Progression or Digression
Progression or Digression?
Has the world evolved or digressed? Maybe a little of both, of course the answer largely depends on who is answering the question and the facts being considered.
If one is thinking in terms of technology, he would say great strides have been made and he would be right. Consider transportation; from horseback to cars, trains, luxury ships and jets. There are even progressively better means to explore outer space.
As for communication, it went from newspaper to radio, then TV and evolved to computer and news at our fingertips.
Anyone can be found with enough effort, but most whereabouts come easily, as do people’s records, likes, dislikes, photos and contact information.
So is that good or bad? Privacy and anonymity don’t exist like they used to, nor do communication and socialization.
Kids used to go out and play with other kids in the neighborhood. Baseball games could be found in most every neighborhood in the summer when empty fields became makeshift baseball diamonds with sundry items used as bases. Games like Kick the Can, Annie Annie Over, Simon Says, Statue, were only some of the pastimes. Young boys gathered to play marbles and little girls played jacks and jump rope during recess or spare time at home. Eventually game-playing evolved to electronic games inside the home that didn’t involve lots of neighbors. Social interaction began to wane.
TV was a novelty in the beginning, but when families first acquired them, kids raced home to watch Captain Kangaroo, Garfield Goose and Mickey Mouse Club, often with friends or siblings. The sit-coms were wholesome and idealistic like ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and the ‘Donna Reed Show.’ Ozzie and Harriet and Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds. The word ‘pregnant’ couldn’t be used on TV and pregnant actresses were filmed only from the waist up. Boy, that’s sure changed!
The most instant communication was by phone which had a cord attached to a wall in a room. Still popular, but now more instant communication is by cell phone and users don’t have to be in a room with a cord, but can talk hands-free through earphones and mouthpiece while walking around most anywhere. Cell phones are no longer exclusively owned by adults, but kids in primary school, who used to employ pencil and paper to pass notes. Now cell phones have become a major problem for teachers in classrooms as they try to discipline kids from responding or sending phone messages. The bigger problem is texting.The most common way of communication currently for kids is texting. They used to get together and stand around in groups, chatting, laughing, getting caught up on all the news or verbalizing what they wanted to convey and just enjoying each others’ company. Now they stand around in a group, all wordlessly with their heads down watching their thumbs moving across a small keypad as they text. They are probably texting someone directly across the circle in the same group.
Now the most common way of communication currently for kids has become texting. They used to get together and stand around in groups, chatting, laughing, getting caught up on all the news or verbalizing what they wanted to convey and just enjoying each others’ company. Now they stand around in a group, all wordlessly with their heads down watching their thumbs moving across a small keypad as they text. They are probably texting someone directly across the circle in the same group.
Drug deals can now be conveniently arranged by this instant communication from anywhere, including classrooms. Drivers have been responsible for many auto accidents and lives taken by drivers trying to talk or text while driving.
Few kids play physical, energetic childhood games with each other anymore once they pass a very young age, though many play by themselves on a computer, which offers a plethora of them.
Kids can chat, even gossip and spread rumors via various social networks and email, all with no audible dialogue and the hitting of a button.
Most adults don’t recall the extensive bullying that has become a modern-day issue in schools. There was the occasional kid getting pushy, which was usually taken care of by a parent or school authority. Now it’s gotten to the point where some kids tragically commit suicide over relentless lack of caring and wanting to be tough: the alpha kid, the leader and authoritarian of a like-group of mean-spirited kids.
The offices in which adults worked were large and had several to lots of desks in one room, but the workplaces have evolved to cubicles where each employee is isolated.
The fastest way to communicate anger, grudges and malcontent used to be to talk it out. If people had a beef, they might even get into a shouting match. Guns were totally off-limits to all but adults too. Anyone whose parent had a gun in the home was usually for hunting and the kids knew it was strictly forbidden for them to even touch. Now guns are not beyond the norm or thoughts for wayward kids, troublemakers and gang members. They have evolved as a chosen method by many, used to convey a disagreement or because someone doesn’t belong or believe the way another does.
Currently, it’s not unusual for people to get killed by stray bullets from guns handled by kids. It used to be that kids worked out their differences verbally or maybe even in a fist fight, but the fight was over, someone got a black eye, another got suspended from school for a few days and that was it.
We used to read real books that we bought or obtained from a library. They had real pages to turn. We don’t even have to do that anymore. We used to buy records and albums, get together with friends to dance or just listen.
Advances in electronics have made for a society of isolation. We don’t need each other anymore like we once did. We don’t have to seek answers or verbal communication from each other as before. We can check the Internet, get on a social network, text, read books from something tiny held in our hand and listen to 100s of songs through ear buds from a teeny I pod. Electronics have made us somewhat into isolationists. What will it be like in years to come? Are we advanced? I wouldn’t be surprised if people tried to text or email their prayers now.