Are You Too Romantic About The Past?

January 26, 2018By
Handwritten Note

A thoughtful handwritten note is nice, but so is a thoughtful text.

These are the good old days.

One of the constants in life is change.

But people don’t like change. At least not at a rapid pace.

We live in the greatest time in human history. It sometimes makes us feel good to think back to the good old days, but would you honestly want to go back to live in another era?

Just ten years ago the smartphone didn’t exist. I don’t know a person that would go back to a time when we didn’t have smartphones.

My father-in-law was a holdout, but he recently got one. Now he’s hooked. There might be a few holdouts, but give them a smartphone for a minute and they’ll be hooked.

My point with all this is that sometimes we get romantic about the past.

Romanticizing The Past Limits Your Potential

I was thinking about this the other day.

My mom is big on handwritten notes. Sure, they’re nice. But they’re also a pain.

I figure that those that have been nostalgic about handwritten notes never learned how to type.

Those that have been romantic about email never learned how to text.

Those that are romantic about face-to-face talking aren’t embracing the smartphones.

About ten years ago I was working in a corporate job. One of my coworkers had young children and they were at the age when children used to learn how to write full sentences. This coworker asked his kids’ teacher if they would be teaching cursive writing.

Remember cursive writing?

I remember learning it. I don’t remember the last time I’ve needed to do it. I’m sure that some still do. I’m sure there are vocations that require it.

Then I had a conversation with a friend about parenting. We looked back on our childhood. We were in middle school just as computers and the Internet were taking off.

Thankfully we had to take typing classes. And thankfully our parents let us use email and AOL Instant Messenger. We might not have jobs today if we hadn’t learned those skills.

Then we got to talking about raising our kids for the future.

Not Limiting The Future

I’ve heard lots of people talk about smartphones and screen time for kids. It is scary to see kids on a screen all the time.

I don’t know if it’s good or bad for their health. I don’t know if it affects their social activity with other people.

But what I do know is that screens are not going away.

If we limit the screen time kids have it might limit their ability to work in the future. That would be like our parents telling us that we couldn’t spend time on a computer, learning how to type or how to send and receive emails.

Giving Up

Another side of this that kind of scares me is losing the drive to learn and be curious about the future.

I’ve see it with so many people. As they reach a certain age they just want to stay in the comforts of what they’ve always known.

And I get it.

You work hard for maybe 20 years and you want things to stay that way. The idea of learning something new in your 40s, 50s or whatever is tiring.

But it’s reality. In fact, things seem to be changing faster than ever.

We can’t look back romantically about the past. It’s gone. And it’s for the better. Those that seem to succeed and do well are those that embrace change.

Maybe they’re not the first in line for an iPhone or an Amazon Echo, but they do get one and learn how to use it.

So the takeaway here is to look at the future and technology in a positive light. Humans have always been leery. Maybe it’s not all good, but the reality is that things will change. Technology will become a major force in our lives.

You’re better prepared if you accept it, learn it and embrace it.