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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Have we changed?

Here's my big question to today: In the age of personal media, have our brains changed physically and do we act the same way people did prior to all this immediate access to world wide information?  Lofty, no?  Rather unlike myself but this really has me thinking.

Back in our grandparent's generation--post Victorian era--did people cheat the way they do today, did they lie, murder, and steal, and do unspeakably horrific things and nobody knew about it since communication here around the world took forever?  Was a handshake really as good as a signed contract?  I know in any generation, there's always the rule breakers and the rule followers, but I wonder if there was any more cheating then, than there is today?  (Hang on to the part about  brain changes--I'm getting there.)

Cut to the 50's and most of our parents generation.  I know cheating and the rest were frowned upon for men, and for women it was far worse--thank you, double standard--but look at what all went on in Hollywood and even in your neighborhood and among your parent's friends?  Liz and Dick?  Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fischer?  Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn?   The list is endless.  With the advent of TV, did our brains change at all by watching this new fangled contraption vs. listening to the radio, like our parents had done?  Did looking and listening, change our brains at all?  Were any new neuro synaptic pathways created as a result?  Did anyone go blind or die, from watching American Bandstand??

Our generation: Reportedly we all destroyed our brains with drugs, alcohol, sex (Woodstock, Haight Ashbury, LSD, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) so basically we know our brains are toast--or at least anyone who did that back in the day.  Forget any new neuro pathways--we're lucky if we have the ones we were born with after all that tuning in and dropping out.  Cheating and the rest?  What's that???

Our kids generation:  This bunch has some of what I suspect is different brain anatomy due to cell phones, texting, X-box, Atari, global paparazzi, and the advent of social media--FB, My Space, Google and all the newer sites.  They are wired out the kazoo and have given birth to, or ultimately will, little wire heads as well.  They don't have a clue what it's like not to have had cell phones, computers, computer games, and the rest, so I have no doubt that if we compared their brains and mine, certain parts of theirs would light up like a Christmas tree while mine would look like a dead strand of Christmas lights--for lots of reasons! Pzzzst.  Black out.  As for cheating?  According to People Magazine, they do. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, and food, are all the trendier addictions, so clearly they are participating in those, and I'm not thinking a handshake on a drug deal means much to a pusher, so forget that idea.

Just what I's about you??  I know with every generation, social and societal things change...but have WE changed, is the $64,000 question??

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