Yellow Pages, land-line telephones and film cameras are three things that come to mind. Changes are happening faster than at any time in history, thanks to the age of technology. Businesses are looking for opportunities to cause a sea change in the products and services we use. Younger Americans embrace this progress, but older consumers feel they are losing old friends.
Who would have thought newspapers would be dying a slow but certain death. Or that daily mail delivery might become every-other day. Where have the travel agents gone? Soon there won’t be cigarette lighters, since tobacco will go up in smoke. Fountain pens have become collectors’ items. And, old standbys such as photo albums are also on the growing list of things destined to be extinct like the dodo bird.
The music business has gone through epic changes over the years. Today’s New Seniors (those born in the ‘30s and later) saw the single records go from 78 RPMs to 45s (albums were 33 and1/3) to tapes to cassettes to CDs to down-loads on iPods and the like. The latter wrecked an entire industry’s distribution system to say nothing about the toll it took on the manufacturing and retailing segments as well as the recording artists.
Motion pictures also experienced several upheavals since the 1950s and the industry is settling into the next phase of transition. But, we can expect this form of entertainment will be with us in some way or another. Whether at theaters, at home or on the move, Americans like their movies. So, new content will be needed in order to fill the pipeline.
Products and services are not the only things going out of vogue. Patriotism, and manners hold little value in today’s fast moving, self-centered, narcissistic society.
Go to a sporting event and most New Seniors will be troubled to see a large number of spectators disengaged from the ceremony of singing the National Anthem. Hats are not removed, hands are not placed over hearts and few make an attempt to mouth the words. Unfortunately, the majority of these offenders are younger people.
The same demographic tends to cut in front of women and older citizens, does not open or hold doors and show little respect for people in general. Are they to blame for not learning the responsibilities we have for others in our society? Or, is it their parents (our children) who, for whatever reason, refused to teach them? In either case, the New Seniors are the ones who fell down on doing their jobs. We did not teach them the basic principles nor keep reminding them to fulfill their social and civic responsibilities.
Are we going to let our grandchildren go through life oblivious to what it means to be part of something bigger than them? Are we going to let an anything goes attitude prevail? Or, are we going to teach them what we learned back in the olden days when products were simpler, service was expected and people were not taken for granted?