Remember when having Netflix instead of cable was “revolutionary” because Netflix was so cheap?
Remember when apps weren’t subscription-based?
Okay, okay. Enough of the aged woman rant. But in all seriousness, does your head ever spin as the digital world continues to influence (and even replace) the analog one?
I grew up in the 1990s, which in my opinion was the last strong decade for so many things. Music was amazing, MTV was still showing music videos, and we had a balance between how much technology ruled. Perhaps the guy down the street from you had a website, but it was just so he could show off his collection of rabbit’s feet, and it was run by Geocities. I spent most of my afternoons chatting with my friends on AIM , and most people accessed the internet through their phone line that was connected to the wall. Yep. THAT era. Mmm, nostalgia.
I look back in longing for that era because at the time, it seemed like humans (in the United States) were oriented in a generally positive direction. We weren’t as concerned with calling people out. Our government seemed, at the very least, interested in engaging other cultures in respectful ways. Representation seemed more equitable in the media.
It’s easy to look at the new reality we have and decide to reject it because it’s so different from what so many of us are accustomed to, want, need, or asked for. But in rejecting what’s foreign and unknown, we don’t give ourselves the chance to learn what it is we are saying “no” to.
I took speech and debate as a teen, and moderated Lincoln-Douglas styled debates in my communication class when I taught at a local college. From these experiences, I know that the best way to debate something down is to be cognizant of what the opposition is about. In our case, the world’s change is just what the world is. It’s been changing as long as we’ve been in it, but for many of us it’s only more noticeable as we make effort at sharing remnants of our childhoods with our own children, or as we adjust to the new processes and tools that we must use in our daily lives.
As you feel your way through this new fangled reality – whether you’re trying to pick which two streaming accounts to sign up for, or you are trying to use pronouns more intentionally as you learn about what it means to be “non-binary,” I encourage you not to turn away, turn off, or close the door. When people choose to stop engaging with life, they get placed on an obsolete hill. The world is moving around them, has figured out ways to replace them, and for those on the hill, this is painful. I don’t recommend inviting that onto yourself.
But take it slow. Maybe you’re not ready for Tik Tok yet. Maybe you’ll try one date with someone you met on the app before deciding it’s all a waste of time. But either way, I encourage you to stay trying.
As long as I’m alive, I will be trying, too. When I’m 80, it’ll be about trying not to wet myself as I laugh at compilation videos (hopefully the future doesn’t erase those).