9 Sep 2009

50 Things killed by the Internet

So there's this article on the website for the British newspaper The Telegraph in which the author lists (and explains) 50 things that have become obsolete (or extinct) thanks to the internet and other new communication technologies (cell phones, GPS systems).

Here are a few points I thought very interesting and heartily agreed/disagreed with:

1) The art of polite disagreement
Oh yeah! No one seems to take the time to think before they "speak" (i.e. write) anymore! No more "count to ten if you're angry"... people just blast away and then without taking the time to re-read their rant, insults, arguments whatever they just click on "send" "post" and off it goes into cyberspace... No matter how you regret it later and wish to retract it, it's still there for any and all to see and discover...

5) Punctuality
The author states:
"Before mobile phones, people actually had to keep their appointments and turn up to the pub on time. Texting friends to warn them of your tardiness five minutes before you are due to meet has become one of throwaway rudenesses of the connected age."
Now I am so guilty of this one that I often wonder how on earth I (and my friends who are just as bad as me, if not worse! at least the Spanish ones) ever managed to meet up with people before I ever gave in and got a cell phone?! Although I must say, the advantage to this is that we no longer have to stand around waiting >1/2h for that one friend who was always that late (if not more). Now we can just send him a text message and say "we're at such and such place so just show up whenever". :p

10) Watches
Um, excuse me?! I can't live without my watch! As an occasional guide and teacher I need to have something easy and quick to glance at to let me know how I'm doing in distributing my time and if I need to pick up the pace or can take a bit longer on a certain point! Pulling out your cellphone to check the time in a middle of class is just rude! To me it sends a message of "bored now!"

12) Letter writing/pen pals
So sad and so true... I miss mail!!! :o(

14) Dead time
Ditto. I don't think I've spent much "alone time" disconnected from my computer since I started this blog!

15) Photo albums and slide shows
Umhmm... but then I think of that massive box with several years of photos still to be organised and put in albums... and I look at the number of digital shots stored on my computer... and I can only be grateful for this one! ;o) (besides, much as I looooove photo albums, sitting through someone else's isn't usually that fun!)

27) Knowing telephone numbers off by heart
Actually I mostly have this problem with my own (cell phone number). I usually end up memorizing my friends' landline numbers (since I call them -dial!!!- from my landline).

29) The mystery of foreign languages
NOT TRUE!!! I am very proud of speaking 3 languages fluently (English, Spanish & French), improvising my way through a 4th (Catalan) by mixing up two of the previous, understanding the basics of a 5th (German) and remembering a few key phrases and numbers in a 6th (Arabic)! I still want to learn the last two properly and tack on Greek... languages are lots of fun!!!

31) Privacy
Well, while I've got nothing to hide... you can bet if I did I wouldn't be dumb enough to post it anywhere online! ;o)

35) Concentration
Oh boy YES! Queen of Procrastination so admits to being GUILTY on this one! :o(

43) Solitaire
And why is this a bad thing again? :p

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

Anything in that list that jumps out at you? What else would you add?

I'd add a positive point about Facebook etc.: keeping in touch with old friends even superficially is better than losing track of them altogether when none of us had time to write serious letters! I'm the kind of person that once you've entered my circle of friends (real friends, not just acquaintances or colleagues) you're in there for life (but I must also admit I'm rather picky when it comes to letting someone get that close to me, quality not quantity is what matters!)! We can meet up years later and I will greet you and welcome you home as if we'd seen each other last week even if we have been in touch for years. So I like a device that lets me know how my friends are doing and what they're up to, will make conversations easier when we meet up again! :o)

Oh, and another positive point that has been brought to my attention while writing this: spell check in your web browser! :p


  1. Polite disagreement... RIP.

    My biggest pet peeve is reading about people's personal squabbles on facebook and MySpace.

    One of Hubby's relatives actually left me a rude message on my facebook once. I sent a lengthy e-mail. If it happens again, they're deleted. To me it's cowardly and immature. It seems these social sites have prompted people to be less than tactful when dealing with others' opinions.

  2. I think it's a dual phenomenon. On the one hand you've got (older) people who should know better but are just letting loose their inhibitions in cyberspace, while on the other hand you've got a whole generation growing up exhibiting themselves on the internet and who've never really known any better! Methinks politeness and courtesy and respect might be flying out the window... :s

  3. Sad but true...but slightly funny too.

  4. Agree with most of your points. Especially about writing with a pencil.
    A further thing which might 'bring life' through the internet: I met my wife at a chat-site - whether this might 'kill' me in the end is surely another thing ;)
    A happy Friday to you.

  5. I totally agree with you. Yes some good things are killed by internet but there are many good things given to us by the internet! I think it always depends upon how we use it! I still write letter (Occasionally!) to my best friend even if we are in contact with each other via mail!

  6. I love Facebook, I don't have a gazillion friends on my page. I have a few close friends, but mostly family members. I have found it a way to keep in touch with my cousins, nieces and nephews in California. I see pics of their kids growing up and stay up to date on big events in their lives, as well as little things that are important to them. There would be no way for me to talk with each one of them on a regular basis (there are far too many), but when something happens that is important I can pick up the phone.

    As for cell phones, don't have one, don't want one. I did have a pay as you go , but I let it expire last month. I was accumulating so many minutes I could have sold them on craigslist or ebay. Just didn't use it.

    As for #31 Privacy — I wish more people were as smart as you!

  7. I don't have a Facebook site, even with my family urging me to do it. I think blogging is quite enough. Plus, I want to learn something, or be entertained. I'm not very interesting in play by play info. I figure if a friend or family member wants to talk, they can either call, e-mail, or stop by.

    But I do agree that people have lost their civility. But that has happened throughout cultures. I think it started in traffic. All those single finger salutes.

    My husband still plays solitaire - on his I-Phone.

  8. True - I hate the punctuality thing. When someone texts me to say they're running late when I am already there.. GRRRRRR!!! Tell me in advance so I can come later too!

    Did you see Nadal? So sad... :(

  9. O, my US Open reactions:

    Nadal... SAD!!! (damn rain delays!)

    Kim Clijsters: YAY!!!


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