Fading Away

Fading Away

I heard the news just the other day. A printing company I worked for twenty-five years in the past was closing its doors. It had been in the town I live in under various names for nearly forty years, but the internet age had finally caught up with it. It had to close its doors. Working in printing all those years ago, I can tell you, the bulk of the printing business comes from those fliers, those inserts, in the middle of a newspaper.

Wait! Who reads a newspaper any more? More to the point, who reads a printed newspaper any more?

No one, really. Or at the very least, a very small percentage of those who used to read them. The “papers” are all on line now, which by definition, doesn’t make them papers at all. The advertising inserts – the ones that annoy you so much just the way the printed inserts once did – are called pop ups. They require no paper to get their irritating message across to you, a thing that has led to the demise of the print industry.

The same thing happened to the railroad industry when the interstate highway system was built all those years ago.

Once upon a time, sheet music was the backbone of the music industry. A song was written and the music was put down on paper and sold to people with a musical talent – guitar, piano, whatever – could buy it and play it for people.

Then, records were invented and everything changed.

Wait a minute!


You’ve never heard a record play?

An eight-track tape?

A cassette?

Any of you ever seen a reel to reel tape machine?

How about a car without power steering?

Or a popcorn popper?

A rotary dial phone?

How many people can drive – or need to know how to drive –  a manual transmission, otherwise know as stick shift?

Just go back a hundred years and most of the country didn’t have electricity. Most of the people still did their business in a thing called an outhouse. (I know what one is. I have used one, but look it up if you have not.)  Most people did not have cars. Or telephone.

Just thirty years ago, no one knew what a cell phone or the internet was. Cable was moving ahead, but more people than not, didn’t have it.

In each of the eras I have just listed, people thought they had the very best that science and technology had to offer only to find that a few decades down the road the latest and the greatest was obsolete.

What will I world look like thirty years from now? Hell, even ten?








About timkeen40

When I was seven, I opened one of those little Golden Books (Lassie) and started copying the words down on paper and it set my soul on fire. I have been writing ever since. I don't know where this is going but I invite you along on the journey.
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9 Responses to Fading Away

  1. Laura Beth says:

    I know how you feel, in a way. I recognize everything you’ve mentioned in the post. It’s a generational thing, in my opinion. I was born in the late 80s. I witnessed the full transition from cassettes to CDs, for example.

    I have learned to drive a manual in the form of my dad’s truck, but I’m not great at it. I need more practice! I drove my parents’ 1988 Volvo station wagon for years, and it didn’t have air bags. I’m grateful for power steering!

    So much has changed in my 30 years on this Earth. And it’s changing so much more rapidly now.

  2. Just Joan says:

    I know what you mean. I still prefer paper books and magazines and newspapers. I loved my Close-n-Play record player as a kid, and made mix-tapes in high school, and talked on a rotary dial phone for my entire childhood. My college roomie and I loved our popcorn popper. As recently as 1998, I was driving a stick shift VW without power steering. I’m a Luddite at heart, slow to merge onto the information superhighway. I avoided buying a cell phone for years; when I finally got one and showed it off, friends rolled their eyes and said, “For heavens sake, Joan, it’s a FLIP PHONE!” I’ve used an “all-natural rest area” with pit toilets, close enough to an outhouse? I think technology is reaching the point of diminishing return… how much sharper and clearer can they make the picture on a TV? How much faster can the Internet go? What additional functions can they add to a cell phone? Hell, I don’t use 90% of them as it is! Great post, Tim, thanks! 🙂

    • timkeen40 says:

      I am sure I have replied already. If I have not, then forgive me, but I reread and it just caught my eye. A stick shift VW. Are you kidding me? It was my first car. Power steering wasn’t even a thing back then, at least not in my world.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.


  3. George says:

    Things change quickly these days. Ten years is a lifetime. A year is crazy. It’s exciting and exhausting..:)

  4. prenin says:

    I do wonder Tim! 🙂 ❤

    One thing I do know: The children of today are being educated for jobs that will be obsolete by the time they graduate! 🙂 ❤

    Interesting thought, yes? 🙂 ❤


    • timkeen40 says:

      I cannot disagree with you. The things that are missing are the core things. Carpentry. Machinists. Mechanics. Masonry. The things that colleges, at least here in the states, overlook. Everyone does not need to be a business major to succeed.


  5. msw blog says:

    I do wonder as well a major chain book store just closed its doors in my city, and a small part of me is fearful that books will disappear 😦 You are your readers may enjoy this post on the ways of the future

  6. BlackSheep says:

    I miss Blockbuster Video. But at least I can still drive a manual vehicle.

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