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Are We Moving Forward?

Every day new technology is developed that is projected to influence our lives to change to a new day and age. Although, one must think if technology is bringing us forwards or backwards. This perplexing inquiry can easily be solved by taking aspects of our daily lives and comparing them to the lives of our ancestors, grandparents, and even parents. Through my own life and lives around me I have come to believe that we really are becoming like prior generations. To put all of that into a simpler form, I believe that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Before writing was developed, stories were told and passed on to generation after generation. It was done through oral tradition, which is telling stories by word of mouth. Once writing was developed, all of the stories were written down, so they would not be forgotten. Authors write stories that will not be forgotten and people will read for generations to come. When television and movies were invented, many books were turned into movies. I consider a movie to be very similar to oral tradition. The story is told over and over in an entertaining way that gets the viewer to remember more of the movie. A great example of the transition from written tradition back to oral tradition is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl wrote the book and it was later made into a movie. But to complete this example, the movie was later re-made and little changes were made. That is much like it was when stories were told multiple times. When I think of movies like oral tradition, it makes them more interesting because I think about how I would re-tell the story and what little changes I might make.

When I think of grandparents, I imagine a farm and people working on it. The people are normally wearing jeans, and the jeans are quite old, dirty, and ripped. Now that people don’t work on farms, jeans are normally kept in good condition, except for this new fad. Lately, jeans have been manufactured differently. Jeans can be bought pre-ripped. This is just like how jeans were worn in the past. Whenever I see jeans like that, I think it is a little outrageous to buy jeans that are already ruined, however I think it keeps people grounded to what America’s first industry was like. I wonder sometimes if this seemingly harmless fad will one day bring America back to the time of farming where people knew their neighbors and there was a greater sense of community. Life in America has changed so much, that this is one of the only things that gives us a connection to early America.

I remember days when I would sit around, watch television, or play video games. That day was yesterday, but I play video games in a very different way than I used to. It might be hard to believe, but I play video games just like my parents would have played with their friends when they were younger. With the Wii video game system by Nintendo, I can play video games and be active at the same time. With the game Wii Fit, I exercise while playing fun games. It is amazing how this technology gives the well-developed allusion of actually exercising. I can run in place and travel around the island seeing the fencing arena, the bowling alley, and even a volcano. I also get to jump off a huge cliff from near the top of the volcano. It’s a great way to exercise and have fun. I know that when I have fun doing something, I want to continue to do it. It’s all of the fun of playing outdoors, but it can be done anytime, rain or shine.

Whether I’m watching a movie, looking at ripped jeans in a store, or playing on the Wii, I think at how amazing it is that technology, the thing that is supposed to advance our society, is making us more and more like prior generations. There is a quote from Albert Einstein that I think applies well to my belief. It is, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” It took someone with a lot of courage to develop technology that makes our lives like generations before us. I’ll always remember this and I hope to invent something one day that changes our lives in order to keep them the same.





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