Both my dogs are extremely weird, to me at least. Especially Eddy though, I don’t know all of the shit he’s seen in the three years before he was apart of my family but lord oh lord is he skittish. Everything scares him, and if we don’t put him in his box by like 10pm it is pretty much a guaranteed fact that he will pee on something or someone when we get up to go to bed ourselves. It’s something we can’t really train out of him since it’s a reflex more than bad behavior. He’s getting to be use to his surroundings by now but anything new, surprising, or unclear really freaks him out. I laugh at him for it but really aren’t I just the same?
Media, for example, freaks me out. I have used Facebook from the beginning, to stay connected with family and friends. I am able to keep in touch with family and Israel plus friends who have moved all over the country and even world. It wasn’t until just this past March though when I finished with classes that I’m figuring it all out on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and even this WordPress thing. It’s all so foreign and frustrating. Especially trying to get picked up or even just noticed as a writer it takes a lot of networking, and it truly makes your personal life a part of your professional life. They wanna see what you’ve written and who you follow and all of that, to make sure you fit in with the rest of the staff and the audience demographic and whatnot. So I’m starting to do all that now. This entire scenario makes me feel old as much as anything else. It just seems like a lot of work to keep up with it all but I guess at this point it is my work.
An episode of South Park actually inspired this entry, one thing I really love about animated shows is that they can prompt more thinking than live action shows because they aren’t limited by physics or human logic or any of that. In this particular episode Kyle was trying to get people to follow his Twitter account for television bringing families together, and Cartman of course was set on ruining it.
So this in itself blew my mind. TV isn’t really even a thing anymore. Especially if you look at when TV was first brought to San Francisco in 1927 until as late as the late mid ’90s when the internet started becoming apart of every household, it has really gone down in popularity.
In southern California, where I grew up, I recall many of the what you might call ‘progressive’ parents did not allow their children to watch TV at all, which in theory got their kids outside more or got them to develop skills. This is now the way these same people react towards giving their kids internet access, TV is now tame in comparison.
For many other families the TV became a central part of ‘together’ time. People centered their living rooms and even bedrooms around the television, and began devoting more and more of the day towards television programming. Without the schedule of TV I dare say that many people are loosing their intensive to hangout.
Back in my day of course we had things like CNN and quit a few stations even on basic cable, it wasn’t like in the ’60s when live broadcasts happened once a day only. Still though I remember that my favorite stories came on once a week, I had about three. Monday night, Tuesday night, and Thursday night. It was something to wait for all week long and then talk about with your friends. Me and my best friend would watch Smallville together over the telephone landline each Monday at 8pm and it was something I always looked forward to.
That doesn’t really happen much anymore. Everything I watch is on Netflix or Hulu or even YouTube and I just watch it whenever I want to. Plus we have so many devices now to play these things on. Even for people with cable, channels rerun popular shows all day long. Plus any shows, movies, or music you could ever want are mysteriously uploaded and then downloaded so often that it has become completely out of control.
Internet shopping was also a major voodoo when it first stated but that I feel has calmed down quite a bit. People use to be afraid to put their card numbers online for fear that their identities would surely be stolen. Today though it’s pretty rare to encounter someone who doesn’t at least occasionally visit Amazon.com, even the people who fear identity theft have found ways to make online purchases by using those rechargeable cards you can get at the grocery store or paypal accounts or some such things. Many private store owners have started using Amazon or private websites to increase their customer base.
Everything is less personal with the internet, we don’t even need to call each other to keep in touch. Just tweet or post or snap it and everyone you want to can see it on there own time. Personally I’ve grown to love it, I guess perhaps it’s easier to stay focused on myself while not loosing contact with loved ones, but it has definitely changed the way society flows.
My little brother, for instance, who was born in 2000 doesn’t even know the struggle. Film cameras and cord phones are just a piece of history to him. It shocks me talking to him sometimes because I feel so dated. As time progresses so do people and their technology. Think about it, there was a time when light bulbs were new and probably seemed insane. That is why I think it’s so important to keep up with things, because humans by nature don’t like change but just because it scares us doesn’t mean it’s bad.
So with this in mind it seems natural that a sect of people would fear the internet and hold the TV as nostalgic, same as Cartman. Human beings cling to what is familiar and it is natural that we try and romanticize the past. It’s important to realize though that just as nature evolves and changes so must our creations.