Living In A Golden Age

I’ve seen the movie, Midnight In Paris, a few times, and I always become very introspective after I’ve watched it. A theme of the movie is that everyone has their idea of what the “golden age” was. Present day people might think the 1920s were the golden age, but the people from the 1920s think that the 1890s was the best time to be alive in. It’s a very interesting concept.

I’ve heard many people say that they feel like they were born in the wrong time period, and it’s always interesting to hear the answer to the question: “If you had to live in another time period, what would you choose?” The 1900s in the United States can be pretty easily divided by decade in terms of culture. We have a pretty strong association with fashion, fads, and music that were popular in the 50s and the 80s. Every decade, really. But, do we really know what life was like then if we weren’t there?

Living in a world without the internet and cell phones might seem like it would be really relaxing and a great way to disconnect, but people in the 20s didn’t even know what the internet is, so were they really missing out? At every point in time, people lived with what they had. New inventions have always been exciting, whether they were creating an easier way to slice meat or connecting millions of people with the touch of a button.

Recently, I watched this video, advertising Veronica Varlow’s new project, “How To Live Wild”. This, combined with my thoughts on Midnight In Paris, have really got me thinking about present times. In the future, people are going to look at the year that we’re living in right now and consider it to be a “golden age”. Technology is rapidly advancing, and maybe in thirty years, the equivalent of hipsters will be scouring thrift stores for vintage smart phones, MP3 players, and tablets. Maybe there will be themed parties, where they will dress like we do now. What will stick in history? Let’s be real, probably skinny jeans and “Call Me Maybe”.

Here are 25 reasons I think we’re living in a Golden Age:

  • Social media is still relatively new, and it’s changing the way that businesses can interact, advertise, and expand
  • Political issues like marriage equality, legalizing marijuana, and affordable health care are at a forefront
  • People are becoming famous just from making YouTube videos or having a weird personality
  • It’s “cool” to care about the environment
  • As screwed up as politics are, we’re making progress in terms of non-white-males being the only people in office
  • We can say almost anything on television, and the writing on certain shows is beyond brilliant
  • (Some) people still appreciate things like Polaroids, typewriters, and snail mail
  • Tigers still exist
  • ‘Friends’ re-runs are still on every day
  • Hipsters are running wild, but scene kids are a dying breed
  • You can purchase Mylar balloons, pregnancy tests, or a bag of plastic dinosaurs for $1
  • We’re beginning to get a closer look into celebrities’ daily lives (Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
  • Birth control is basically free
  • Everyone has some form of a digital camera to document any detail of their day
  • People are forming many more relationships through online dating
  • Smoking isn’t allowed in most bars
  • We haven’t experienced a zombie apocalypse or worldwide epidemic leaving us with a He Is Legend type situation
  • HIV isn’t a death sentence
  • Bug is alive
  • The unusual is becoming more popular, in all aspects of life
  • People are challenging gender roles, and there are even college classes taught on it
  • Teenagers aren’t always chastised for deciding they don’t want to go to college
  • People of all ages continue to purchase and wear Converse All Stars (“Chucks”)
  • Amazon.com ships faster than I can go grocery shopping
  • Relics from 100 years ago are still available for us to look at, enjoy, and learn from
 (To be clear, I’m speaking solely about the United States.)

I’d love to know what you think about this topic. Do you think we’re in a golden age? What makes you think we’re living in one? Your list might be completely different than mine. I’d love to talk more on this topic.

The main thing to remember is that every time period, every year, every moment has beautiful, strange, and monumental parts. This is true for your country and the world, but also for yourself. This may be the year that a relationship I was counting on ended, but it’s also the year that I started my own business. This may be the year that the federal government shut down, but it’s also the year that my city celebrated their butts off when the Ravens won the Superbowl.

It’s all about recognition and appreciation. Maybe the thing that you enjoyed the most about 2013 won’t ever be written down in a textbook, so you need to write it in your own book… even if it’s a spiral one.