The afternoon news, Instagram and Facebook feeds, Snapchat, Playstation or Xbox, the cooking channel, movies, Netflix. How on earth did we get on without these sources of information and entertainment? It is crazy to think that a couple of generations ago we didn’t even have access to a T.V. What the hell did people do? Perhaps listen to the radio, if you had one. Or maybe they played outside, parents smoked a couple cigs while the kids played baseball, old man Jones was yelling at them to get off his lawn, while others collected bottle caps to get a couple pennies for candy. Try to imagine a life without any sort of screen or sound to entertain (inform, educate, etc.) you?
Well, it’s not like they even knew what a T.V. was. They had what was available to them. Sure some families had more than others, but it’s not like people were complaining over the neighbors having a newer phone or a larger television. It was probably more like, “mommy, Jimmy has three rocks to my one, can I have some more rocks to play with? Please?!” It’s probably not that stone aged, but you get the idea. People back then had ‘less’ stuff than we have now; less, in terms of quality, complexity and utility, not necessarily in quantity. Were they less happy? Less fulfilled? How could they go on with their day without the benefits of the internet? They certainly had less opportunity than we have. However, if you’d go back in time and ask them, they’d never be the wiser – good point there.
Let’s not kid around, whether or not people had less or more, people who do not adapt to the changing environment get left behind. That’s a fact. You can see it in the elderly, or even parents who do not know how to work a smartphone. To the younger generation, we find it second nature. However, will this innate ability be relevant in the years to come? Will we too be left dumbfounded by a mystical object? Will we be able to adapt to the ever-changing environment? How much more advanced could it get? Perhaps some more neon lights and flying cars but in the grand scheme of things, will our internet constructed brains have to adapt to something so uncomprehending, it makes us look like a two year old with a violin? Our grandparents and parents had to do it, even though some of them couldn’t.
We can get into how bad the internet is and how it has led us on a path of consumerism, egotism, indulgence, depression and a fat lifestyle (haven’t you seen the movie Wall-E?). But let’s look at the bigger picture.
In a ridiculously short time frame, comparing it to other human advancements, we have changed our environment and virtually (pun intended) every aspect of how we live, from communicating and how we conduct business, to shopping and eating. The internet has made our world smaller and easier to live in, not to say that it is simpler. I often hear and discuss how f***ed kids born in 00’s are. The amount of information that they have access to is not natural and their brains are ill-equipped to manage said information. With a click of a button, an unadvised twelve year old can watch some Russian porn, with another click, some people being blown apart in Syria by a bomb and, with another, the exact instructions and recipe for making the perfect souffle. Most parents aren’t even able to responsibly use technology. So how can a child do it?
You may think that you are a very responsible tech-user, and maybe you are, but once again, let us take another step back. Our normal life, what people nowadays call a relatively normal life, is anything but normal for human beings as a species. Our lifestyle has only existed for about 0.001% of human history. So comparing your semi-book reading, making dinner, self-learnt lifestyle to that of a youtubing, ordering in, binge watching, social media influencer, is kind of silly. You may not be on the downfall of humanity but you are by no means on the human history side of normal.
Ok, big whoop, it’s not like I’m going to start hunting and scavenging and go completely off the grid. Fair enough, but without sounding too much like a hippie, we are losing our connection to our roots, we no longer feel the energy of the universe man. We have a lot of smart people doing dumb things for a lot of dumb people doing nothing.
Because of the internet, our normal is normal no longer.
So, instead of telling Alexa to order UberEats and watching Netflix all night, make yourself and a loved one dinner. Then, eat it facing each other, not the T.V. Hell, might as well do a google search for the recipe.