If you’re a child born in the early 90’s then you’re guaranteed to have felt somewhat confused at the daily life changes that have occurred over the years. Almost everything has changed; from technological advancements and scientific discoveries to simple gadgets that rendered so many previously priceless items obsolete.
Because of the synonymous relationship between advancements in technology and advancements in life, some of the jobs that once existed are now seldom found. Here’s a list of jobs we came up with for which only time will tell whether they ever make a comeback, or forever become extinct.
During a time when there were no instant messaging applications and barely any smart phones to use them on, the Mailman was the only way to get mail. The Mailman’s arrival was an exciting weekly event that meant good news from family, romantic letters from loved ones, holiday greetings from grandparents, acceptance letters from Universities, and the list of possibilities was endless. The Mailman, once a symbol of hope, has now morphed into a symbol of spam.
A household would have to spend the day with either no milk or with a milk substitute from a far away supermarket if the Milkman failed to provide them with their daily supply. Fresh milk out of clean bottles delivered personally by the man who eventually becomes friends with the entire neighborhood, is now replaced by a delivery service that only delivers if the sum is greater than 50 EGP. To make it worse, no fresh milk anymore, just the processed white liquid we call milk these days.
In the case of social media, technology has actually created a new job. Previously, when someone wanted to spread promotional information about a brand or product, a teenage kid with a satchel full of brochures would be strategically located on one of the roundabouts in front of Sahel’s Marina 5, handing the brochures out to cars passing by. Going viral was a sign that the kids might have stood there for days on end.
We know it may be hard to believe, but there actually was a time where not everyone had a phone to be contacted on, and we don’t just mean mobile phones. There was a time where landlines weren’t as popular as they are now, and getting in touch with someone for an emergency was only possible via telegram. The telegram, once the fastest method of passing on short long-distance messages, is now completely obsolete; thanks to the multinational corporates that have made it only normal for each and every family member, regardless of age, to own a smart phone.
Those were once the highlight of our weekend. We would look forward to having friends over, making popcorn and scooping out ice cream, getting into a comfortable chair and playing the video tape on a VCR. Back then, watching a movie was a big deal. We couldn’t just get any movie we wanted to watch within minutes like we can nowadays. The video tape rental was a place that was celebrated, before torrent engines came in and killed them all.
The fate of librarians is also at stake. Now, with the availability of a digital copy of almost every book ever written, librarians have become somewhat useless to people. A person may wander into a library one day for some peace and quiet, maybe even to pick up a book that is so rare it isn’t found online, but library memberships/subscriptions are officially no longer a thing.\