All Things Ellie

It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…

Living in the Electronic Age

We are a society of now. Whether for good or bad, the past seems far away and the future a vague possibility. We are defined by phrases like that’s so last week and the advent of the now network. Commercial fashion has moved more and more away from traditional fits and colors and into the land of disposable fashion. Forever 21, H&M and even Target dominate the trend-circuit by offering to the minute knock-offs of runway looks. Women splurge or shuffle to Chinatown to get this season’s it-bag. It used to take days, sometimes weeks, to communicate via the post; now it takes mere seconds to send an email.

Unfortunately this now-now-now mentality skews human interactions just a little bit. Sending an email (or facebook message), one expects a relatively quick response. In days past, you would call someone’s home phone number and reasonably expect the person might not be home. So, if they had the little box to plug into the phone, you could leave a message. Now a call involves a cellphone, instant voicemail, and the ability to answer the phone nearly anywhere. More than one person I know gets antsy when their desired person doesn’t pick up, doesn’t call back in a short time period. It gets worse when you factor in that most people can text or message somehow on their phone. There’s nothing worse than sending a text to someone and waiting for them to reply that they too had a good time last night and want to get together soon. Or not.

We live in a now society. Waiting invites doubt, especially given today’s means of instant communication. But the other side of the razor edge is that word can be spread quickly. Gossip Girl is not that far off. Updates on cellphones, pictures sent can ruin the romance between any Serena and Nate. A friend of mine recently got a picture text of her boyfriend with another girl, out and about at a bar. Turns out he was entertaining a cousin while she was college shopping. Should he have told his girlfriend what his plan for the night was? Absolutely. But any other day and age, he would have been safe to buy his cousin a drink the night she was in town to check out some schools. The angst my friend felt while she waited for her beau to reply, which wasn’t until he left the noisy bar, was caused by the ability to instantly communicate and the fear that comes when communication is not instantaneous.

I can’t offer any solutions to the problem inherent in a now-based society. I suffer the same fears we all do when I can’t get my mother on the cellphone, don’t get the text back from that nice boy, and see gossip spread via social media. But maybe that’s comforting, that we’re all freaking out, now, together.

Apologies for the lack of a Saturday post. There was too much fun had on Friday night, and too much work on Saturday.

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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