ISN’T it scary how quickly the world is changing? Have a think about how your life is different today, compared to say, 10 and 15 years ago. I tend to think about the year 2000 as being only a few years ago but it’s been fourteen and so much has changed in that time.
The first, and most obvious change is the explosion of social media. There are simply too many forms of social media to list now but the main ones, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have had enough of an impact on their own. We are now in contact with people that, before, we only spoke to if we met them on holidays. I’ve actually said hello to my Facebook friends in real life only for them to stare back at me blankly…”Oh hello eh…” and I’m gone past them half laughing at their embarrassment, half annoyed that they didn’t know who I was.
In a few years’ time I’m convinced that people will be seeking therapy for their addiction to Facebook and other sites like it. They spend their day on the computer looking at it, and then head off to bed to look at it for another couple of hours on their phone. I rang a chap the other day at 9:30am and he said to me “What are you doing ringing me at this hour?” I told him that I knew he was awake ‘cause I saw him liking things on Facebook. Last thing at night and first thing in the morning…a new addiction is born!
Another modern phenomena, which was born out of social media, is taking pictures of everything. A man I know chopped off his finger last month in a nasty hatchet related accident and before he called for help he took a snap of it on his phone. You could almost read his mind as he took the picture “This is surely going to get hundreds of likes…”
Has Facebook just exposed our deep-rooted desire to seek constant approval from our peers? Why should we care how many people liked the video of our child making their first steps? I don’t know…but we do. Why should we care if someone unfollows or unfriends us? I don’t know…but we definitely do.
Social Media has made the world infinitely more anti-social, of that there is no doubt. Another modern phenomena (although not at the moment as it’s election season) is the knock on the front door. Fifteen or so years ago we were all used to getting a knock on the door…sure it could have been anyone. Same can be said of the house phone ringing. Your mates could be calling to the door to see if you wanted to go out…your relatives could be calling for a random cup of tea. Nowadays everything is pre-arranged via Facebook or some kind of chat app on your phone. Most people hide when the door knocks now because it’s either the TV licence inspector or someone from Airtricity.
Social Media has also exposed the fact that so many people that I once thought were smarty pants are actually nothing of the sort, and most of them struggle to string two words together. You’d think with the essays and rants that they’re constantly writing in their Facebook they’d know the difference between loose and lose…
Here’s the scary thing though…text messages are actually becoming a thing of the past now. Fifteen years ago the world fell in love with text messaging and stocks in Mobile Phone companies everywhere were flying through the roof. Nowadays people are using the free versions on Whatsapp, Viber and co. People, and I include myself in that, are now unable to function properly without a phone in their hand. On a recent visit to the toilet I was horrified to discover that I had forgotten my phone. I had to resort to reading the back of the toothpaste tube.
Which brings us nicely on to the next modern phenomenon – wet-wipes. When did people stop wetting the end of a tea-towel and using that to wipe their work top? Everywhere you look now there are wet wipes and Dettol wipes and suddenly everyone is suffering from OCD. Seriously, when did these products, which I imagine are now a massive cash cow for the companies that make them, become so popular? Back in the 90s and early 00s we used to employ jay clothes and kitchen sponges to clean the kitchen – now we’re using disposable wet wipes as if we’re some kind of royalty. Not only that but we’re wiping our arses now like Kings and Queens. One wipe of a quilted tissue followed by a wet wipe and then another quilted tissue to finish the job. We sure have become fond of ourselves haven’t we?!
So what’s next? Well I’ll tell you. In the 90s we used to wash the dishes as a family. “Who wants to wash up, and who wants to put away?” Then that became “whose turn is it to empty the dishwasher?” Or another would be, “whose turn is it to put on the kettle?” All of that, within the next couple of years, will be done via mobile apps. Turn on your kettle from the comfort of your armchair. Turn off the oven from the comfort of the pub (actually that would be a handy one).
Be careful guys, we’re getting lazier and lazier, and more and more anti-social. I haven’t a notion what we’re going to do about it because all of this modern technology is just fantastic!