What's Next? The Pony Express Stops Delivering The Mail?

from the end-of-an-era-STOP dept

A few companies are really taking the new year mantra “out with the old, in with the new” mantra to heart. A few weeks after Nikon and Konica announcemed that they were getting out of the film camera business, Western Union annnounced Friday that it would no longer offer telegrams. Telegram use drastically declined after long distance telephones became more affordable, and email and the web delivered the final blow (the only telegrams anyone sees nowadays are in the movies). Of course, there is some sense of nostalgic remorse as each one of these technologies gets retired. Will emails ever be sold on eBay as collectors items? Most likely not. And there certainly never was a problem with telegram spam. Ahh, the good ol’ days. Then again, you can’t really be nostalgic for something that few (if any) of us have actually used — I mean, it’s almost been a week since we’ve been without telegrams, and nobody seemed to notice.

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Comments on “What's Next? The Pony Express Stops Delivering The Mail?”

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eeyore says:

No Subject Given

My mother-in-law lives on a tiny island in the Philippines with no running water or electricity but has cell phone service because of the antenna on top of the mountain on a nearby island. As a result I can send her a text message for a quarter and get a response within several minutes. So why on earth would anybody even need a telegram anymore?

OTOH we do use Western Union to send them money every few weeks. Western Union was smart to change their business model twenty years or so ago to focus on money transfers.

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Devboy00 says:

Re: The last sentence says it all.

Something that hasn’t been emphasized is that Western Union CHANGED THEIR BUSINESS MODEL. They *had* to in response to telephones and email. Nobody got successfully sued to preserve telegrams and rid the world of the horrors of telephony, did they? Eeyore, you have struck a gold mine of fodder for the opponents of dis-innovation by legistlation.

Oliver Wendelll Despentes The Third says:

Stop the World I Want To Get Off (stop)

Something about holding the crackling yellow paper from long ago, opening night on Broadway, saying “Congratulations!”…a memory lingers in the cells of a physically held object…will email ever evoke the slightest nostalgia? Will there even be future objects that can evoke any other emotion other than “it’s dated, it’s easily disposable and it’s allready obsolete!”

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