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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Modern Life Rocks

    Sometimes, when I think about all the miseries and inconveniences of modern living-the rude cell phone users in public places, text messaging during conversations, my overflowing e-mail inbox-I start to wonder. Maybe life would be simpler, happier if I were able to step back in time. Maybe life would just be jolly and dandy.

    If I were able to step back in time, zooming around in a time machine like HG Wells used in his book, or drive a DeLorean just like in Back to the Future, I would be able to see how life would be in the past. Like Marty McFly’s character in the first movie of the Back to the Future trilogy, I want to have the simple things, since I am so nostalgic for the past. I’m being slightly sarcastic’hellip;perhaps more than slightly.

    But it is not such an overstatement for me to admit that when times get rough or too complicated for me to handle, I begin to contemplate how life would be so much better if I were able to go back in time.

    Will life be any easier without the modern conveniences that also serve as distractions and disturb the peace? Things in life that function as irritants, like cell phones, really need to be eliminated from life. Nowadays, having a phone on the wall and the ability to write letters is not adequate for communication. You need more than one phone number to give to people who want to contact you. So you really need to have a cell phone, for more than looking cool.
    In addition to a cell phone, you need to have access to the internet, preferably on a computer of your own, and an email address too. Ten years ago, the internet was so trendy, as were cell phones. Now they are blas’eacute; and boring, because they are everywhere.

    When I was in high school, from 1998-2002, people were just starting to have personal websites. Even I had one; it was called ‘Mulder and Scully Forever’ and it was dedicated to the X- Files shipper community, who fantasized about those two agents getting together and becoming a couple’hellip;It’s funny how an Internet fan community was able to convince Chris Carter and others associated with that television series that it would be a good idea to incorporate into the whole X-Files mythology.

    If I had a time machine, I would tell all those influential internet fan geeks, who were essentially the forerunners of and similar narcissistic personal websites of the 2000s, that their influence was the reason why many good television shows went bad. Many of those X-Files shippers rejoiced when the show became more romantic, because most of us were romantically deprived geeks. Soon the show became more of a soap opera than an intelligent drama, more cheese than substance.
    I really want to say that the internet and e-mail, cell phones, Blackberries, and the multitudes of new technological devices have made life easier. They really have made life easier in that you have more options. But in the process, what they’ve replaced has become extinct or close to extinct; letters have been replaced by emails, typewriters by personal computers.

    Letter writing is now more of an art form because of the nostalgia people have for the deliberation that’s required for a good letter-that’s why stationary stores still exist. Letters use paper and are restrictive in the sense that you need stamps to mail them. Emails just need an internet connection.

    I think that even clothes from the past that used to be considered haute fashion albeit restrictive have drawn nostalgia. Corsets, often lined with steel rods and/or whale bone, were very inhibitive of movement for women and frequently caused fainting in theaters.

    Yet, they created that romanticized hourglass shape that was impossible to be achieved otherwise. Corsets’ health effects caused them to be eclipsed by bras. Now both bras and corsets are sold alongside each other in Victoria’s Secret. Women still want to be strong and flexible, capable, action-bras enable women to be active, unlike corsets. But they still want to be held in and shaped to form, confined to an extent, by the nostalgic femininity of corsets.

    Nostalgia convinces many a person to wonder about the past, about when it’ll be possible to go back in time like on ‘Quantum Leap’ or ‘Star Trek.’ But just like on those and other sci-fi renditions of time travel, the past has its limitations. So I never want to go back in time if that time machine is built any time soon.

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