I found this picture on a wall in Nauvoo Village in Carthage, Illinois. You history buffs out there might know that Carthage was at one time dominated by Mormons. They were rather abruptly driven out and then moved to Salt Lake City. There leader Joseph Smith died at the hands of a mob there in 1844. Ironically, the Mormans have now taken over the village once again.
But to get to the image above, Bull Durham was a “man’s smoke”. It was as strong as tobacco came during the 1960s when I started smoking. I spent a few months sucking on Bull Durhams and then moved on to milder smokes. Thank heavens it is almost 30 years now since I took my last puff. 🙂
Obviously the question in the title above is what this post is all about. Here is the definition of social media from Wikipedia. The biggies are obviouslly Facebook,Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, with many other a little further down the line.
Obviously these companies want us to believe that we need them to do almost everything essential to life itself. We HAVE to plug into their product to keep control of our lives.
Be actively related to politics
To hail a cab
To catch a bus
To understand the world.
But is any of that really true? It wasn’t but a few years ago that we had other methods of doing all those things. I know I am going to sound like an old person here but I think many of the older ways were better than using social media. Getting down to the root of this matter, maybe the more important question is do we need what these founders of social media are doing to our lives.
We don’t need:
to make increased corporate or government surveillance of our lives easier.
to make unanswerable harassment possible without consequences of the harasser.
to make stalking easier.
to pollute our democratic processes with lies and distortions found on these sites.
to be exposed to all the false anti-science garbage.
to make the “Us vs Them” divide any wider.
Maybe we need to look back at the days before these social media giants controlled so much of our lives and maybe take a step back to change things.
If we simply didn’t use the current social media outlets I’m sure others would sprout up that would change many of the con’s above. I know all these guys are currently multi-billion dollar companies who have a stranglehold on how we interact with each other in the 21st century, but that doesn’t necessarily have to the the case.
I am generally not an advocate of burning things down in order to make improvements but that seems to be about the only method that will eliminate the problems above. The $5 billion fine on Google is a start but it needs to be backed up by a strong consumer boycott to affect change in this area.
In my generation most of us got married soon after high school or at least college. But I see from the recent New Yorks Times column by Tara Parker-Pope that as usual Millennials have taken a different path, a better path in my opinion.
I don’t think that teenage hormones have changed that much in the last fifty years. I know they were surging in me in the 1960′. But it seemed my Aspie traits overwhelmed them. I just didn’t know how to even approach a female of the species during those years let alone be sexual involved with one. The hormones are still there in teenagers today, so what’s changed?
Is the secret to lasting love to take it slow? As in really, really slow?
The millennial generation is putting that theory to the test, opting for what the biological anthropologist Helen Fisher calls “slow love.” Studies show that millennials are dating less, having less sex and marrying much later than any generation before them, and a younger generation appears to be following in their footsteps.
Of course, as usual, some of the experts say that is good and others say it is bad. The naysayers say because Millennials grew up in the social media area, they lack the ability to form 0ne-0n-one relationships and are unable to be intimate or make commitments. Others say that they are putting their sex drives at bay to accomplish more important things. Being an optimist at heart, I want to believe the latter.
If you ask me thinking with your head as well as your heart about relationships and future marriage is a good thing. Keeping everything in the perspective of achieving a joyous journey is what it should be all about. Now if we can just get all those forward looking Millennials focused on voting the most vile president out of office, they just might be able to accomplish things that us Boomer couldn’t get done.
I can still remember when I visited the 1964 New York World’s Fair on my high school senior trip. It was a mesmerizing place unlike anything I had seen before. I especially remember the General Motors “Futurama” exhibit. It was about looking forward to the year 2000. I couldn’t imagine that far ahead, I would be an old man by then instead of a kid just finishing high school.
The exhibit showed us that robots would take over the mundane jobs so that it would not be necessary for any of us to work more than 20 hours per week. It would be like a four day weekend every week. Flash forward and much of what was in the exhibit was about has yet to materialize, but one thing that is quickly being realized is that robots are doing much of the work that was once necessary by humans.
But, instead of now celebrating that possible major accomplishment, many have come to fear it. They see themselves as possibly destitute and homeless because of it. They see the future as a “Mad Max” world. It is taking our jobs away from us. What a vast difference the mentality is today compared to that exhibit 50 years ago.
