We, like the rest of the world are living in self isolation which has me thinking about how fast things have changed and a few other things that I’m going to fill you in on. I thought I had learned a few lessons from the past 2 decades about how fast the world is changing, but I knew nothing about what would be one of the largest changes this world has ever seen – a Global Pandemic. Who ever thought we would be speaking about social isolating, quarantining, physical distancing, etc. In the blink of an eye, those words are mainstream phrases not only for those of us in Canada or those living with weakened immune systems (such as myself with MS), but for everyone in the entire WORLD. The level of change that is being forced upon us is nothing that I could have ever imagined 4 months ago when I first considered writing about the changes we have witnessed. It seems that the changes we are faced with will be long lasting, not a short term change. Even our Canadian Government is telling us and I quote “this is the new normal until a vaccine is developed, which is likely 12-18 months at the earliest.”
So, I am now struck with the realization that NOTHING IS THE SAME ANYMORE and EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED
We thought the world was changing fast when our kids went from using dial up internet and Windows Live Messenger to wireless internet and text messaging, a far cry from being paged when we wanted them to call home. We moved from My Space & Skype in 2003 to the boom of Facebook in 2004 and in the past 20 years, we’ve gone to infinity and beyond with changes. Here are a few that I can think of:
Apps – There is an app for everything. Apps to store notes, banking apps, photo editing apps, security system apps, travel apps, uber apps, hunting apps, scoring apps, yellow pages, stargazing and more, all of which are on my own phone. You want it, there’s an app for that. And if there isn’t one already, just tell a 10 year old child and they will develop one.
Google Maps: What ever happened to the old style maps that you could never fold back up correctly and there was no forewarning if you wanted to avoid a traffic jam or road construction. Furthermore, who ever thought that everyone in the world would know who Siri or Alexa was? Those 2 gals are pretty popular – you could even say they get around. Why isn’t anybody writing their names in the bathroom stall “for a good time call Alexa” – oh I know, we already do. We call on her to tell us a recipe, to tell us what the weather is going to be today & to even remind us where we put something. Did you know that Google home can even play a word game with you, yet we have no idea what she even looks like. It’s unbelievable really.
Points cards – Airmiles, Grocery store cards, Starbucks rewards to name a few. So many rewards points that we need apps to keep track of them all.
Television – Cable TV, Ultra HD, 4K, Reality TV – Does anyone remember when VCR’s came out and that was top of the line technology? Good luck even finding one of those nowadays. And while there may be the odd person who still has a DVD player, they are becoming relics as well. We rent movies online or direct from our cable provider or we tune into Netflix or Prime and call er’ a day. What ever happened to getting up and moving the tin foil wrapped rabbit ears to get a clearer picture while watching Lawrence Welk or Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday evenings with your parents and your brothers and sisters? And if you missed it, too bad for you! Back in the day there was none of this PVR business so you could binge watch and miss all the commercials, in fact at one point there were legal issues for allowing people to skip commercials. I for one am not complaining about this at all as I am the queen of PVR and binge watching & I can’t even tell you what new movies are coming out because I fast forward through all of the advertisements. We I have become accustomed to a life of convenience for sure.
Cell Phones – everybody has one in fact, almost everyone I know have replaced their home phone with a cell phone. I remember coming home from work and being excited to check the answering machine to see if I was important enough to leave a message for. Back in the day, there was no call display. In fact, if they didn’t leave a message, you could try dialing *69 to see if you could find the number that called and look in your hand written contact list to see if you could figure out who it was. You know, I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I can remember that. That’s kind of weird isn’t it? Nowadays, the only people I know who have a landline and an answering machine are people who have a business or those who don’t want to be available all the time – they want to have some boundaries around who can contact them and when. With cell phones have come the expectation that we always need to be connected (and I will say that I am in the top 10% of people who likes to always be connected). If you get an email (on your phone actually) or text from your boss at 8 pm Sunday night, you better answer. Unless of course you are off saving the world (which apparently we are all doing right now by staying home and playing on social media and checking out new apps).
Camera’s – we have moved rapidly from film cameras to digital cameras and now our phones sometimes have a better camera than a good majority of cameras on the market. I miss the good ole days of waiting to see that I don’t even have 1 good snapshot in a roll of 24 pictures. Everyone always has a camera, photos are sent electronically and most of the time, the receiver gets it faster than you can yell BINGO!
How about Dating? I’ve been happily married for 36 years so dating is way behind me, but can someone tell me how many dating sites there are? Even Granny can get into the dating game now! No more dressing up and heading to the local
bar establishment to have a drink or 2 hoping to meet the love of your life. I’m not sure if the odds are any better having a stranger or app make the love connection for you than they are for you just getting out there and socializing, but it is the way of the future and if you aren’t already in a relationship, odds are online dating will be in your future.
Social media – I don’t know about you, but I am glad that my teenage years were pre-social media days. I did a lot of stupid stuff and the last thing I needed was for all that stupid stuff to be posted everywhere on Social Media- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Flickr, and don’t forget about Pinterest, (my personal favorite) to name a few. I am sure there are tons more), but the point is that social media is everywhere and there is an outlet for everyone.
Phishing – didn’t that used to mean going down to the lake, putting a worm on the hook and tossing it in hoping to catch some dinner? Phishing has a whole new meaning now. And in case you don’t know what that meaning is, it’s the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. And now, scammers are using Social Media to do the same thing. Don’t fall for it people – there are scammers everywhere who are just waiting for the perfect moment to pounce, especially when you are down and out.
Uh oh, I seem to have digressed from my original topic regarding the change that is occuring in the world at the moment and what I am trying to do about my response to it. The past month has been challenging for all of us. I’m sure we could all agree that nothing could prepare us for the changes we are facing right now. I’m not going to lie I, (like many others), am having a hard time accepting this change and the new normal that we are now faced with. I’m no stranger to knowing that there are things I can’t control (like my MS) but the reality is I’m still a control freak and it’s hard to accept the fact that I have zero control over what is going on. However, I know that the quicker I can wrap my head around this, the better off I will be. So, I find myself asking is there something I can learn from this, something that can prepare me to weather this with some courage and without paralyzing fear, something that will make me stronger rather than weaker? I’m working through this thought process every day, but what I do know is that this is an opportunity to change my thinking and my behavior. Surely, I am capable of that.
Here are a few quotes I am leaning on to help me navigate and manage my reactions to what the world is trying to tell me, maybe one of them will resonate with you:
Every day the clock resets. Your wins don’t matter. Your failures don’t matter. Don’t stress on what was, fight for what could be.“ – Sean Higgins
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates
But as I think about my choices every day while living this life of physical distancing and self-isolation this quote from Anthony Robbins sums it all up for me:
“I believe that you and I – and everyone we’ll ever meet – has the inborn capacity to be heroic, to take daring, courageous, and noble steps to make life better for others, even when in the short term it seems to be at our own expense. The capacity to do the right thing, to dare to take a stand and make a difference, is within you now.”
That’s all I can do – It sounds hokey, but I know that what I am doing during this crisis can make a difference not only for myself, but for my family, my community, my country………the world. At the end of the day, that is what makes it a little easier for me to swallow.
How are you managing the change that the world is requiring of us?