Wednesday, August 3, 2016
A DYSTOPIC IMAGE OF THE FUTURE
Our town has sidewalks and tree lined streets. A couple of days ago I was driving through town and saw a man and his wife walking toward the college and behind them were two small boys that looked about eight and ten years old. Both of these boys had a cellphone out and were totally absorbed in whatever was on their individual phones. This left me wondering what these boys will be like as grownups. If they are so enmeshed with technology at their age, what sort of social change will technology have brought about fifty or seventy-five years from now?
Now I know I am out of touch – I am supposed to be out of touch: I am old and of a different generation.
Historically, when old men yell at clouds it is because they have seen it all before; except with a different cast of characters.
But, this time it is different. I am still a repository of cultural change; but change has never happened at this speed before.
I lived through a time when AM radio and newspapers were the standard for communication; where passenger aircraft flew at 125 miles per hour; where telephones had a real person answer instead of a dial tone. I have lived through and witnessed changes, but these changes came along at a comfortable rate.
There has been more technological and cultural change in the last sixteen years that there was in the prior sixty years of my life.
Those two boys should have been pushing and shoving and grabassing instead of walking like two zombies controlled by an electronic media. What will their generation be like after a youth void of human interaction and after a childhood void of imagination and wonder? I am sure they will fit into their future; but I can’t help but wonder what kind of alien future they will exist in.
Change has come at a remarkable speed. Technology has replaced personage and redefined human interaction.
If you are a young person, fasten your seatbelt - because the world of tomorrow is going to look nothing like the world of today.