When I think about the many changes over the last one hundred years in America, it’s mind boggling! After the Industrial Revolution, Americans were energized and excited about all they could do if they gave themselves a chance! Once the railroad took root and the telegraph line emerged, new industries of all kinds were created across the nation. Some historians call what followed the “Second Industrial Revolution” as new consumer goods were created and America became a place of mass production, consumption, and marketing, set on becoming a world power, leading in both technology and industry. 1
This was a time of great change for our country and the change continues, even now, like the way we entertain. Instead of meeting together in the kitchen or on the porch for conversation and fellowship, we meet in coffee houses or restaurants. Instead of talking over the fence with our neighbor, our lives are placed on face book for everyone to see. As vital as our computers are, they are being replaced everyday by iPods, iPhones and other smaller technological gadgets which even synchronize with the computers, allowing us to always stay connected. Twitter seems now the quickest way to get news out into the world about anything, replacing the telephone! And Google, or any other research engine, has almost entirely replaced searching books, libraries or any written literature for questions for absolutely anything!
Families no longer grow their own food free of chemicals and pesticides, but rather in prepackaged containers where the food has been filled with salt, sugar, coloring, chemically induced hormones and insecticides to make shelf life longer, yet toxic, as we eat ourselves into obesity. Instead of keeping busy with an outside world, walking, farming or otherwise regular exercise, we spend hours and hours in front of the television and on the computer in a world of physical inactivity, creating more health issues, as we become weaker and less able to even fight off diseases which complicate our medical world.
We no longer live in an era of self-sufficiency, but rather in a world of government hand-outs and government regulations that often fosters dependency rather than encouraging people to become more self-reliant. 2 Is this the life we really want? Has the era of great innovations and inventions been really “great” or is there a dark side?
New innovations aren’t a bad thing, but I suggest we might be losing sight of what is really important. So I challenge you to consider how you spend your days, using all the latest innovations, which are supposed to make our life less complicated even while we are actually busier. Do we need to step back, take a deep breath and reprioritize on what is important, re-think how we spend our time, communicate with our neighbor, or even, evaluate proper nutrition?
1 http://www.shmoop.com/great-inventions 2 http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/09/how-government-handouts-foster-dependenc