Last week marked the end of an era. Blockbuster announced that on Nov. 9, its doors would be locked, windows shuttered and all domestic operations, including approximately 300 stores and distribution centers, closed once and for all.
For those of you with fuzzy memories, in the days before digital video purchasing sites, like iTunes and Netflix, there was something called a DVD. Think further back and you may even recall the antiquated VHS.
We used to walk eagerly through endless rows at the nearest movie rental store, scouring the shelves to find a film synopsis on a back cover that piqued our interests. Half the fun of renting a video was renting “the” video.
Despite all of the nostalgia attached to Blockbuster, after the company’s 2010 bankruptcy, its closure may not come as a shock to many.
Fewer and fewer transactions are being completed in-person. You order a movie and have it sent to you in a matter of minutes through computer wires. The book industry has been transformed since the introduction of the Kindle, CDs have been replaced by iTunes and magazines are available on tablets.
Rapid technological change has been the norm in our generation’s lifetime. Soon we will be sending virtual hot chocolate and popcorn to pair with the movies we stream.
You may not have rented a movie from Blockbuster in years. In fact, you may not even have a television in your dorm or apartment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care.
Blockbuster was the original version of an on-demand video service. The death of each outdated technology signals that we are growing older as well.
While we may not have the aged wisdom of our grandparents who often reflect on what happened “back in the day,” we can certainly say we have made it around the block.
In a way, saying goodbye to Blockbuster is a farewell to our youth. A goodbye to slumber parties, family movie nights and movie browsing memories.
Even if you no longer rent videos, it’s about the changing times and its effect on us. We are the tech generation, but are we becoming too used to it? Blockbuster’s ultimate demise leaves us to question how technology will impact the job market and the world.
In this case, it led to the end of the block.
Alyssa Jacobson is a junior majoring in advertising and political science.