Friday, June 22, 2018

When Did I Turn Into A Curmudgeon?

I never thought I’d see the obsolescence of the world I grew up in.  I’m only 51 and the writing’s on the wall for a lot of things:

·         Baseball used to be America’s pastime –now it ranks behind soccer, football, and basketball.
·         The fun of driving will be replaced by robotic cars.
·         The joy of reading printed newspapers and magazines will go digital.
·         Streaming on demand replaces the movie-going experience.
·         Textbooks have been tossed for digital -- and classrooms are being replaced by online learning.
·         Some in-person seminars are replaced by cold webinars.
·         Legitimate news sources are replaced by propaganda, bias, and fake news.
·         Tweets replacing letter-writing that’s mailed and delivered by hand.
·         Going to real stores has been replaced by Amazon.
·         Working from home and the gig economy replace central office where people interact with each other.

But I like some changes, including:

·         Advances in medicine.
·         GPS over getting lost all of the time.
·         Carrying a computer in my pocket.
·         Netflix over Blockbuster.
·         Online dating replacing the demoralizing bar scene.

Social mores have evolved as well, mainly for the better. There is a lot more tolerance, acceptance, and fairer treatment of groups of people that had been left to feel like third-rate citizens, including ethnic minorities, the disabled, women, LGBTQ, and those who suffer from mental illness -- though a lot more remains to be done. We have gone backwards in how we treat immigrants.

Things have also improved when it comes to the rate of killings in America, but mass gun violence is exploding. Suicides have skyrocketed and the opioid epidemic is as bad as the drugs of my youth -- heroin, cocaine and crack. Obesity has ballooned over the past two generations as well. Smoking rates have dropped way down but it remains to be seen if e-cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, gambling, and other vices will fill the void.

My dad used to lament that the music of my day – the 80’s – was not as good as that of his glorious 1950s.  I told him back then that there’s room for both – appreciate the old and the new.  I also told him that 80’s music evolved directly from the 50’s, that if the 50’s sound was to be sustained it would have been, but instead it gave way to the demands of modern society.  Perhaps that’s true today for all things.  

I try to flow with the times, but I can’t help but think that my way of life is disappearing.  It happened slowly, over years. First tape cassettes got replaced by DVDs and VHS tapes by CD’s.  VCRs became part of the cable system as a DVR.  That’s fine.  But then things changed more dramatically, where old habits are almost not recognizable.  We started to completely do away with things, places, and jobs – all replaced by technology’s advances.

There are some people who never go to a bank, a post office, or a dry cleaner.  They get all of their food delivered, meals cooked outside the home, and everything they buy or sell is done online, through individuals or with overseas dealers.  We’ve lost our sense of what’s local or even of what ties society together.

The answer can’t be to not advance, but not every change is for the best. 

can’t fault the new generation’s way of life nor can I fully make the case that my version of the world, circa 1978, was ideal.  But can’t we slow down the march towards taking every aspect of life and turning it upside down?  

I take no joy in knowing that today’s kid will write the same blog post as this one – not 40 years from now – but perhaps only 20 years later.  Things are changing at a faster pace and with more upheaval than ever before.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.”

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