I think it’s something people tend to notice as they get into later years in life – how the world has changed around them, how they’ve changed along with it, and if the change is perceived as being a good thing or not. I would say there have been some ups and downs when it comes to how things have changed.
We used to have to wait for a letter to reach its destination for a week or more at a time, but now we have e-mail, which is instant – as well as tons of social media outlets to plaster our thoughts to in order to share those thoughts and experiences with friends, family, and the world in general.
At one time, we walked everywhere we went, then we learned to ride animals……..then along came vehicles, and we’re getting more places in a shorter amount of time. Some would say this is a good thing because we can get to more places faster than ever before, but have we lost something in the trade-off? Have we lost the ability to enjoy the journey? I look around these days, and see fewer and fewer people using things like walking or riding bicycles……..at least here in our country. If you look about other countries, you still see many people walking or riding bikes – or maybe that’s just the section of the country that I choose to live in. It’s great that we can see more places in our lives, but I often wonder what wonders we may have zipped by. Every once in a while, as the old saying goes……..you should stop and smell the roses.
I’m also reminded of the quote from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Life moves pretty fast. If you stop every once in a while and look around, you might miss it.
When it comes to areas that are described to be the “liberal arts”, I think the advances we have made have brought forth a more profound positive impact. When the home movie market first started, video tapes were insanely expensive, and the players equally so. We used to have to wait years (if ever) for a movie to come out in a home market, but now it seems movies come out for home consumption within a very short amount of time, and in increasingly higher resolutions and formats. TV shows that were once lost to viewers who didn’t see them when they were first-run are making a comeback so people can experience them (as long as said shows are still able to be distributed and were not lost to the ravages of time).
Music is a big one for me. I love music, and always have. After my teen years, I started to expand my music horizons, and started looking for the “good energy” sound, which often times was never played on the radio – or at least, again, never here where I am. The problem with some more obscure stuff is that it tends to be released in short supply, and then goes “out of print” after that. You would write to the music companies, only to be told that there was not enough demand so they were not interested in re-releasing it – or you would have to scour used music shops in an often futile effort to find what you wanted.
Then, in the 90’s, thanks largely to the internet, along came the peer-to-peer networks, using such services as Napster (the one that started it all), followed by many flavors along the same theme. People rejoiced about being able to share music, videos, and the like, but this had some negative repercussions from the music and movie industries, so there were struggles for a time. Thankfully, there came about services that started offering this service legally, so that way artists and movie companies could be compensated for downloading such material. Now more people can partake of much, much more than they used to. Books also fell into line, what with eReaders and online reading, which again, made this material accessable to many more people.
So some things have been enriched by advances in modernization, but there are still some small areas that we have lost something in the trade-off, but it’s a choice we have made, choose to stick to, and continue to live with. Where that path goes, only time will tell……..but at least the majority of the progress has been a good one…..just be sure to stop every once in a while, look around, and take notice of where you are.