There was a time when people had to actually go to a store and purchase music in the form of physical objects that had to be placed into other physical objects in order to be enjoyed aurally. Unlike everything else in this world, from DVD players to laptop computers, these objects didn't go down in price, they actually went up. CDs used to cost around fifteen bucks, but the mofos that run the music industry decided that they were so cheap to make that we should be paying twenty. On top of that those record executive wahoos destroyed The Single, and made you buy the whole ChumbaWumba CD when all you wanted was that one annoying song. So the fine folks of the Internet made it possible to get that one song for a dollar (or for free, but only if you're a bad person). Now those same music industry screwballs are complaining that they're getting an unfair shake. I think about them every time I listen to my downloaded copy of "Cry me a River".
2. Bill Paying. Why are you wasting your time buying pens, envelopes, and stamps? Why are you getting ink on your hand when you could be enjoying Carpal Tunnel Syndrome instead? That's right, you can pay all of your bills online and never mail a cheque again. Why taste a stamp when you can taste the future? Why stop at bill paying? You can do your banking online, order food online, make friends online, and even arrange sex online. I think that it's only a matter of time before my laptop will find a way to brew me a cup of coffee. You hear that, Tim Hortons? GET ON IT! I want a USB espresso machine.
1. Buying Porn. In all fairness, The Internet isn't killing porn. Just the way we obtain it. A man used to go to great lengths in order to enjoy porn in the privacy of his girlfriend's home. He had to acquire a magazine or a DVD or (shudder) a video tape of other people having sex. He couldn't just get that stuff anywhere; he had to go to specific stores and buy them from fat guys with awkward mustaches. He had to browse merchandise that other horny men had browsed. After spending significant amounts of money, a man might have a little adult entertainment gem that he stored ever so proudly under a false bottom in a padlocked footlocker in the back of his closet. Thanks to The Internet, a man can now instantly watch strangers having sex completely free on a computer at the library. Two seconds and three clicks later and any trace of the existence of this romantic pastime is gone. One more click of the mouse and he can again enjoy watching people do for thirty minutes what most of us do in three.
Technology is such a wonderful thing. Thanks to advancing technology, this article will be read by literally dozens of people. Perhaps even as many as forty! Add that to the possibly dozens of people listening to my weekday satellite radio program, and I say the future is now!
What are you glad The Internet is making obsolete?
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