It’ll never be “Great” again.

I’ve spent months pondering what member berries people where eating when they pushed so hard for the current president.   Day after day, I’ve imagined that people just remembered from when they were kids, and had absolutely no responsibilities at all, as there has always been some type of turmoil in the US, unless we just got out of a war.

Are younger generations ACTUALLY more sensitive?  I mean, half of them still accuse the others of being “Snowflakes”, so not all of them are sensitive, right?   I mean, I remember just as many from when I was a kid, who was either a victim or suspect when it came to bullying or verbal abuse.   It couldn’t be.

Does everyone expect everything to be paid for now?  Quite honestly, I don’t remember insurance or school being so expensive when I was younger, and even around ’98, my insurance costs had nearly doubled in a few years.  In fact, they were rising all the way up to ’08 when the ACA apparently made everything exponentially worse.   Even so, I don’t remember anyone saying everything should be free, other than a few misinformed people… but surely not half of the US, as is being proclaimed of the so called, “snowflakes”.

No, kids don’t go meander around as much as we did when we were kids.  “Going outside” was common, and everyone went out to play with other people for socialization.  It’s what we did, and we didn’t have a whole lot of other options.   It wasn’t until we got a nintendo that I started spending a lot more time inside until I played the shit out of a game enough to get bored or just physically collapse from not sleeping in days.    It wasn’t the fact that parents or children have changed over the years to make them stay inside; it essentially boiled down to options.    Had they had all of the electronics back in the 50’s through 70’s, don’t you think your parents would have paid top dollar to keep you out of their hair?   I’d imagine it would be an immediate go-to, considering their only option was to tell you to go outside and play, which made everyone miserable on rainy days.    Even then, it was pretty common that only one person in the family would have to work, while the other was around the house to watch children, or even family nearby would watch us.     Regardless, it was all about options… not simply laziness or “pampering”.    Being a parent, I see it now, and I remember my parents being completely drained the second they walked in the door or traded shifts watching us.  Video games had to be a pot of gold when they hit the market, and it’s pretty obvious when you look at how it’s evolved.

It’s not even the fact that parents want kids to play games and not go outside to play.   We have such a thing as the Amber Alert now, which was made for dire and horrific situations regarding child abductions.  These aren’t the good ol’ days, and you can’t just let your 7 year old girl walk down the street by herself;  it doesn’t happen.   Even letting your kids walk with others to a basketball court is sketchy because not even the kids are trustworthy nowadays.    It’s not the same circumstances, but it’s still not a solvable problem…  …nor is it the reason America isn’t “Great” anymore.

When we were children, there were always political issues and war.   Everything has always been shit, unless we just got out of a war.   Even after that, it declines to a depression, recession, crash, or some other economic meltdown.   When you’re a kid, you don’t realize much of it.  Hell, my father was laid off from the mines so many times that I thought it was something that everyone went through with jobs.   I know back then it couldn’t be THAT great.   What was it?

And then… …it clicked.

That synapse, while looking at my phone.,,I knew what changed.

When we were in our teens and twenties, we all hung out in groups.   We all passed on our thoughts of how we thought things were going, and quite a lot of it was passed-down collections of thoughts from our parents.   We grew up this way.   You’d flip on the television and get your info for the night from your station du jour, and carry on.   You would hear other sides and opinions while traveling to another town or visiting friends from other cliques along the way, but all-in-all you were surrounded by people with the same views.     Your dad may have called some of your friends, “hippies” and not “snowflakes”, or you may have experienced some “BACK IN MY DAY” rants, all the same.  But, essentially, everyone was able to keep that under the roof of their own home, or work, or school, or even church.

These times were blissful.  Being in your own home meant no drama came in and you could believe what you wanted to believe, whether it was true or not.   You could get your info from the news, and that news was just as truthful as the scripture you read on Sunday.   It’s the resource you had, and it’s what you needed…  Things were GREAT.    It may not have been the best economy, or the best in foreign relations, but we knew when we went home, the only chatter we’d hear was from the land line when your aunt Bethel decided to spread some stink about Mary Jo’s fruitcake disaster.   The rest of it was bitched about at work, and usually not even brought up until something sparked your dad’s attention at the dinner table.   Otherwise, it was all kept in and not spread anywhere.  Very seldom did anyone even say, “My dad said”, because there’s no telling what that would amount to outside of the house.
We’d all done it at some point, and it never seemed to end well.   Hell, I was spanked when I was a kid for something I did when I was stupid, I’m sure… and I referred to it as a “beating”.   When I brought up that my dad beat me at the local rod and gun club, you wouldn’t imagine the reaction we got.   In fact, I couldn’t imagine what would happen now if my son did that at his own school.   Is it bad?  No, but it’s far more serious now, and for very important reasons.

