Of course this is at the top of the list. Statistics show that 1 in 10 Americans own an e-reader, and those who do own one tend to read more books than those without. And there's also the fact that schools are testing out how devices like iPads can be used in classrooms instead of textbooks and hand-outs. Our books are without a doubt headed toward a greater digital presence, though printed books don't seem to be slowing any time soon.
We thought DVDs were such a huge technological advancement over VHSs, and yet here are DVDs being shown up by streaming movies and television shows online. While Netflix still does a hefty business shipping DVDs around the country, many people seem to have taken to streaming their movies, watching what they want instantly. In fact, movie studios and television networks are also keen to allow people to stream content, rather than waiting for physical copies to be released and shipped out.
This one is fairly old hat. CDs have been replaced by MP3s on a large scale. It seems most people download their music to play on their phones or MP3 players, rather than stack up a massive collection of disks, and those who still have their collection of disks are also putting them on their computers so they can access them in that way as well. Turning music into media files rather than actual records seems to be the norm.
When was the last time you bought a Rand McNally? It's now easy to get our hands on a GPS device like Garmin or TomTom, or simply use navigation features on iPhones and smart phones. Or we can hop online to get Google directions anywhere, rather than pouring over a map to find the best way to get from point A to point B. All our maps can now be accessed through computers and phones with rapidly updated information, rather than paper maps that are quickly outdated.
The latest statistic we came across is that some 2.5 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook each and every month. And Flickr is the huge sensation for photosharing on the web. Our modern cameras from DSLRs to point-n-shoots to camera phones have made it easy to keep our images in digital format, and printing has changed to something left only for art or special occasions, rather than a must-do every time a roll of film is developed and you want to show a family vacation to friends. It'd be interesting to find out what fraction of our photos today actually ever even make it to printed form.
Oh we still see the junk mail pouring in, but for the most part, snail mail has transitioned to a digital format. Most companies offer some form of online billing so customers never have to see a paper bill, and we can even access our catalogs online rather than getting them in our mailboxes. From business correspondence to letters among friends, most of our daily mail is now found on our computers.
Hardcopies of magazines and journals are still quite popular, though digital versions are being produced at a faster pace, especially after the advent of the iPad. Newspapers are quickly dying, though, because most of us now read our news on websites, scrolling through our RSS feeds, scanning our favorite news sources, or clicking articles shared on sites from Digg to Yahoo to Google.
If we don't rebel, eventually our New World Order OWNERS will decide what music we listen to, what movies and news we watch, the balance of our digitized bank accounts and everything else.
KEEP AND STORE BOOKS, BATTERIES, VIDEO-TAPES, BANK STATEMENTS, PHOTOS, MAPS, VINYL RECORDS, SILVER AND GOLD.