Time’s Relentless March: Navigating the Shifting Sands of Modernity
The relentless march of time is both a blessing and a curse, simultaneously chipping away at our youth and driving humanity to new heights. Our perception of “modern times” is an ever-changing kaleidoscope, continuously reshaped by each generation’s groundbreaking innovations and cultural revolutions.
Reflecting on the 1980s, a decade that felt undeniably modern during my teenage years, I can’t help but notice how it now seems antiquated to 2023’s teenagers. Back then, we labeled anything pre-1960s as “the olden days,” a mindset possibly fueled by the grayscale world of black-and-white films. In contrast, today’s youth eagerly devour 1970s and 1980s movies, while I wouldn’t dare touch films from the 1930s or 1940s, except perhaps for Gone with the Wind. What factors contribute to our constantly shifting concept of modernity, and is this time genuinely different? Did color movies bring the past closer to all of us? Did the proliferation of cameras on every phone allow us to remember the past as though it was closer than when they were just a handful of black and white photos in an old album stuck on a shelf for years at time?
Each generation redefines modernity through their unique cultural and technological landmarks. The emergence of rock and roll in the 1950s and 1960s disrupted a seemingly stagnant music landscape, transforming centuries-old conventions.
As we grow older, embracing the future and acknowledging the past becomes essential in developing a well-rounded worldview. Time’s inevitable passage facilitates progress, and while nostalgia holds a special place in our hearts, we must celebrate the strides we’ve made since our own “modern times.”
I wonder if 15-year-olds in 2023 perceive time the same way as their counterparts in 1983 or 1943. With countless distractions, it’s challenging to slow down, and time tends to accelerate when our minds are perpetually preoccupied.
I’ve heard that time speeds up as we age, and at 53, I can attest to this phenomenon. Weeks whiz by like roadside telephone poles on an express train journey. Is it because we’ve experienced most of what life has to offer, leaving little novelty? How far can we go to slow down time by pursuing new experiences? Can we fool our brains into believing time has slowed, despite our acute awareness of its acceleration?
Perhaps these questions are best kept to myself. I often feel alone in pondering them while everyone else focuses on living the lives we’ve been granted. I’ll focus on doing the same first thing in the morning.
PS. About 80% of this was written by ChatGPT4… just checking it out. I don’t love it, but its not terrible either, maybe a bit dry.