This article is for all the old men and women who claim that the world has become a terrible place to live in the last few years. It is an open letter to the people who say that Earth is in its last days, and that people have become more immoral, more vengeful, and less sympathetic. The message is simple. People are exactly what they always were. Men and women were just as mean to each other then as they are now, and they were just as kinky back then as they are today. There is no difference between the people who lived centuries ago and the people living now; the only thing that has changed are the standards of living.
50 years ago, there were fewer people in the world, less proximity between the homes of people, and hardly any way for them to communicate besides using a landline telephone. 30 years ago, people did not have cell phones connecting them to everyone that they know through a simple phone call or text. If a person wanted to converse with another live human being, then they called that person or visited their home. And just 10 years ago, social media was not an accepted form of social interaction, so people could not follow their favorite celebrities’ every move from their home, tweet and retweet videos of current events, and post their life’s story on Facebook or Instagram. There was no simple way of keeping up with the current events in the world or investing time into other people’s lives beyond reading the newspapers, watching news reports on television, or traveling to speak with your neighbors. But, the world has changed and technological advancements have altered the social landscape. Even though the world is larger and more populated than it has ever been with people living longer, more productive lives, people’s lives are closer to each other than the world has ever seen.
Change is the one constant in life, and human beings dislike change because the natural progression of life forces them to evolve out of their comfort zones in order to maintain their relevance in society. Technological advancement gives us better products that work more efficiently. Better tools make life easier, and the specific category where there has been the most technological growth is in telecommunication and electronics. Every cell phone comes with a camera and web accessibility which means that any member of the general public can record and place anything that they see onto the internet within seconds. Any whim, good or bad, can be placed on the worldwide web for everyone to see. The sophistication of our electronics allow more opportunity for the observation of human nature which in turns exposes more about who we are.
The same bullying that has happened years ago is happening now, the only difference is that the bullying today uses the internet as a medium. The same fetishized acts that men and women engaged in years ago, now have sites dedicated to the predilections. People themselves have not changed, their modes of expression have. What the past generations fail to understand or refuse to admit is that there was just as much maliciousness, malfeasance, and debauchery in the past as there is now. There are just more transparent avenues for the discovery of people’s desires and indiscretions now.
People talk about today being the fall of society. Kids are being shot at school, citizens are being attacked in their homes, and society does not care. There is a presumed lack of empathy from everyone. However, society is no different. There were just as many violent people in the olden days as there are today, there were just as many vindictive people, and there were just as many sexually active people. The most notable serial killers in American history came from the sixties and seventies. And, people across the world have been sadistic towards one another and bloodthirsty since the days of Vlad the Impaler. Catherine the Great, a Prussian empress, was labeled a nymphomaniac and rumored to have been killed while copulating with a horse. Our elders complain about the lack of compassion that people have for one another today, and they harp on the how morals and dignity no longer take precedence in modern society, but the same behaviors happened in our past. There is just considerably more transparency today than there was then.
Technology advances, but people stay the same. People were not better years ago. They faced the same social, emotional, and physical problems that we face today. And, they react in a manner that is similar to the behaviors that their ancestors displayed when they faced with problems. People have not changed. The only difference between now and then is that everyone has a cellphone in their hand to record their faults and triumphs.