We will soon be at that point where we could realize the “20 hr work week”. Except for the last two and a half years, I am an optimist by nature. If our government puts the proper rules and regulations in place a 4 day weekend is certainly possible and I still have hope that that will happen. If not then the wealth imbalance will only get greater. If that doesn’t happen then the greed of Wall Street may just produce the world the fear mongers see.
A Well-Informed Electorate Is a Prerequisite for Democracy
I have let it be known many times here at RJsCorner that I believe the main reason we have survived as long as we have as a country is because of the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Their words put a firm foundations under our democracy. The Jefferson quote above may just be the most important one he gave us concerning the future of our democracy in our current days.
It has been about three months now that I have boycotted everything to do with politics. The primary reason for that boycott is the despicable person who currently occupies the Oval Office. He seems determined to destroy what Jefferson and Madison worked so hard to establish. Do I let this incompetent idiot keep my from being well-informed? NO! I think it’s time to go back into the arena with some strict rules.
The first and foremost rule is that I will not discuss anything that comes out of aforementioned person’s mouth or tweets. Secondly, I will not discuss the things he attempts to do. Nor, will I discuss the how the GOP seems determined in aiding him in his attempts to turn our democracy into an autocracy. These are the primary things that drove me toward the depression abyss that seems to surround these times.
Instead I will be concentrating on the next president and evaluating the people and their stands who seek to restore sanity to the Oval Office. Any of the 20 could do a better job than its current occupant. I wish I had a presidential candidate in the GOP to look at, but sadly that doesn’t seem likely now. There are currently 20+ candidates on the Democrat ticket that they and their stands need to be evaluated in the next eight months or so in order for us to make a well-informed choice.
In order to differentiate these discussions from the raw politics of my past rhetoric I am setting us a new category called “The Next President”. To sum it up, I have decided that I won’t throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak. We need to make sure that at least we progressives and moderates are informed when we go to the polls in the 2020 primaries. We need to make absolutely sure that we are not replacing one incompetent idiot for another.
I would love to hear from you some other possible discussions in this new arena.
Capitalism in America demands that we buy more and more stuff each year. Without that insatiable drive we simply couldn’t grow as a society today. I think that needs to be basically changed to match the successes of the rest of the world. Instead of requiring us to buy more this year that last, maybe we should spend it on our infrastructure or, here’s a wild thought, maybe making healthcare a right instead of a privilege! Ok, enought soapboxing for now, let’s get back to the point of this post.
In my day, we didn’t have massive closets of clothes. I don’t think the walk-in closet was even invented until the Reagan 80’s. 🙂 It seems today that even most young teenagers could now fill an eight foot closet with their wardrobes. I could carry all my clothing in a single normal size suitcase even after I graduated from college. I just didn’t see the need to have more than a half dozen changes of clothes, as I thought even that was extravagant. The 1927 farmhouse that we renovated two decades ago had closets about two feet wide!
In that regard, here is my next Joyous Journey rule to live by:
Rule#11 – Don’t get hung up on your stuff.
Some people think that having a joyous life means you have all the stuff you could ever dream about. To me, it is just the opposite. The less stuff you have the more joyous I seem to be. Trying to keep up with the latest Madison Ave trends is just not worth it. It is ridiculous that they are now selling jeans that are threadbare and have holes in places. In my mind it is better to just wear out the ones you already have instead of plucking down $50+ for pre-worn ones. One of my active projects this summer is to wean down my four foot closet space down to three or less. Anything I haven’t worn in the last two years goes to GoodWill.
We live in houses that our ancestors would never have dreamed of owning. It seems that the requirement today is 1,000 square feet per each person in the household. When our current house was built almost a hundred years ago less than 800 sq ft and we know that a family of six occupied that space in the 1950s. It is heartening to see that many young people today are joining the “tiny house” movement. They comfortably live in less than 400 sq ft of living space.
Before I go, I have to admit to you that I am not entirely innocent when it comes to stuff. I have a couple of previous Mac computers stored away along with at least three iPads and an older Apple watch. I could have lived with the older ones, but the new features available on the latest models lure me in. So, in that regard I need to practice what I preach I guess?