Why are we feeling old in a relatively young world?

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The United States has been its own independent nation for 242 years.

The first car accessible to the American masses, the Model T, was released 110 years ago.

The first in-color televisions have been selling in large numbers for about 53 years.

The first working, handheld mobile phone was produced about 45 years ago.

The World Wide Web, or the Internet, became a public domain about 25 years ago.

From each new invention, we have evolved to be bigger, better, faster, stronger. Our world has been constantly innovating and improving; the new inventions just keep coming. Phones keep getting thinner, faster, better. Cars continue to be faster, more luxurious, and stronger. The Internet keeps growing bigger and bigger.

With the first inventions, the world was shocked; however, as we continue improving and upgrading, each magnificent invention gets caught on this wheel of expectation. Expectations for better phones, expectations for faster cars, expectations for constant new upgrades on everything.

We went from being weighed down with shock at unimaginable inventions to constantly expecting more and better. Most of the things we use every day have not even been in this world for 100 years, let alone 50. Yet, most people look back on the first versions of everything as “old.” Each invention is still young, but as the progression of technology advances, people are stuck feeling old in a relatively new world.

In the world of production and consumption, time is constantly speeding up. It is a race to the newest upgrade, the better version than the last. New things are developed so fast that we simply forget how new everything really is. Each new development is just one more push towards this concept of feeling old in a young world.

It’s an interesting view of how people differ from old and young. We can get as old as the age of 70, 80, or even 90; yet in society, we see old as something that’s two years old, sometimes even pushing only one year old. A mindset has been instilled in us that directs us towards this need for something new or fresh all of the time. We have grown to expect new things, and if they don’t come fast enough, we get stuck in this state of ennui.

The iPhone was released in 2007, barely over ten years ago. Yet, I find myself feeling old just because I even know what the first iPhone was. When the phone was introduced, everyone fawned over it like it was a new source of worship. Yet, as time clocked forward and new versions began to constantly be made in their own timely cycles, people began to expect the new version. The original iPhone that we all were attached too? Oh, that’s old news, have you seen the iPhone 4? The iPhone 5? 5S? 6, 6S, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, and so on? We learned to just assume there was something new and better coming.

Suddenly, the world was full of thousands of phones, televisions, cars, and more inventions we in one time could have never even dreamed of creating. Suddenly, all of the original models were old, and if you didn’t have the newest, most upgraded model, then you were old, too.

There was a breakthrough in which we learned how to constantly keep creating more and better things within such short periods of time. Time in society sped up, and our opinions on “old” things were altered. 

We have grown to expect new things, and if they don’t come fast enough, we get stuck in this state of ennui. ”

Time became dysfunctional, and we moved through innovations after innovation, modification after modification. People continue to flow through this cycle of expectation every day, always wanting more. We are caught looking forward, never taking time to look back and just let ourselves be mesmerized by the things that surround us every day; never taking time to honor the people who created first generation models which led to every single model in current-day society.

To feel young in this forever-evolving world full of endless inventions and upgrades is to be up to date with each new model of everything. I’m 16, yet even I find myself feeling old just because I enjoy using a typewriter or a record player.

Cars, phones, computers, TVs, the Internet, video games, and so many other things we use every day are still such young inventions. The speed of modification is masking our ability to take in each new model of something that comes into our possession. Teenagers are stuck feeling old just because they don’t have the newest phone. Adults are feeling old just because they lived in a time where all of these new gadgets and creations didn’t exist.

This concept is even paved into society in terms of what’s acceptable. If it’s not brand new, it’s old.

The world is whirlwinding around us, never ceasing to become still or let us catch up with the times. It is a constant race to catch up with society, we are always running forward towards new things, we are sprinting further and further away from our age, feeling 60 at 16. The world is moving too fast, always finding new and better things that wash away the fact that everything we surround ourselves with every day is still young.

Honestly, we are all young in this world. Be young and feel young; don’t let the speed of developing technology and innovation take that away.