Thursday, June 17, 2010

Modern Day Tidbits

The recent launch of IPAD is another marvel in the 21st century. The whole computer has been minimized to a rectangular glass board thinner than a 100-sheet notebook. Information around the world can be saved, copied and sent just by one single fingertip. Everything is becoming faster, smaller and more convenient. And this particular advantage of the 21st century can be the very same enemy that we would battle in the years ahead.

According to research, IQ of people now are reportedly higher than the IQ of people ages ago. This is what we call the Flynn effect. Probably because things are becoming more complex to study and understand. I know of a three year old who can manipulate a computer and play games, and also a woman in her 40's who still cannot operate a mouse. Journals in all industries are also updated quarterly, if not monthly, to show the new discoveries and the recent trends. I, on the other hand, think that what my friend said is true. People now are more inclined to have psychological disorders, particularly Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD. Due to the invention of TV, children have significantly less attention span. Now that there are computers, laptops, notebooks, it's probably worse.

I remember my piano teacher telling me before while I was playing a piece from Bach's first book, "You know how Bach became such an exceptional pianist? It was because they had nothing else to do back then but to play piano or walk in parks. They had no TV, all the more computers." He was probably telling me to devote more time to practice to become as good as Bach. But what came to mind was man, that must be one boring life! Only now did I realize how free they were from noise and distraction.

Comparing the Baby Boomers (1950's - 60's), time of my parents to ours which is the Gen Xers (1970's -80's), the BBs are usually the laidback type of people that really uphold loyalty, they are the ones who are in your company for a great number of 10 to 20 or more years. People nowadays tend to change jobs in months! Rarely will you meet a Gen Xer who has stayed in a company for at least 5 years. Maybe this is because of our lower attention span or the several choices we now have with career posts. Who would have thought that a brand manager or a marketing intelligence officer would be some saught after career positions decades ago?

Choices, choices, choices. You know the Ford automobile right? Do you know that in its early days they only had one black car mass-produced? Now, they have small cars, trucks, SUVs and hybrids, available in mustard yellow, sunny yellow, yellow orange and plenty others. Because of this, advertisments of new product lines come left and right. Thus, products now have shorter life span. And it makes it a lot riskier to put up a new business now, since there are a lot of competitors with great economies of scale.

Because there are many options, there are many niches. The market is also very much fragmented. One example would be the intruiging third sex. Before the only gays that come to mind would be the closet queens, and the only lesbians - the butch ladies. Now they come in all shapes and sizes and clothes! There are those Calvin-Klein model look-alike gays swooned over by girls, the transvestites who have changed their biological gender (credits to modern technology) and the ever popular drag queens. To complicate things further, there are gays who are lesbians and there are the androgynous individuals who could be mistaken for a male or female. Choices, choices, choices.

Another thing brought about by the modern technology is the demoralizing values of the media. Several songs and movies catering to young adults today contain sexual innuendos and these are implicitly shaping their thought process and lifestyle (i.e. Sex and the City, This Love - Maroon 5, Banana - I forgot by who).

According to a friend of my classmate who's a teacher, there was this "soiree" where fifteen to sixteen year old teens from exclusive schools met to get to know each other and party. I don't know who organized the event, but there was a 20-minute lights-out segment. Myesteriously, 20 used condoms sprang up when the lights were back. In my time, kids couldn't even hold hands, now this?!

The modern day technologies have as much potentials as they have pitfalls. Spreading encouraging and kind thoughts are made just as easy and convenient as emailing the most recent sex scandal. I hope that we can be faithful stewards of these inventions. We are the "managers" of the technologies we have at home. Use it for the good or not, it's our choice, our children might just reap what we sow.

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