Is the Ease of Modern Life Helping or Hurting?
My family and I have found a new love for antiquing. Now, this is just a fun little activity we stumbled upon over the Christmas break, but what fun we had digging through vintage and old “stuff” in stores! It was like going back in time. It was fun to find toys or memorabilia that I remembered from my childhood. Lots of old records and books and all kinds of trinkets. There was the same set of dishes my Grandma had when we were growing up. Then there was really really old stuff—like the newspaper from the 1800’s we bought called, “For the Farm Country Gentleman” for $1.50! We framed it with a frame we already had and hung it in my kitchen. Fun and unique…and simple. That’s my kind of decor 😉
One afternoon we found ourselves in the local antique shop and my husband was intrigued with this vintage printers set. It was a type case filled with the letters that were used in printing presses. He fiddled it with for awhile, as he is a graphic designer and it just mesmerized him! Each tiny little tile in the gorgeous wooden boxes were like a treasure for him.
On our drive home I asked him about it some more, and he explained to us how each letter would have to be set by hand for each page of newspaper or whatever was being printed. And if that didn’t sound daunting enough…it had to be done backwards, so when it was printed it would be correctly laid out for reading. My first reaction was complete overwhelm! I said, “How on earth did they do it?” I mean, one paragraph seems like a ton of work, let alone a page or an entire book. And some of these tiles were teeny tiny!
And then it got me thinking…I am a product of our society.
Is it Too Easy?
Of course it was unfathomable to me to do that amount of work because in 2018 we really don’t have to do such tasks. As a matter of fact I am typing this our on my Mac computer, without thinking much about the type- I am not setting it backwards and lining it up and printing each page. I simply hit “publish” and it sends off to anyone in the world who wants to read it. And if I make a typo, I hit delete and voila! It’s fixed. Not so, if an entire page was printed with a typo! 🙁
Pretty incredible when you think about it really.
So, of course, that task seemed daunting to me. But, back then, that is all they knew. They didn’t know of Mac computers or even typewriters. They only knew hard work, so I suppose they weren’t comparing it as I am to the present ease of the computer.
And then I thought about how this applies to our society as a whole today.
Are we going backward?
I mean throughout all of civilization, we constantly have made improvements and moved forward. Little by little things became easier out of necessity. New ways of doing things were invented and technology boomed.
But are we on a decline now? The fact that my brain couldn’t wrap around such a difficult task made me realize how much my brain isn’t trained for! I mean, if it’s not easy and instantaneous, I get fidgety.
But is instantaneous and easy always good for us?
Because this ease of life takes the work out, the thought, and even the process of doing the task.
If we keep moving forward at the pace we are going with technology, how will we know how to think? As it is these days, any fact I want to know, I can look up on a pocket device called my iPhone. But is that really beneficial? To a degree, yes. Definitely. Isn’t it amazing to be able to know anything I want in just a few seconds?
But, are we not thinking anymore? Are we so accustomed to instant answers that our brains aren’t working the way they used to?
These are just random thoughts I had on that drive home from the antique store.
Are we, as a society, truly moving forward or are we setting ourselves up for decline?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below.