We are all aware how fast things change. I am using a computer to type this, yet when I left school, I never imagined that such a thing would exist. And I am posting this online, over the Internet. Who could ever have thought of that?
Whenever I complain about how things are, people wisely remind me that ‘times change’, or ‘it’s just progress’. Staring at mobile phones all day is progress then, I assume. I do try, I really do. Look how much I use technology to blog, and to spread the word about everything from how much it rains, to the stories I have written. But I confess that it is never less than a daily struggle, trying to keep up with those changing times.
As I get older, I complain a great deal. Regular readers will no doubt have noticed the increase in that, I’m sure.
Much of what I lament is caused by the addition of rose-tinted spectacles, and they make me firmly believe that everything was better ‘before’. Before times changed, and before so much progress. Does anyone under forty realise that their beloved smartphones and Internet televisions will be laughed at in thirty year’s time? I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter.
But they will be.
Is life really so much better because you can switch on your house lights from the bus, by using an app on your phone? Well that is certainly progress, but is it either a good thing, or necessary? I struggle to believe it is.
When you are young, moany old codgers get on your nerves, always going on about how things were so much better ‘before’. They did it when I was young, and now I am upholding the tradition. And for you younger readers, a word of warning.
You will do it too.
You will hear yourself saying that your old X-Box was better than whatever is around when you are seventy years old. You will drone on about films and TV shows being so much better in your youth, and how the celebrities and stars of your day were much better-looking, and nicer people too. You will bore the pants off the future younger generation by going on about the food you used to eat, and how you used to cook it. The fast-food places that no longer exist, and the shops that closed down when you were in your sixties.
You will tell them about High Street Shops, and how you could buy just one cake in a baker’s. Regale them with how good it was to go to a doctor or the hospital, and not have to pay. You will become misty-eyed with memories of how people got state pensions, winter fuel allowance, and free bus travel when they were old. Of course, you will not have any of that for yourself, but you will remember when other people did.
You will find it hard to cope with progress, and increasingly difficult to change with the times.
I know, because I can see into your future.
And it is the same as mine.