The smart generation

Are we becoming smarter or more stupid? I remember joking around with a colleague of mine, when I used to work at a Puma apparel store in Stockholm. He was the stockroom manager and he usually appreciated my dumb sense of humour. At least he was good at making me think he did. This was just before smartphones were everywhere, about 2011, and I would ask him if he had a smartphone yet, or if he still had a stupid one. 

We all have the knowledge we need at the touch of a finger. When I was growing up, all I had at the touch of a finger was my nostril. If we wanted to find something out, we had to ask our teachers at school, run to the library, or forever hold our peace. Today, everyone is an expert. This has led to people having silly opinions about stuff nobody with something to do ever should actually needs to care about. Yet, here we are, arguing about a tweet gone wrong. We’ve turned into a bunch of hypocrites. And we won’t do as we’ve been told either. “Nobody is going to force me to wear a facemask at the food shop.” Especially if you live in Sweden; rules don’t seem to apply here. Although we are “recommended” to wear one. 

Actually, our prime minister was caught doing some last-minute Christmas shopping the other month, without a facemask. Neither him, nor his bodyguards were wearing one. You would think someone who doesn’t want to get noticed – a public figure in particular – would appreciate the chance to wear a mask, just to be able to hide. Perhaps he still doesn’t have a smartphone. 

I’m not into politics and I don’t know how this post wound up turning into one, so I’ll stop before I bore myself to sleep. Anyway, it was interesting to watch Joe Biden’s inauguration a couple of weeks ago. I’m not an American – even though I was made there, kind of like a Tesla sold in China – but I’m hoping Joe Biden will do a good job. But most importantly, if it weren’t for the inauguration, we wouldn’t have had any memes with Bernie Sanders looking bored, sitting down on a foldup chair.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about being accountable. Taking our responsibilities and doing what we actually say we will. I’m “old enough” to have experienced a world where we still fixed things; we would first try to repair before replacing. Today, replacing is all we do. The pile of rubbish we leave behind is getting bigger and bigger. Look at Instagram: if you don’t like someone, press the unfollow button. Problem solved. Or is it? If we don’t want to talk to someone, we simply won’t reply. In some cases, however, this might be necessary. But how did it become necessary?

I think (I hope) society will gradually start to look at fixing things again. But there is big business in manufacturing things to brake prematurely. This leaves the question, have we become smarter or more stupid, or have we simply become ignorant? Our phones may be smart, but are we? I’m trying to figure out the point of this post. Perhaps I’ll figure it out in time until the next post. 

Song of the day: Maroon 5 – Payphone

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