Recently I was given the rare opportunity to disconnect from many modern conveniences that most of us, myself included, often take for granted (more on this “opportunity” later). This got me thinking about the “simple times”, or what I have always perceived to be the Simple Times, the mid-20th century.
“Simple” is relative, of course. I venture to say that those who lived in the 1950’s and early 1960’s would put up a pretty good argument with me about whether or not it was a simpler time (in fact, I doubt they thought so at the time–or even thought about it at all), but in explaining what I mean specifically, I’m confident I’d win them over.
To me, Simpler Times involved–first and foremost–a lack of technology. Technology, especially these days, is a double-edged sword. Of course I’m mostly thankful for whatever makes my life easier, but there are drawbacks:
1. Computers = less writing by hand, which leads to terrible handwriting.
2. Microwaves = less cooking time, which means I don’t “need” to slow down.
3. Credit/debit cards = I don’t have to carry cash, but I also have to be careful of fraud and identity theft.
4. Television = I can keep up with news and be entertained, but I’m less engaged with others, not to mention reading fewer books.
5. Email = no waiting by the mailbox, which leads to a lack of patience for those who don’t respond immediately.
See what I mean?
In America today, we are over-stressed, over-scheduled, over-anxious…and sometimes I feel like I’m over it. Suddenly going fishing and skipping a rock or two before going to hang out at the local barber shop sounds like a great idea.
It’s nice to have quiet time to reflect, even just for a little while. During the rare occasions when I get a chunk of peace, I find myself thinking, “Wow, this is great, not having 21st century intrusions.”
Of course, after a few days, that feeling completely passes and I’m happy all over again for my television, my cell phone, my computer, and even my microwave.
Wishy washy? Nope. This is America: I have the freedom to change my mind about things whenever I want.
Happy (and safe!) Fourth of July!