Finding a Future in the Digital Era

Today’s news chum brings together three stories of old things being impacted by a digital future:

  • The High School Reunion. A recent article in the SacBee asks the question, “Has Facebook killed the High School Reunion?” The basic issue is this: We’re now staying in touch with our high school friends via Facebook, so who needs the reunion? I think this is certainly a valid question for the younguns — that is, the folks that have been on the internet their entire life. Will my daughter go to a reunion when she’s been in touch with her friends all her life? I can’t answer that yet — ask me in 10 years. But for us old farts, I don’t think the reunion will die, because not everyone is on Facebook.
  • Vinyl Records at Radio Stations. An interesting article from the Chicago Tribune about AM radio station WGN selling their record collection, because they no longer had a need for it. This, evidently, is what a lot of radio stations are doing. This is a collection of over 10,000 records. Most of it was sold to Dusty Groove America, which operates a storefront as well as a mail-order business. Store owner Rick Wojcik and his employees hauled dozens of cardboard boxes filled with LPs, 45s, 78s and CDs out of WGN’s storage space in Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue last week and took them to Dusty Groove headquarters at 1120 N. Ashland Ave.
  • Road Maps. I love maps. People ask why I started my highway pages, and a map collection and curiosity about numbering is the answer. The LVRJ had a nice article about whether road maps are going away in this digital era, exploring how some states have stopped printing them, but others still want the maps for visitors and such. Me, I love the paper maps because you can use them in places where you could never use a digital map.

Music: The Most Beautiful Strauss Waltzes (The Ball Orchestra of Vienna): The Beautiful Blue Danube

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One Reply to “Finding a Future in the Digital Era”

  1. Two years ago, I attended a special reunion at my high school. It was for alumni from the 1970s who were involved in performing arts. It was also a tribute to the teachers of those programs from that era, all of whom were in attendance.

    The event was organized entirely through Facebook. It was publicized through a Facebook group, which also was the mechanism for signing up and paying for it. Of course there were plenty of people in attendance who weren’t on Facebook. That’s because the organizers urged participants (through Facebook) to seek out and invite others who weren’t on Facebook.

    At least in this instance, Facebook made a reunion possible. The reunion also showed that Facebook (or other virtual forms of communication) is no substitute at all for in-person interaction. As the article describes, I suspect that the ability to organize reunions through Facebook and social media will more than offset whatever loss of interest continual virtual contact might cause. Or more likely, Facebook will change the nature of reunions.

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