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Here’s Why I Wish To Have Lived In Simpler Times

With time, ideas, habits and the way we live undergoes a major transformation. For me, being born in the screen-driven era was never something to be proud of or grateful for. When elders of my family talk about how they lived their lives sans digital exposure, I often wish that I was born in simpler times. Times when “OK Google” did not answer any and every question under the sun, or when Alexa was not there to cater to all the demands, or when letters prevailed instead of the oh-so-convenient texting culture.

Here are a few things from the past that I crave for in modern times.

Music

Is it me or does everyone feel that old songs have a much longer shelf life? The songs from 60s and 70s are still our go-to numbers while playing antakshari, aren’t they? The 90s was the time when the music industry in India and abroad was booming, taking a new direction and winning the hearts of all the music enthusiasts around and about. The decade saw a massive rise in popularity of concerts. While hits by Nirvana became a global sensation, Indian music touched new heights with singles like Pehla Nasha that are still among listeners’ favorites. The mixtapes will always have a special appeal and a greater charm than any playlist.

Games

My mother often opens up her treasured jar of childhood stories and I can never get enough of them. She tells how games like Kho Kho, Gilli Danda, and Pitthu Garam filled their days and evenings. We are a generation of couch potatoes, addicted to our devices, who barely care to spend time outside of the virtual realities that we’re living in. Video games, play stations, 3D consoles are our lifelines. Cut them off and a lot of millennials will develop an existential crisis.

Playing with video games instead of playing outside can not just affect physical fitness levels among kids, it can have harmful effects on their mental health too. A 2012 report by ABC network suggested that online video games, in general, are designed to be addictive. Isn’t that a reason enough to ditch your phone?

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It’s hard to come across a group of friends sitting and talking without getting distracted by a ‘ping’ on their device.

Technology

Technology saw a boom in India only after a new economic policy came into effect in 1991. We have come a long way from dial-up internet connections and cable TV. Smartphones and computers are not just luxury, they are essential and inseparable from our lives. From global updates to communication, everything is done over the touch screen handheld. It’s hard to see a group of friends sitting and talking without getting distracted by a ‘ping’ on their device.

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Deeper Connections

Since people interacted more with each other in person, they had much deeper and meaningful relations. No doubt technology has made it easier to communicate beyond boundaries but it has weakened the very purpose of communication, that is, getting closer. My grandmother shares tales of how all the neighbors used to sit together and discuss anything and everything instead of just forwarding the ‘Good Morning texts’. Nowadays we run away from real conversations with our relatives, let alone neighbors.

Letters

Today, everybody is just a notification away. Social media has made it so much easier to talk but sadly, it is not that appealing if you think about it. Earlier, people used to send letters and wait for days for the replies, making them much more special and valuable. While telegram was a sign of important news, good or bad, the yellow postcard that lacked privacy was preferable for less important conversations. And if desired intimacy and privacy in your letters, you went for the blue letter. Writing these letters by hand added a personal touch and writers often drew sketches and caricatures that beautified letters.

The black and white days were actually filled with all the colors possible. The pre-digital times were vibrant and I highly appreciate my parents and grandparents for leading lives without Google’s assistance!

Simplicity

Every memorable moment in life did not require an Instagram story to be put up. The glossy photo albums are much more precious even today than the filtered pictures taken with Snapchat. The black and white days were actually filled with all the colors possible. And while we live in times aided by technology, I highly appreciate my parents and grandparents for leading lives without Google’s assistance.

Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV