Sometimes a song comes up that takes me back several years. I was hearing “I Remember L.A.” by Celine Dion recently and all of a sudden I was in the 1990s, my high school years.
It was about 1998 when I subscribed to my first email account. I didn’t know what it was and how we should use it, but I was happy to have one. Cell phones and social media were not on the horizon. The kinds of things we did then seem so last century.
We waited until we got home from school or work to see who had called us and then we called them back. It was okay if they didn’t hear from us for a few hours. Maybe we had more patience then.
We logged onto the internet, or was it the world wide web? We typed and clicked, not really knowing what would come of it all. Information took a little longer to appear than it does now, but we were willing to wait.
Come to think of it, we seemed like different people at the turn of the century. It was only a generation ago. Something must have happened that changed us, made us shift our focus. It was the digital revolution. We went from people who waited, to people who became short tempered. We want info and we want it now. We went from being Charlie Bucket to Veruca Salt.
And now, we are changing again. Life does that to us. It’s rare that we change on our own. We don’t know how, or we are afraid to make it happen. Change is usually forced upon us. What kind of people are we becoming?
Maybe all this time together will help us refocus to in some way become the people we were before the distraction of personal technology. Little screens and big screens, they will stay here forever, but how long should we be looking at them? Now we have been reminded that we have each other, not only to look at or for social engagement, but also for information, pleasure, relief, and love.
We might also end up as an even lesser engaged people. Once we are let loose again, we will go back to our old ways. It’s easier to get lost scrolling and scrolling. Did you ever think what it is that keeps us scrolling and scrolling? We are looking for something we can’t find.
What we used to rely on for temporary getaways from reality has now become our reality, but we are a changing people. Whatever is happening to us now is changing us. We are living a time of transition, from the people of a previous decade to those of a new one. Maybe 2019 was the end of an era, and now we are starting a new period in history.
But, as with most new things, we don’t know what to make of it. We think we know the answers, but we stumble over ourselves. We argue about what’s right and wrong. Really, we have no idea what our children will end up being like because of what we have experienced. It kind of scares us.
Whatever we, as people, end up transforming to, I know that in some ways we will be better. I just hope that we have moments where we remember the ways we were before this time of change.
One thing is for sure, we will look back at this time and laugh a little, smile as we think of our time with family, and reassure ourselves that we made it through this together.
It’s like Celine Dion sang about in her song “I Remember L.A.”: there were moments in that lifetime that my heart still replays, there were minutes, there were hours, there were days…