I recently visited my favorite music store in Newport, R.I. and was totally surprised when I saw that it had become a toy outlet with a tiny section for music CD’s. The counter for vinyl records was three times the assortment compared to music CD’s. The sales clerk commented, “nobody buys music CD’s anymore.” Really?
So am I supposed to assume that music can no longer be transferred to disc recording? Is the public supposed to play records on a turntable in the car? Does anyone have a turntable? Our society has evolved forward and backwards at the same time. Vinyl on its way back? I just can’t get myself to rediscover all those 45’s put away and search for a turn table. I prefer music coming from classic speakers and not a portable phone. Yet, I admit that automobile radios aren’t radios any longer but rather high tech navigation maps as well as music choices covering decades. But one cannot be too selective when there are hundreds of music choices while driving a moving car. Is Pandora the new queen of the future?
Not since the era of the Yuppies in the 1980s has our society been so hasty to accept trends that most of us offer no opinion. The iPhone has drastically changed our way of life, diminishing our face-to-face contact and secluding our youth from the outdoors.
Now, I am amused when I hear that newspapers are on the way out. Seriously, is the Internet and social media going to tell you about your son’s baseball game? Is Facebook the only outlet for scores, human interest articles and up-to-date features on the economy, the weather, politics and the world situation? Media reporters are local. They are your neighbors and your eyes on what’s happening. I cannot imagine news sources on the Internet actually hiring a full staff of journalists to cover communities. According to AARP surveys, more than 75 percent of adults over 60 still want to read newspapers and periodicals.
It’s a sad reflection of our society when some people have to pick up their phone in the morning to read and see what’s happening in the world. But, how about their neighborhood, their town, the state? Thankfully, newspapers and the print media have solidified their existence for hundreds of years and will not go away quietly. Newspapers keep us informed about current affairs of the world and obviously without newspapers we cannot have a true picture of our surroundings. Newspapers are also a source of entertainment. It’s very difficult to imagine not having a newspaper to look for a job or check the obituary page. Is the Internet going to tell us who passed away and to find a job posted by someone who doesn’t use Indeed or one of those employment posts?
I’m a cheerleader for the print media. It’s become a natural tradition to flip through the pages, not knowing what information sits before me. Scrapbooks are rare and pictures are stored on phones leaving family scrapbooks begging for family history.
Unfortunately, newspapers need advertisements and these days ads are difficult to secure, and the print media has been forced to rely heavily on numerous promotions and extensive circulation discounted rates.
Nobody could have seen the threat to the existence of newspapers nor the soon to be absence of music CDs. Communicating now sits in the palm of your hand. Television is no longer the devil.