Will The Future Ever Get Here?

Have you ever consider how we are blasted with New Things?

Yet, it is almost impossible to think about the “next new thing” because it is already here. Wait a moment…. Now. There’s another new thing. It seems every few seconds there is something new…

There is probably nothing new we can imagine that it is not already on the drawing board of some person or corporation, or even a scientist striving to make it happen sooner than anyone can imagine.

My dad even thinks the time will come when we will be zapped from one position to another, just like in the Star Trek series that started in the 60’s! I was only 11 years old when the TV show had people being transported from one place to another!

Maybe it’s already happened! More than likely we live in a time when almost anything we can imagine can be realized. Some time soon. Or tomorrow.

Though Solomon said there was nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9), God saw that with man there was a continual evil (Genesis 6:5), and we are getting worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13). Our latter will be worse than our beginning (2 Peter 2:20).

That being said, the “latter” is here and there are “worse” things in our lives that we would love to see disappear – regardless of what you define as “worse.” For the rest of the future… Well, think about this.

We do not have to look further than the daily news to see how this world has changed from our early days as a nation, or as a people, or as a person. My personal technology has gone from transistors and tubes, then to huge computing power with keypunch cards as our data source, all the way to my smart phone, connected with the Internet, doing more tasks than I could have conceived back when email was getting it’s start. In fact, I remember fax machines as huge pieces of equipment and used only rolls of thermal paper. In my world, I seldom ever use a fax for anything but a legal document!

From record albums, reel-to-reel, cassettes, 8 tracks, CD’s, thumbdrives, DVD’s, BluRay’s, we are constantly seeing change. Now they have a way to store even more data than we can imagine on a sliver of glass that will last with no degradation a lot longer than any of us will live (Read Here).

Technology has brought the world and pushed it “…into your face…” and you must adapt or you will be left behind. In fact, I saw an article this week about those who like to live in the past without modern technology are struggling to exist when everything is becoming computerized.

Think about it. I seldom send a letter, it’s not even an email when it is better sent and received with Social Media. Every tool on my phone or tablet keeps me connected to more places than I can shake a stick at!.

It really has become a sensory overload.

One French company has even pushed to stop using email internally with the goal of no email at all within 18 months, calling it the Pony Express! (Read Here). Email is being nailed as not: productive, collaborative or social.

As I look in my email inbox I find that it is filled with newsletters, advertisements and spam. Over the past 7 days I have received only 3 personal emails, with only one of them from a family member. In the other categories – I have received approximately 400 emails.

I say, “Shoot the pony. It’s dead on it’s feet and just does not know how to fall down.”

However, before I load the chamber, I must evaluate the other replacement options. Let me name them for a moment.

  • Twitter – even if I “follow” 100 people, my feed is full of tweets, re-tweets, and postings that are in agreement or opposition to someone else – and just about a complete waste of real time monitoring. So, I make a habit of reading an hour or so of Twitter Feed and look for something of value that can be shared with others in my “followers” group, or on LinkedIn, or on Facebook. In fact, on Facebook, I target the audience that I feel the tweet will speak to directly and they will appreciate the information.
  • Facebook – So, with nearly 1,400 “friends” I find that it is better to put them into “Lists” so that I can click on that “List” and see just the people connected to me by that “List” name. Example, “Kids” is a list that has just my kids and their spouses included. When I click on “Kids” then I see only them. I have about 30 “Lists” – If I knew you in Alaska then you are in my “Alaska” list, and so on, and so forth. Hence, I can share a Twitter message with just a specific “List”, like my “FCL” (Church Family). What you have to be careful with, inside of the FB world, is not sharing information with the “world” when you intended on sharing a “Message” with a private party like you would with email.
  • LinkedIn – I am treating LinkedIn as my “business” approach. There are better business articles presented, more scholarly groups to follow, and, if you had a business that was selling, hiring or promoting, then you have an audience geared to your needs.

To all the other social media worlds, Instagram, Snap whoever, Flickr, Pinterest, etc., I have not yet found you to be necessary to my world. Give me a reason to jump on your band wagon and then I’ll consider it.

Now, to the negative side of this present future experience.

There is so much JUNK on these sites!

I stood at our mailbox yesterday, as I often do, and before moving one inch, I sort through the mail, pulling out necessary items and saving the rest for the recycle bin. Political advertisements, sales circulars, telephone books, etc – instant fodder for the Recycle Bin that gets picked up every two weeks. What a waste of time and money! In fact, home mail delivery has only been around since the ending of the Civil War, and rural home delivery began about 1893. What we are so “dependent” on has really just been in existence for the past century or so.

My Safeway circular is slowly getting replaced by their Online presence so that I do not even look at their printed coupons or sales items – chunk it!

So, how do I control all the “Junk” in my social media site?

First, let me define “Junk” – as I have done so many times in the past.

  • Repetitive postings of the same stuff over and over.
  • Posting continually so that my screen is filled with only your posts (spread them out over time).
  • Use of foul language, or offensive language and images.
  • Saying nothing of substance to get my “thinking” mind engaged with your position.
  • Promoting things that are not part of my world – you know, clubbing, drinking, political pounding, drugs, non-family level language.
  • Or, even messaging continually your private messages to the public world.

Eventually, if you are a “Junk” producer you get taken out of the “List” and removed from my “Feed” so I do not see you! And, never again unless I chose to. If your “Junk” head raises up on some other post of someone I enjoy following or reading and you are promoting “Junk” – then I un-friend you… Yes, you heard me. UN-FRIEND. It’s not that I hate you, or even disagree with what you are saying, it’s just that you are cluttering my world and I do not have time for you.

As we have all found, technology communication can be a significantly ruthless process. You can not un-email everyone, nor can you re-call what you have posted or messaged, Once it has made it into the digital world, then your statements, feelings, faults, failures, victories, or even miscued communication is forever stored somewhere, on some server, in some computing world. You will NEVER be able to totally remove your presence from the ether. It will be there until some EMP wipes out all digital data.

My caution then, to all the JUNKERS and the HARSH speakers and those that use inappropriate words or ideas – your words will last into the Future, and forever will be available to those IN the future who can say, “The Future is Now.”

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