For the times, they are a-changin’ | The Triangle

For the times, they are a-changin’

Photograph courtesy of Homero Nunez Chapa at PublicDomainPictures
Photograph courtesy of Homero Nunez Chapa at PublicDomainPictures

You start to age the moment you are born.

Everything fresh, new and efficient about your body gets older with every passing year. It’s a slow process, one we might not notice until we’re too old to do anything about it.

What’s interesting, however, is that our way of life is also changing at an even greater rate. Technological advancement has created the greatest difference to humankind. It has fundamentally warped the way in which people live and it continues to change.

I think it’s interesting to think of a time when cell phones didn’t exist, or at least weren’t in the majority. I remember a time where video games were simple. I remember when VHS was being overthrown by DVD and when daytime television was quality entertainment. I remember when the Internet was something to get on when you were bored instead of needing it for every aspect of your life.

It’s amazing how many things have changed. There are generations that grew up not knowing what any of this was. There are generations that came before this and saw these things develop into what my generation is familiar with. There are generations today that wouldn’t understand how life worked without these “necessities.”

Flash back to the 2000s, when music was at an all-time high and global warming was just a small threat. There were many summers when kids would come outside and play all day. They would play games like tag, jump rope, football, manhunt or even made-up games.

I never had a cell phone in my pocket in those days. Now that I think about it, my pockets were empty except some change I often carried to go to the store and buy snacks. If I wanted to make a call, I had to use the house phone.

Parents always wanted their kids to be safe, but cell phones weren’t a thing yet. The only people I knew that did have cell phones were adults and some kids with cool parents. It was more like a novelty for children to have instead of a necessity.

The world was different back then.

Now everyone has a cell phone; it’s almost considered weird if you don’t. It’s the main way to communicate with people. Cell phones are also not just for calling and texting either. As many features are packed onto smartphones nowadays, it’s almost like calling and texting is a secondary feature.

Video gaming was also a completely different culture. PC gaming has always been a big thing, but console gaming was also getting so much better. Console gaming changed forever when they made an entire online world for people to use to connect and play games together.

Before then, if you wanted to play games with people you had to have a lot of controllers and a lot of friends. Sometimes you needed a weird adapter that, of course, was sold separately.

Even still, video games —  as great as they were —  were not the best thing in the world. I prefered going outside more often and other activities. I played video games frequently, but it was most fun with others involved.

Today, video gaming has expanded and is not just something that children play. Adults have never been so involved in serious gaming until now. Playing online means you can run into anything from middle aged dads or prepubescent boys. Girls have also entered the playing field more heavily.  

VHS was truly an interesting experience. Some of my family home videos are on VHS. The VCR player we had often malfunctioned, but just like all other technology of the time, all you had to do was bang on it a couple times and it worked like new. I had movies on VHS, one being “Pokemon: The First Movie.”

Soon, the DVD came and washed it all away. Movies on DVD looked so much better and clearer. DVD players were the best, and those little portable players were probably the bread and butter of the day. VHS stood in the shadow of DVD’s.

Then of course, blu-ray had to come and top DVD.

Anybody remember Hollywood Video and Blockbuster? They were great if you wanted to rent movies and games. Today though, VHS and DVD’s are almost nothing. Blu-ray is still a nice option if you want your own copy of a movie.

Both of those companies no longer exist. If you want to watch movies, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have completely changed the game.

There was a time when people watched television every day. People would be ready to sit back and watch the newest episode of their show come on or watch the news in the morning and at night or even scroll through the movie channels to see what was on.

The world changed forever when DVR and On-Demand came to television. God forbid you missed an episode of your show on television, there was almost no way to catch it. You would have to scroll through the guide to see when it aired again. But with the new technology, you could just record television shows and even movies. Even better, shows would go On-Demand available to watch any time.

I remember days when I would scroll through the guide and complain that out of hundreds of channels, there was nothing on. Today, I hardly even watch TV.

Most people don’t watch regular television. They catch up at their leisure through streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

Even the Internet, something that wasn’t mainstream back then, is now held in the palms of people’s hands whether young and old today. There used to be a computer class in elementary school to teach kids how to use them. We used the fat monitors and desktop computers for everything. Kids now navigate the Internet like it’s second nature.

I bet you $20 the average child won’t know what a floppy disk is.

Technology has warped the world by turning us into a society that solicits the idea of convenience. Things just keep getting easier and easier.

We always think back to a time when we were younger and say, “things were so simple back then,” and yet we didn’t even understand the simplicity of our time.

It was more than simple, it was life. If we were fine living that way, what was the point of changing? At least not at the rapid rate that things did. How good is life really now?

People are more antisocial than ever, and some people lack normal social skills. People are plump and lazy and don’t have to go far for entertainment. Some can’t even last a day without the Internet.

What would be so bad about returning to a time where we didn’t have to rely on these things so heavily? Back when outside and having a good time wasn’t about getting a picture to show off, it was about genuine fun.

Modern advancement has indeed been a great thing for this country. It is a privilege to have come so far, and yet it curses us too.