Cursive handwriting is becoming less common these days. (Cursive speaking on the other hand is alive and well.) There’s a lot of debate about whether we should make an effort to keep cursive handwriting around or if we should just let it go. I don’t really have an opinion. I never use cursive myself because … it just never comes up. But if people want to keep teaching it in school that’s fine with me. There’s lots of things they taught me in school that I never used again, what’s one more?
What’s interesting to me is the idea that a style of writing that used to be common is potentially fading away and what other things might also fade away in the future?
What about typing? With voice to text systems we might be at the very beginning of speaking to our computers instead of typing to them. I love talking to Siri on my iPhone. Every electronic thing is getting a virtual assistants that you can talk to these days. Dragon Naturally Speaking and other programs have let us compose letters, documents, even books by speaking to the computer. So will we reach a point in the distant future when we stop typing on keyboards all together? There’s problems of course with speaking to the computer. Other people can overhear you for example. Not ideal for an office environment or working on the train or texting from the toilet in a public bathroom. But will we overcome those issues in the future? And if so … will there be a generation of kids who never knew that old fashioned keyboards had the alphabet out of order?
Self driving cars look entirely feasible, before I die I might be chauffeured around in a self driving car. And I don’t mean that I’ll be in a self driving car at the time that I die, just that they might become common in my lifetime. If they do will people stop learning to drive themselves? My guess is that not everybody will. I bet people will drive manually for fun the same way people ride horses for fun. But driving could be something only enthusiasts learn instead of everybody. And considering how everybody drives that could be a good thing.
Many toilets flush themselves when they sense you’re … finished. Will we forget how to flush in the future? Many people seem to have already forgotten.
With online shopping we don’t have to go the store much anymore. And now there’s little buttons you can tap to reorder things. Or systems you talk to that order things for you. And systems that detect when they’re low on supplies and order things automatically. Will we forget how to go shopping in the future? Is it so bad if we do?
There’s all sorts of things that we may stop doing in the future. But just like making our own butter by hand I bet people who grow up without these things won’t even miss them.