Do you actively worry about the state of the world?

There are weeks, aren’t there, when all the news is bad, when new studies come out that tell us texting, climate change, and lack of personal eye contact with each other will be the ruination of everything. Maps are published that show how rising seas will eat away at coastlines, then states, then countries.

My grandparents thought radio and then TV and then Elvis were signs of a degraded populace. Every generation seems to point at some habit or phase of the next generation that spells doom. As we get older, we find out that not only our parents’ generation but our parents themselves were wilder when they were kids than they would acknowledge when we were growing up and pushing various envelopes.

The soothsayers seem to rejoice in proclaiming “The end is near.”

With gobal warming, I begin to wonder if the end is near. A lot of people are denying that it’s happening–in spite of the evidence. And that includes the current administration, one that is also rolling back clean air and water protections and other environmental rules. I remember when Jay Leno, on the old Tonight Show, used to interview people on the street about historical and other facts that my generation saw as baseline knowledge. More often than not, people didn’t even know the name of our President, where California is, and other basic facts.

Is our texting generation creating anew this aura of general stupidity about how the world works, where states and countries are, and whether or not rising seas constitute a real problem? I hate texting–so, I have a bias. But sidewalks filled with people who are looking at their cellphones is disturbing. What the hell can y’all possibly be talking about that’s more important than where you are and the people around you?

Do things like this worry you?

I’m beginning to wonder if I should start a new blog called “The end is near.”

Malcolm

8 thoughts on “Do you actively worry about the state of the world?

  1. eliseskid

    Yes, they worry me. I’m old enough to remember air raid drills in school and yet I never seriously worried that tomorrow the world might blow up or on a smaller scale, that a random shooter would kill me or my loved ones. I grew up with a Dad who was a WWII war hero who hated war (and Hitler even more, if possible), and he would be having a stroke at what we’re becoming if he hadn’t already passed away. I listened to someone bitching that they couldn’t get a straw for their frozen drink on a cruise ship, and in response to those who were explaining the reason behind that, all he could say was other countries do less than the US when it comes to environmental issues and is there really a problem with people throwing straws overboard? He blamed the cruise ship for not cleaning things up on deck quickly enough. We live in a world of people who think they are entitled and only they matter. Scary days for sure.

    1. There are days when I’m glad my parents and grandparents don’t see the worst of things, though I wish they were here to see the best of things. Straws? Tempest in a teapot. I don’t like them and wish restaurants wouldn’t put them in my water glass like I can’t drink water like an adult. But, nothing to throw a tantrum about just to be throwing a tantrum. (I see enough of that on the news.)

      1. eliseskid

        I agree about the straws and the daily tantrums in the news. What’s the big deal about just drinking from the glass (heresy to germaphobes, I know). Lots of places have now switched to paper straws which are biodigradable–I remember using them as a kid before plastic straws were even a thing. Admittedly, I don’t care for the texture, but not something I’d complain about. Small stuff in the grand scheme of things–and changing small things can make a difference so it doesn’t hurt to take little steps in the right direction.

        1. Yes, all those little things add up. I’m glad places are getting rid of straws and that other places are banning single-serving drink bottles and plastic shopping bags. My problem is when people waste time having tantrums about these things rather than becoming part of the solution.

  2. Scary days for sure, Elise. I live in Weymouth – on the coast in the south of Britain – which is, of course, a holiday destination. Here people are constantly interrogating their phones as they walk. This is often because they are trying to find their hotel. (Even more likely if a little wheelie is trundling behind them.) But as well as there being a practical reason for their concentration, there is perhaps a sort of existential dimension to their ability to focus on that tiny screen to the exclusion of all else. The ‘me’ bubble, I call it. They are actually lost, currently. But they are lost also in a welter of the completely unimportant, in a milieu which reduces them to an algorithm. What is really scary is that nobody seems worried by this.

    And it continually amazes me that they don’t bump into things.

    (I too hate texting.)

    1. eliseskid

      Judi, I don’t hate texting in small doses. It’s a handy tool. I do hate long conversations via text though. When my daughters try to do that to me, I just tell them to call because it’s easier and faster than my old fat fingers can manage. When I’m on vacation I rarely even look at my phone. I may snap a few pictures to share but even if I post them to Facebook, I don’t look at anything else there. I want to get away from the everyday madness. Having time away from the chaotic nightmare world we seem to be living in at the moment is a blessing and I’m all to happy for the respite. My husband and I recently went on a cruise to Bermuda and part of the package we had included 250 minutes of free WiFi. I saw other people buying extra minutes for their family–the teens couldn’t possibly manage 7 days without it!–while I had 140 minutes left over at the end. The minutes used–uploading photos to family back home.

      Admittedly, I’m old fashioned about many things. I look at my watch, not my phone for the time. I take the majority of photos with my cameras, not my phone. When we recently upgraded to new phones, the sales rep was stunned at how little I use my smartphone for. I only turned in my old flip phone (after 7 years of faithful service) because family members kept nagging me to come into the 21st century–and group texts on flip phones are not a pretty thing. LOL

  3. Nothing like going on a vacation and then spending the time texting rather than seeing the sights/sites. Most of that stuff is mundane, not enough to keep me from looking at the view or touring a famous place.

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