Sometimes I sit and wonder about what I’m seeing. The world has changed so much since I was a little girl that I scarcely recognize it. I’ve been on this earth less than three decades and yet if my sisters’ children were in my age because of some plot device (like time travel) then they would be very surprised with how little technology we had available for everyday use. Newspapers were still flung onto steps and the white pages were delivered at the same time as the yellow pages instead of needing to be requested.
Every morning before school started in my third grade class, I could look out across the valley I lived in from the Eastern benches and see large squares of green where farms were. Those large squares of green have steadily given way to more suburbs and roads. There are few farms still in my valley that are view-able from so great a distance. Those that do exist are scattered so that they could just as well be an equestrian or city part (both are few here as well).
My middle school is gone as well, the students temporarily transferred to another while the old one is completely demolished and then, hopefully, rebuilt. It’s boiler finally threw in its final towel and refused to be fixed after over 50 years of service. The tunnels and bomb shelters beneath the former brick behemoth having to be filled in as well in order to have a more sound foundation after years of disuse. Some of the teachers here taught families by the generation.
( Here was roll call on the first day I had Biology:
“I taught your mom and your dad and both of your parents.”
It went like this down several rows until he got to me.
“And I had all five of your sisters.”
There’s something like 11 years between the eldest of my sisters and the youngest. My parents were actually older than the teacher, but all the other parents were younger than him.)
Sending e-cards was considered too informal for any kind of social gathering and were discouraged for personal use as well because they weren’t considered ‘enough.’ Talking on the phone when having a guest over wasn’t rude and hardly anyone in my schools even knew what anime was. Google was an infant, YouTube didn’t exist and being able to purchase any songs online was the cause for scandal as the recording companies cried foul. There were chat rooms starting to become popular and online forums were starting up. Meeting people online was still considered nothing more than play time and not taken seriously unless they wanted to ‘meet in real life.’
Time spent online wasn’t real to people even as it slowly started to take up more and more of their actual time from their ‘real’ lives.
When you were bullied at school it was either face to face or behind the cupped hands of gossip. There wasn’t an online media service where you could target someone from across the country for whatever reason bullies use to justify their behavior. Hatred still existed and so did jealousy, it was just a little more like dirt in your face and snowballs hiding rocks and pine cones thrown full strength at the back of your heard and less like written victimization and the ruination of someone’s character in the online community.
Any kind of online community stayed online and didn’t bleed into daily life as much before. Networking was done face to face in the flesh and not over a screen.
There’s so much more to mention, but not enough time in which to do so.
So what will the next ten years bring for me to see and live through? Perspective is always changing.