Wednesday, June 16, 2010

max, downtown san diego, 1949

it was just another time, wasn't it?  my oldest daughter keeps asking me if times were better say, 30 years ago, before cyberspace and personal devices.  were people happier?
 i love nostalgia so of course i have to say yes, it was better.  well not better, just a happier time.  
course i was not alive during 1949, let's do the math - 61 years ago - but just look at this picture.  my dad all dressed up to go downtown.  (actually he might have had an interview at the "journal" newspaper.  the building stands behind him.  he later came to own his own newspapers locally, but at this time he was new to the town).  
still, he would dress up to drive.  this is true.  i have a photo of him dressed up to go on a sunday drive to visit the desert.

dressing up doesn't necessarily make one happy.
 in those days, people had more disposable income as a whole.   that usually makes people at least think they are happier. 
they had fewer worries.  at least back then they weren't getting ripped of by spammers from Nigeria.   or bugged to death by phone solicitations (although these are fewer nowadays - we did go through years of hassle before they were made illegal, didn't we?) or deafened by urban weed blowers.  they weren't annoyed while trying to go to their local supermarket by people begging for money for questionable organizations.  
they didn't have to worry that their car might speed out of control on the freeway because of a factory defect, or have the aggravation of fighting their own bank regarding outrageous and spurious credit card fines and charges because, well, there were no credit cards back then (in 1949).  
i suspect the upcoming generation is significantly lonelier.  30 years ago we would have laughed at dating services to find the perfect "one".  i know of plenty of folks who actually can't get a date from eharmony.  apparently it is not so unusual to get the notice "sorry there are no matches at this time, please try again later".   imagine that.  sad lonely times.

what do you think?
this sunday i think i will get dressed up and drive to the desert.  maybe i will even wear a hat.


Dyche Designs said...

I would have to agree with a lot of what you say, things seemed simpler not so very long ago.

BloggingQueen said...

I'm sorry, but I would have to vehemently disagree. I think people were about as happy then as we are now, only they worried about certain things we don't, and vice versa.

News about car crashes due to defects, for example, took longer to compile. How long did it take before people found out the Corvair was "unsafe at any speed"? Four years. Toyota started getting its butt kicked within months of the accident reports.

I like vintage photos, genealogy, and all sorts of things having to do with the past. I've learned my lesson, though, about wishing myself back to those eras. I'd've been a slave, or been paid less than peanuts and expected to be grateful for the abuse. Yes, things have changed, but after *much* struggle.

My point is that I don't think we can look back at the past without a critical eye.

Paris121 said...

I agree that many of the time-saving devices that have come about in our lifetime have become a mixed blessing. It seems that we are always plugged in where before we had downtime once we left the office or our home. Now we can be reached anywhere we are in the world at any given moment. A true mixed blessing to be available to our loved ones but not so good when your boss can reach out and touch you at a moment's notice. Or when some thoughtless person is compelled to be talking on their cell phone next to you in the movie theater...or dangerous when they're texting while driving.

Is it such a great thing to have a multitude of 24-hour cable news channels? It makes the world a much smaller place and wears heavy on our hearts when we are fed a constant stream of sad stories about people suffering in the world that we have no way of solving. And the competitive nature of the stations themselves provide us a continuous stream of sensational stories that can put one's soul into reality over-load.

And I totally agree with you, Lisa, about people being challenged to find love in the real world. Many are so connected through their on-line friends and plugged into the web (do we even still call it that?) that they don't know how to just go out and be themselves and meet people the old fashion way. My husband of 30 years was putting himself through school by working part-time at the gas station across from my high school when I met him(he was 17 at the time) and I simply said "hi" to him one day and that was the beginning of our love story. My kids (young adults now) think it's weird to just walk up and start talking to someone but will chat for hours on-line with people they'll never meet face to face. Makes me feel kind of sad...

I think that we may be electronically connected but we lose so much of our humanity when that's the majority of our contacts. We need to unplug and be real in the real world more often.

I'm glad that you and I are not only friends on Facebook and I am a fan on your blog but that we have met in person and I have gotten to know what a sweet, talented, smart and really funny person you are in real life.

Thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself with all of us who care about you. Whether or not things were better in the old days, I just don't know but we're all here now and need to make the effort to remind ourselves how lucky we are to know each other!

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