Is Radio Dying?

August 11, 2008

A few minutes ago I saw this comment on twitter;

“I’m doing the new cool iPhone thing: listening to pandora & last.fm in my car on my iPhone, is radio dying?”

This is my response.

Radio isn’t dying. Remember when the popular theory was that books and paper would go away? (Are you old enough to remember that?) Technology just made it easier to generate more paper and books more efficiently.

It is curious to me how phases or waves of technology are perceived. I remember when there was only one telephone in the office for about 20 employees to share. (Yeah, I know, that was a very long time ago). And, how very ironic—it was an AT&T office. The AT&T philosophy/company policy was; not everyone needs a private phone on their desk to do their work. HAH! I knew as soon as I used a phone that I needed my own phone everywhere I went. I petitioned like crazy until all employees had a private phone. I was the first mobile phone owner in Utah valley when we were at Novell. Remember the phones that were like bricks? WOW!

In society it takes years, sometimes generations for an old way to disappear—even if it’s not the most efficient way to get the job done. Quite often I observe a new technology being employed while the old methodology is still being used causing double work and gumming up the flow of energy.

It doesn’t always happen this way. Quite often, the new and old can operate on parallel tracks and not interfere with each other. TV didn’t make movies go away. Ipods and Iphones won’t make radio go away. Just like computing will not make books go away. Something new doesn’t always replace the old way. The old is not actually replaced but complimented.

If there is something about the old method that serves a need, it will remain in place right beside the new innovative technology. As humans, we have many different styles of absorbing and sharing information. One technology doesn’t always serve every need. I like the feel of the paper and the printed words when I read a book—a laptop or palmtop just doesn’t have the same feeling. Some of our grand children like to listen to books on their Shuffles, while, some of the others would rather watch the story on a screen.

The remark at the top of this post may have been serious or a joke. That doesn’t matter, it inspired me to share. What do you think???

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