I know you know where I’m going with this.   You know what’s changed.   It’s not the way children think or the way they act.  It’s not their sense of entitlement or respect.   Children are children, and humans are human.   We have our own idiosyncrasies, ticks, and obsessions.  NONE of this has changed.

So, what has?

Knowing what everyone is doing and thinking, at any given time.   Being able to express feelings at the touch of a button, and having the power to reach millions of people in seconds.

We’re no longer inside bubbles of comfort.  You can’t just get away from it.   The same device you use to make calls is now this portal to every imaginable good or bad feel that could ever be created.   It’s all there, with the flip of a switch and swipe of a screen.

Now we have 10 year old’s on the same website as 90 year old’s.   Before, their thoughts wouldn’t cross paths unless they were at thanksgiving dinner or brushing shoulders after Sunday mass.   Everyone can now be a fly on the wall.  Everyone can see every feeling, thought, and belief of the other.   What’s more, they can all express how they feel, regardless of miscommunication or a second thought of being “PC”, as you can now apparently be shitty to each other as long as you have the ability to press a button and rid them of your life.     The most comical part of this, is that everyone can somehow act as if they didn’t call the other’s family “a flaming pile of libtardians”, if they run into them at a gas station.

Trump was right when he murmured some nearly incoherent verse about how “computers complicate lives“, which may or may not be exactly how it was intended.   The fact is, his thoughts throughout the years on social media may have complicated things a little, but it also helped him win a presidency.   The same social media and internet helped to uncover shenanigans in the DNC…   we all know this.

Yes, social media, computers, phones, and the internet may complicate things, but they also give us mass amounts of information at the tips of our fingers, in seconds.   Back in the 70’s we wouldn’t have imagined we could search an entire set of encyclopedias for the phrase “Confirmation Bias” with our thumbs, while we’re 10 minutes into taking a shit during work hours.

Of course, this goes both ways, and it is what it is.  The same social outlet that passes on some viable information is also the same that propagates a meme stating that the president’s mother was once a Nazi who was caught dancing naked to Abba while snorting 6 inch gaggers from a slave’s ass.    The worst part is, it’ll be shot across the world eleventy-billion times by simple “share” buttons, before anyone decides to question the SLIGHT possibility that it’s… you know……  fake.

Out of everything I’ve thought of, this has changed the most.   The snowflakes and bigots have always been around.  I wasn’t here for Woodstock, but I tried to recreate it with friends before the internet.   I don’t share your views, regardless of who you are.  I’ve left facebook several times, and the latest was because I pointed out how a meme was outrageous, and how my father’s rant about rants, was hypocritical.

None of this shit has happened until social media.  Yeah, you may have had spats, but not in front of 300+ people to read.   You may have had an argument with a friend or said you didn’t like a presidential candidate, but you wouldn’t have reached over 100 people with that message unless you wrote in a newspaper or you were a politician yourself.

I’ve been guilty of the worst, and I’m sure I’ve sprayed some hatred toward old women who didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about, and I assure that shit wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago or even outside of social media.  Rather than it leading to screaming about libtards or whatever they’re calling conservatives nowadays, and ending with a “go fuck yourself”…  we’d simply walk away or ignore them.    We now break our bubble with every key stroke, and we don’t care.   This is why people want everything to be “Great again”..   and why it won’t ever be until the slate is wiped clean.  It’s not just America, it’s everywhere, and until that apocalypse happens, we should probably just learn to respect each other’s core beliefs, and thoughts with logic, rather than push them on others.   It’s hard to do, and I’m so guilty I don’t know if I can ever go back to Facebook.   You can say I’m putting myself in a bubble or running away, but I’d compare it to walking away from the raving misogynist at the grocery store who’s mind will never change.

I wish there were a solution, and none of it is pretty.  Unfortunately, I’d imagine a huge tragedy will have to  happen before it’s all temporarily bypassed.  Either way, Shit ain’t gonna be great as long as we have the inclination to read our neighbor’s daughter’s opinion while sitting in traffic on a Wednesday morning.

I miss when it was great, back when I didn’t know better.