An article this week in the New York Times laments the imminent passing of the daily newspaper in America. One day, even the New York Times will cease to exist.
It is inevitable. People aren't reading newspapers anymore. Not enough to sustain them, anyway. And at least not in PRINT form.
Why would anyone buy a newspaper off the rack that is already obsolete the moment you look at its headlines? As I am writing this blog on Thursday morning, the urgent news this hour is that Bernie Madoff is behind bars. But you won't read that headline in the newspapers on the rack for almost 24 hours. Why bother?
Do we still use the telegraph? Nope. We have the telephone now. Do we use our landlines as much as we used to? Nope. More and more people are living on their cell phones. A growing number of people have given up their landlines altogether. One day anything that has to plug into a wall will be seen as archaic as a typewriter.
We are living in the age of instant information. News is updated literally every few seconds on the Internet. And the excuse doesn't exist anymore of not owning a computer. You can easily buy one if you really wanted to. I just saw mini laptops at the store for under $300. You can get a home PC that will surf the Internet just fine for $200.
Plus you get the internet on your portable devices now, too, including your cell phone. I can surf the web and catch up on the news on my drive to work by surfing the web on my phone. Don't worry, unlike most idiotic California drivers, I can drive and surf simultaneously SAFELY.
Yes, it may be sad that daily newspapers are going away. But you know what? It's also sad that people don't write each other letters anymore. When was the last time you sat down, wrote a letter, licked a stamp, and stuck it in the mailbox?
We have e-mail now. You can write that same letter and have it sent and received in the blink of an eye. And you don't even have to pay postage. You can communicate with anyone you want anywhere on earth and they are never more than a couple of seconds away.
So the days of hearing a newsboy crying "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" are over.
It's been replaced by "You've got mail." And news. And entertainment. And sports. And anything you could possibly want--and NOT want. Hitting "Refresh" makes a lot more sense than running out to buy the paper.