Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A World That Is Unrecognizable

As you may or may not have heard, we are having some pretty severe weather down here in Texas. We have gone from 70's and sunny to 20's with ice and sleet falling for 3 days. 
Its been a bit treacherous around here. 

Yesterday, I was driving home, the had pretty much cleared and things have been returning back to normal. I was stuck behind an old Lincoln town car that was  had its blinker on for 3 blocks, and was straddling two lanes, on a busy street, and I was getting more and more annoyed. For some reason, driving brings out the worst in me, and I was about to lay on the horn and throw my hands up. But, the car finally turned and as I drove by, I saw that it was an elderly woman and she looked terrified. 

Insert feelings of guilt and shame here. 

As I continued to drive home, I thought about her and what life must be like for her now. Is she a widow? Has she moved into a retirement home? Does she still live in her house but does not have the strength to do any projects anymore?

Honestly, I don't know. Chances are she could also have been a real jerk too. But, I started to wonder---does she live in a world that she even recognizes anymore?
Judging by the 3 seconds it took me to pass her, she had to be slightly younger than my grandmother, so I would put her in her 70's or 80's. 

80 years ago, there were no home computers or cell phones. No one listened to rap while grinding on the dance floor. There were no t.v.'s in the homes, and life was certainly slower than it is today.
The mass consumption and culture of excess did not exist, and she probably rarely if ever traveled more than 20-30 miles from home. 

Today, we can literally buy a ticket in the morning, and be in the air flying half way around the world by this afternoon. We can "friend" thousands of people, and a rumor can spread through Twitter and Facebook in a matter for moments. 

Maybe she looked scared because everyone is flying by at 90 mph, while she is only comfortable going 30. Maybe she looked around this morning and wondered what happened to the world she knew. The world that was slower, quieter, and smaller. 

I was fortunate to be born just around the time of the digital revolution, so I am what they call a digital native. I grew up always having a computer in my home and a phone in my car. I can pick up most any new device and figure out how to use it. Juxtapose that with my mother who "still has not found time to  sit down and figure out her iPhone" that she got last Christmas. I am not slamming her, just recognizing  that she and others from her generation are digital immigrants. 

Sometimes, it scares me a little to think about the future. Where will life be in 50 years? Things are changing so rapidly that I don't think any of us know what to expect in the next year or 5 years.

So, lady in the car with the blinker on going really slowly--I am sorry for being a massive tool yesterday.  I am sorry for my anger and that I was tailgating you, you don't deserve that kind of treatment from a stranger. 

What changes have you seen over your life?


Ashten said...

I am too quick to get impatient with elderly people. My great-grandmother used to call me a few times a week and say, “Did you just call me? “. I had to explain to her that I didn’t call and that she was seeing my name first because it starts with an A and she needed to hold down the #1 key to take her to her voicemail. Bless her heart. I also love that older people have flip phone with the largest buttons. So cute.

I always seem to be in a rush and sometimes I need to slow down and take it all in. I feel like technology has taken over and I hate it. Whatever happened to writing someone a nice letter and mailing it. People appreciate that so much more these days.

I remember having to get off AOL chat so my mom could use the phone line now we have a million ways to chat with friends!

Brooke said...

this area has changed a lot. with Dollywood came the tourist...and tourist oriented businesses. my hair dresser (23 years old, to my 33 years) didn't remember of the restaurants i recalled from childhood.

Denise said...

one of the things I learned in wellness coaching is to be careful around creating stories. It is so easy to do. maybe the older lady really needs to not be driving anymore because she is unsafe to both her and the other drivers. However, I am sure she is very sweet! (see I just made up a story too!)

as far as technology...it is here to stay. I've accepted and love it however, somedays I just step away from all of it...balance :)

Amanda S said...

Life is definitely becoming so impersonal. What makes it even sadder is that we don't take time to talk to others like we used to. Maybe the lady had no one else to take her where she needed to go?

Hopefully more people realize that being part of a community is such a wonderful thing and helping others, especially kids and the older folks, is not just for the holidays.

Holly @ Run With Holly said...

I marvel now that, with a few keystrokes, I can have all kinds of research articles from one of hundreds of journals on my computer screen.

I think back to when I FIRST learned how to do research in journals - by referencing this massive book (kept next to the card catalog!) that had all kinds of topics listed alphabetically, and their associated journal reference.

I can't begin to imagine how much less I would know today (with so much more time invested)if that was how I was still pulling potentially relevant journal articles.