As wonderful as the internet is, it managed to bring a great many parts of life to a screeching halt when it finally got moving. Since the early 1990’s the internet has been soaring when it comes to replacing certain aspects of life that many never realized were so tiresome and difficult. The things that people used to think were simple, immutable parts of an average, everyday existence soon became simplified by a simple click that would open untold numbers of programs that could make life a breeze by dint of having untold amounts of information at your fingertips. Those who thought that the computer would forever be just a thing for the more technologically-minded were quickly silenced when the internet exploded onto the scene, creating a new culture as it continued to evolve without bothering to slow down. The top ten businesses that were killed by the Internet still have a place in the world, but it has become a dim little corner that is kept alive by the nostalgic need to remember how things used to be.
Here are the Top 10 Businesses Killed by The Internet
10. Music Stores
People used to flock to record stores to purchase vinyl, eight track tapes, cassettes, and CDs. Nowadays all you need to do is download iTunes, Pandora, or any of the other music services that are available to get your favorite tracks. Instead of purchasing the entire album you can pick and choose what you want, thereby insuring that you’ll never really know how great or horrible your favorite artist can be. It seems a limited way to look at music, but expedience and cost seem to drive this trend more than anything.
9. Adult Film Stores
Some might say this is a good thing, as the site of an adult book store in the same town where you live with your children isn’t all that inviting. But in truth the trade off is even worse as porn is plastered all over the internet now, with just a missed keystroke or wrongly spelled word being able to lead a person to a virus-infested porn site that can potentially harm your pc and possibly invite questions from your young ones if they happen to see it. At least with adult film stores the content was well contained and kids were never bound to “accidentally” see something they shouldn’t.
8. Video Stores
The video store is a thing of the past now. Where you might have once seen a Blockbuster or Hollywood video, chances are that those buildings are now business offices or something similar. Thanks to sites like Netflix and Hulu the video store is irrelevant. One day even the Redboxes you see at McDonalds and 7-Elevens might be taken out as the need for DVDs is even beginning to wane. The sun might have finally set on the old video stores, but DVDs are still putting up a valiant effort.
7. Book Stores
Many people happen to think that book stores will be a thing of the past very soon, but despite their obvious decline, people still want to have something to hold in their hands now and again other than a reader. There’s no doubt that bookstores are becoming less and less as time goes by, but the purists and the older generations that actually remember what it’s like to possess enough hard and soft-backed tomes to open your own library are still out there. It might happen that one day there will be no traditional book stores left, but to take from one of literature’s finer figures, it will not be this day.
6. Map Companies
There are mixed feelings when it comes to the decline of these types of companies. They were useful in their day, and the attention to detail was always appreciated. But unless a person was anal retentive enough or just happened to be patient enough, re-folding a traditional paper map was a mind-bending proposition that many people simply failed after only a single try. It is a lot easier to dial up mapquest or some other service and plug the addresses in, thereby getting the best route and the distance between two points in an instant.
This is another business that might very well be on the way out. While many newspapers are still running to this day, their production is far less than it used to be. News is a commodity that can be found on the web, on television, and on every handheld device created to date. People don’t use the newspaper much anymore unless it’s for a more economical use such as padding, or placing on a table to prevent making a mess for Halloween, or some equally mundane purpose. The days of clipping coupons are just about gone, and the headlines that once used to blaze across the front page are now scrolling down the screen of the average handheld device.
Does anyone even own a landline any longer? Businesses and those that don’t enjoy the convenience of the cell phone might very well still make use of the almost antiquated devices, but overall most people can be found with a phone on their person. Even those that don’t have enough money to eat typically have phones. The landline is a relic that has yet to fully realize that it is outdated, and is still being used just enough to be a relevant part of life.
There is no more adaptability in the average encyclopedia, as the heavy tomes must be updated yearly in order to encompass the civilizations that they are meant to aid. Many of those in the generations predating the millennial era can recall having to spend many hours poring over tomes of seemingly random but useful information, skimming page after page of lore in the effort to find what they needed. Now however the bounty of information on the internet is so great that an entire encyclopedia could be buried within a single site and no one would ever know.
2. Travel Agencies
From commercials to ads to ads featuring commercials and vice versa, travel agencies have almost completely made the transfer to the online experience. Back in the day a person would have felt the need to sit down and consult with a trained agent on where to go, when, and what to do once they got there. Now all they have to do is input their information and desired location and page upon page of information rolls out on their location detailing where to go and what they should visit while in their desired destination. They might even get recommendations for certain restaurants and tourist hot spots.
1. Cable Television
Streaming television, Netflix, Hulu, and on and on and on. Cable television was revolutionary in its time, and became a gold mine for cable companies in a time when television was nowhere near as advanced as it is now. The services available now have made cable companies so desperate that they’ll do and say almost anything to keep their numbers going up, including offering deals that might seem like bargains but are clever ploys to get their numbers up and their profits back out of the red. Cable is another dying breed, but it doesn’t want to admit it.
It’s hard to blame the internet entirely for the downfall of so many businesses, but the truth is that the majority of them were doing just fine until the internet kicked in. There’s no telling whether or not the businesses that have suffered might have done any better without the internet, but considering the speed with which they were replaced or driven out, it’s a safe assumption that life would have changed in some way regardless of the internet.