As we get more and more years under our belts, the more things we remember, and often miss. There are things and places that to some now would seem outdated, yet will always be relevant to us. I suppose that is what the “generation gap” is all about. It’s one of those things that each generation experiences new things and really have no knowledge of what happened previously (unless they remember a past life or somesuch like that). Some people have no problem leaving older things behind and embracing the new, while some cling on to them as a way of remembering things……..how they used to be.
It’s true that we can’t go back to the way things used to be – not in any physical sense, but it’s up to each of us how far and how fast we progress into newer things in life. Our world is getting to be more and more interconnected than ever before, but in some ways it’s a blessing while other ways it’s a curse. We have so many options on how to share information with other people, yet people seem to waste it away posting meaningless memes and sarcastic comments, not fully realizing that unless you are careful, you are spilling your sentiment to pretty much the known online world, and as such, subject to every comment that they would tend to make to you.
As I posted on my Facebook recently, we have gone from a world where people write letters by mail, to sending e-mail, to sending text, tweets, and Facebook posts. We’re now a world where when we have a thought that we want to share with others, all we have to do is type it up, click POST, and voila! A new thought it tossed out into the electronic sea for whatever hungry fish is ready to swallow it up. One thing I find fascinating is the arena of self-publishing, which for artists and writers is a huge dream come true. Now you don’t have to be subject to the decision of a publisher to see your work being enjoyed by others – you can just make your story and send it out yourself for a fee to see if any fish are hungry enough to nibble on it.
Music is another arena that we have really grown in. In the day, you would have to get signed up by a record label, sign contracts, and spend tons of money in order to have your music heard by others. Now all you have to do is file it online with one of a myriad number of services that will either distribute it digitally, or even go so far as to burn it onto a disc with a pretty jacket for all to see in your favorite store. Back in the 90’s, there was a hot debate over downloading music, and many artists balked at the idea of being able to instantly access music, but with many services now offering legitimate downloads, it’s becoming a very lucrative enterprise. Same thing with videos – all you have to do is log into YouTube, Vimeo, or any other site, press UPLOAD, and voila! Instant gratification!
In the past 20 years, personal computers have come so far so fast, and can do so much! Not only that, but peripherals, such as tablets and smartphones have come far too. There are some phones nowadays that I think may even have more processing power than the computer that was in the rocket used to put the first human on the moon – go figure! It’s interesting how many of these technological innovations also resemble gadgets used in shows like Star Trek. Was Gene Roddenberry partially psychic, or are these gadgets being purposely made to resemble those devices used on TV? Only the product companies know for sure.
The caveat to this rapidly progressing world is that we are also becoming more and more of a throw-away society, where instead of fixing something that’s broken, you just throw it away and replace it because it’s cheaper than to fix it. It used to be the other way around, because buying something new was more expensive. That is an interesting twist, because now it seems modern society is encouraging people to throw something away that they enjoy rather than fixing it. By the way, to my credit, I still enjoy my SNES, Xbox (the first one), and Dreamcast – along with my small collection of laserdisc movies and stacks of VHS.
Every once in a while, we really need to slow down, take a look around us, and just see what the world is like instead of just rushing about with blinders on. I think that’s what’s contributing to the stress of today’s people – they’re in way too much of a rush, and heaven help anyone who gets in their way.