Sunday, August 30, 2015

instant life

I had a discussion with B on our last trip to Lake Calderwood about the things my generation understands that will one day be lost. As we turned the curves of the Dragon, B told me a story about getting an email asking for "sum information." He chalked it up to a misspelling, and it probably was, but it made me think about how shortened internet language is becoming accepted. I will not be surprised if the next generation sends out resume letters like this because at some time the people who shorten everything down to internet slang will be in charge. So, it won't be a big deal but it will be just another way we shortcut our way through life.

I think this may be the reason for the rise of people who prefer to listen to their music on vinyl. You have to get up, go pick an album, walk to your turntable and start the album and then later get up to turn it to the other side. It's a way to slow things down.

I remember watching Now and Then with Sky years ago and how amazed he was that the girls in the movie stayed out all day and went anywhere they wanted to on their bikes.  I know what that is like. We pretty much did whatever we wanted growing up as long as we got in at a reasonable time.

Our children won't know what it is like to have to wait until they can think of something. They can go straight to Google and look it up at a moments notice. We recently watched While We're Young and it blew me away when Adam Driver's character said, "Let's just not know." I think that is why our brains are always just one question away from not knowing the answer we would have known if the question had never been asked. We are so used to being able to look up anything in a second we forget how to remember.

There was a time if we wanted to record sound we had to go find the cassette player or for visual we had to have a video recorder and a VCR to play it on. If we wanted to make a call we had to go find a phone. If we wanted to turn on the TV we had to get up and cross the room. If there was something we didn't know we had to find it in the encyclopedia or the library. If we wanted to take a photo we had to have a camera with us. If we wanted to play a game we'd gather with our friends around a board. If we needed to buy something we had to go to the store. If we needed directions we'd have to have a map or atlas. Now all of these problems are solved by having one smart phone and a signal.

We are living an instant life. Our next generation will not know what it is like to have to anticipate anything. Is that a bad thing? I don't know. I do know that a little delayed gratification can sure make you appreciate things a little more. When I think about this I think about missing innocence and the calm of being a little more separated from having the world in the palm of my hand, I say this as person typing on my PC and one who in minutes will hit publish and bring this to you instantly. It's both beautiful and not, all at the same time.
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