The Buggles told us the truth.
Video did kill the radio star. And they added to that death by producing a music video that would be the first aired on MTV.
Now, other things are dying, but are being killed by the Internet.
A list of what the Internet is killing was published in The Telegraph, and is longer than what I’ve posted here, but these are the ones that got my attention.
1) The art of polite disagreement
While the inane spats of YouTube commencers may not be representative, the internet has certainly sharpened the tone of debate. The most raucous sections of the blogworld seem incapable of accepting sincerely held differences of opinion; all opponents must have “agendas”.
2) Fear that you are the only person unmoved by a celebrity’s death
Twitter has become a clearing-house for jokes about dead famous people. Tasteless, but an antidote to the “fans in mourning” mawkishness that otherwise predominates.
3) Listening to an album all the way through
The single is one of the unlikely beneficiaries of the internet – a development which can be looked at in two ways. There’s no longer any need to endure eight tracks of filler for a couple of decent tunes, but will “album albums” like Radiohead’s Amnesiac get the widespread hearing they deserve?
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.
12) Letter writing/pen pals
Email is quicker, cheaper and more convenient; receiving a handwritten letter from a friend has become a rare, even nostalgic, pleasure. As a result, formal valedictions like “Yours faithfully” are being replaced by “Best” and “Thanks”.
When almost any fact, no matter how obscure, can be dug up within seconds through Google and Wikipedia, there is less value attached to the “mere” storage and retrieval of knowledge. What becomes important is how you use it – the internet age rewards creativity.
14) Dead time
When was the last time you spent an hour mulling the world out a window, or rereading a favourite book? The internet’s draw on our attention is relentless and increasingly difficult to resist.
15) Photo albums and slide shows
Facebook, Flickr and printing sites like Snapfish are how we share our photos. Earlier this year Kodak announced that it was discontinuing its Kodachrome slide film because of lack of demand.
17) Watching television together
On-demand television, from the iPlayer in Britain to Hulu in the US, allows relatives and colleagues to watch the same programmes at different times, undermining what had been one of the medium’s most attractive cultural appeals – the shared experience. Appointment-to-view television, if it exists at all, seems confined to sport and live reality shows.
18) Authoritative reference works
We still crave reliable information, but generally aren’t willing to pay for it.
27) Knowing telephone numbers off by heart
After typing the digits into your contacts book, you need never look at them again.
29) The mystery of foreign languages
Sites like Babelfish offer instant, good-enough translations of dozens of languages – but kill their beauty and rhythm.
We may attack governments for the spread of surveillance culture, but users of social media websites make more information about themselves available than Big Brother could ever hoped to obtain by covert means.
50) Your lunchbreak
Did you leave your desk today? Or snaffle a sandwich while sending a few personal emails and checking the price of a week in Istanbul?
Powerful things here. How true are these for you?