Past, Present, Future

The other day in my English class, we touched on a topic that really intrigued me (and no, it wasn’t food). We were discussing an excerpt by Barbara Ehnreich about television in the 1980s and how it has turned society into couch potatoes. She says that you never see people sitting and watching TV on TV. This makes sense, who would like to watch a show about someone who watches a show? It just wouldn’t be popular or worth watching. Watching TV, Ehnreich says, makes people lazy and it has only gotten worse as the years have gone by. However, my teacher brought up a point that people were saying the same things about paperback books when they became popular. This made me think about what happened in the past, what is happening now, and what will happen in the future. As I said before, in the past paperback books were all the rage because technology hadn’t advanced far enough for us to have the electronics that we do today. People would spend hours reading and getting lost in them, causing others to call them lazy because all they were doing all day was reading, not at all contributing to society. Later on, radio in the 20s and then television in the 50s took the place of novels and became all Americans ever did. Nowadays, it is cell phones, specifically social networking. This all makes me wonder what will happen in the future; what will people be addicted to next? What great new thing can scientists and inventors create that becomes a social phenomena? My only hope is that it will be something that can’t be constructed and controlled by technology. Hopefully we revert back to the basics and realize that this is what we needed all along: face-to-face human contact.

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