“Please unplug yourself from that device and give your eyes a break-NOW!”
“Pardon mum? I can’t hear you. I have headphones on”
I am a day late-yikes. I blame the Australian time zone.
Rather than altering the meaning of a current word, I’m choosing to focus on the evolutionary metamorphosis of a word whose meaning of old has been lost in the rapid transition of transistor radios to Spotify.
The meaning of the word SOCIAL in 2016 is almost unrecognisable to the folk who were raised prior to the 1970’s. Today, it mostly refers to ‘Internet bonding’.
‘Social’ once meant having a yarn around the barbie with a couple of snags on the hot plate, a few mates, a few drinks, and a lot of good old fashioned therapy. Husbands would whinge about their wives, wives would whinge about their husbands, everyone would drag themselves home in old cars that’d been running smoothly for 25 years, stuffed to capacity with kids and dogs and cousins, their tired bodies deeply intertwined as they fell into the depths of sleep. That would be that for ‘socialising’ until they caught up again, face to face, reveling in the opportunity to re-engage and update themselves with the gossip of yesterday
-all of which was new to them.
‘The suspense was enough to induce a level of excitement that today, is difficult to match.’
‘Social’ meant children would run around and around and around in circles for hours and hours, playing Cow boys and Indians with their neighbours and a few random terrified chickens, sweat pouring from their red faces-stopping only to satisfy their undeniable desperate thirst where they would scull multiple glasses of homemade lemonade that granny so lovingly prepared, scoff down some boiled egg sandwiches, and carry on for a few more hours until they dropped dead into an unshakable slumber.
‘Social’, meant the older kids would hang out in trees, ride their bikes down to the local quarrie, where they would write their names in the sand and draw love hearts with a stick
-Sarah loves Ben-
They’d throw flat stones into the water and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and cheer “I’m the winner” and talk until the sun slid behind the hill, the long grass grew moisture on it’s blades and the mozzies bit them until they scratched holes in their skin and drew blood -another great conversation topic.
‘Social’ meant they’d listen to Tiffany on cassette tapes, and watch ‘Rage’ on TV until the early hours, but only if their parents approved.
Today, ‘social’ means staring into a computer screen for hours on end whilst on Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on a selection of multiple other portable options-ipad, tablet, cell phone.
The word ‘Social’ once meant waiting patiently for the mail man to deliver his little packages into your little personal mail box of ‘hope and possibility’-A special letter of correspondence? A secret package?
The suspense was enough to induce a level of excitement that today, is difficult to match.
Because with the simple click of a mouse we produce instant gratification and our minds are deprived of the the snow ball effect.
-The slow creation of a moment.
The building of suspense and the preconceived anticipation of what’s to come which in turn paves the way for fulfillment, appreciation and joy.
Emotion. Suspense gives us ‘space’ to feel emotion.
The internet has limited the space around us in which we can savour the joy of living in the moment.
Answers are instant, easily accessible and short lived.
The world, once at the end of a 15 hour plane flight, once found in the depths of a great novel, beautifully encrypted in the words of a great writer, is now in the click of a finger.
Morphing words, morphing kids, morphing adults, morphing book shelves, morphing office desks, morphing work places