Living in the early 21st Century

Living in the early 21st Century

Living in the early 21st century would be very different to someone living in 1918. The obvious thing would be there is currently no World War. Germany is at the centre of Europe influentially and financially. To someone from the 1918’s would find the world a very alien place. For example women working, the number of cars, buses, trains. They would notice medical advancements and even the abundance of food.

In the 21st century we take these advancements for granted, in fact so much that when a new development takes place we also take that for granted. I was born in the latter part of the 20th century and in my lifetime I have seen so many changes take place. Today I can communicate in thoughts, pictures and idea all over the world in almost a blink of an eye.

Living in the 21st century is a challenge to a lot of past ideas such as friendship, reality and even credibility so we who are from a different century have to redefine our lives on a regular basis.

Redefining friendship in the 21st century

Back in the 20th century friendship was based on how many people I actually knew, socialised with and have spoken too. I would have at least ten friends at any one time. These were the people who I chose to  spend time with either in a pub, club, education or doing some kind of activity. maybe 10 friends was an overestimation as I would probably be in a pub with one or two friends at a time. As child there would be four or five of us playing out in the streets.

The 21st century is now redefining friendship. Facebook has had the biggest impact on friendship. According to Facebook I now have one hundred and fifty-two friends. If you subtract from that family then I have 129 friends. Most of these friends are people from all over the United Kingdom and some from other parts of the World that I may have chatted to at some point over the last seven or eight years online.

The way that the 21st century redefines friendship is often but not exclusively by people who like what we say, what we do online or the way portray ourselves on social media through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. It is important to some people to accumulate as many online friends as possible for others it just isn’t that important.

Redefining losing friendships

In the real life world you would know if someone had fallen out with you, got fed up with you or just disagreed with you. You would know from body language, or things that are said or maybe they would just avoid you. Now that we are living in the 21st century the only way that you know whether that friendship exists or not is to go onto Facebook and check you friends list. If the person isn’t there then they have unfriended you. Maybe we not only need to redefine friendship but also redefine what losing friends is too.

Redefining reality

We do live everyday in reality, we work, pay our bills and socialise with family and friends but now there is an alternative. Those alternatives are virtual reality and augmented reality.

There are a number of opinions on when the term Virtual reality was coined. Some have put it as early as the 1970’s. Virtual reality, if I had to explain it, is a world or a reality that is generated by a computer. It is quite common for nowadays for people to play games in a virtual world connecting a computer to a headset. In the future it could be that Virtual reality will be used to conduct meetings and business. maybe even to socialise with people around the world. It is conceivable that it could replace chatrooms and forums in which people meet in a virtual world and discuss opinions and ideas. If you want to know more about virtual reality try looking it up on Wikipedia.org

Redefining threats

Growing up in the 20th century there were a few ways that I may experienced threats. I could have been verbally threatened, maybe told by someone that another person was going to ‘get me’. I had also heard of threatening letters though I don’t recall getting one.

Living in the early 21st century threats now come through the very technology that was designed to make our life better. You may have heard of people being trolled on Twitter. Trolling is where someone, possibly that you don’t know, sends random threats or hate speech online to you from what might be a random reason.

Scams and Phishing is also another way that we are threatened in the 21st century. You are probably familiar with the scamming as we can experience that in the real world but Phishing is a recent word added to our vocabulary. Phishing is where someone might send you an email or contact you on social media to find information about you. Information such as your name, address, personal information, bank account details for the purpose of stealing your identity or emptying you bank accounts.

Though these threats exist on the internet they are still very real and you and I should be vigilant that we don’t get sucked in.

Redefining music

My dad bought our first record player in 1972. It could play vinyl records at 33 RPM and 45 RPM or in other words albums and singles. I am not going to tell what the first single I bought was. I bought my own first HiFi unit in 1978 with a bank loan from the Midland Bank. With that I bought a turntable, amp, speakers and a decent headphone set.

In recent days vinyl has made a bit of a come back and records are making a bit of a comeback. but for may of us the way we get our music is very different to the way it was done in the 20th century. We would buy a physical record, cassette or CD. I enjoyed the experience of buying a Record or CD. I enjoyed being able to handle the cover reading the record sleeve.

Now it could be that you rent your music from places like Spotify, iTunes or Amazon music. You can still buy music from some of these companies but you need a mobile phone, an iPod, smart speaker or something similar and you need to be connected to the internet.

Another way of hearing music or even watching the artists new video is through your smart TV or laptop on YouTube or Vevo. I am sure there are other ways of listening and view music videos but this is a 21st century phenomenon.

Redefining shopping

Recently I have tried doing my food shopping online it has been a reasonably painless method of shopping. Back in the 20th century I would travel or walk to a physical store, some of you may still do so, to do my weekly shop. As a child in the village i lived in we had one grocery shop, a co-op and a Post Office where we could buy our daily food and the odd bits and pieces. When we wanted to do a big shop I would catch a bus with my mum to do a shop in a tiny store by today’s standard and it was called Tesco. It was inconceivable that one day there might a different way to shop.

I have for many years used Amazon and Ebay to buy random things like CD’s DVD’s and other things that you wouldn’t buy elsewhere for the same price, but now buying food, clothes and even shoes can be and are done online and delivered to your home

Redefining News

In our household as a child we got our news in three different ways, Newspapers, TV and Radio. We had three papers delivered to our house each week, The Daily Mirror, the Leicester Mercury and the Hinckley Times. Though in those days I had no interest in the news whatsoever. I am now an avid devourer of news.

Today is seems like newspapers are dying out and that is because we get our new elsewhere and that is online. many of the traditional newspapers have their own websites where you can read news. Some of the newspapers are now looking at online subscriptions to deliver the news to your preferred laptops, tablets and phones.

The BBC which traditionally delivered new through the TV and Radio now has their own news website with articles and video. Plus the BBC can deliver up-to-date news 24/7 through the Red Button on your TV remote when on one of the BBC Channels.

You can now get the news from the internet.  I am a bit of a fan of YouTube and I enjoy watching some of the news channels on there. I have found that you have to be very discerning about what you listen to and watch both on the internet and Youtube but if you use common sense then you will have no problems. One of the things I am very careful about and the term has become common parlance which is ‘Fake News’. There is a lot of it about online so you have to be careful and discerning as I said when watch and listening

Living in the 21st Century

Most of us are now living in the 21st century conduct our lives online and this for me has been one of the biggest changes this century. For some people they really would never need to leave their homes unless it was to get some fresh air and exercise.

We can do our banking from our mobile phones, our shopping from a computer, socialise on our tablet. We can work from home if our job allows us using a laptop. I am would call myself a geek and I love what technology can do but there is something that just cannot be done online and that is living. We were designed, made evolved to be social creatures we all need people and we need challenges in life and I don’t think that real life can take place in the cyber world – you are free to discuss and please leave a comment with what you think about the 21st century. I just ask that you don’t troll me.

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