I am not a fan of the modern world. She says while typing on her laptop, drinking Starbucks, and posting on the world wide web. There is no escaping the fact that this era has produced some of the most unimaginable innovations of any. Where would I be without the internet, or the music all neatly collected on my phone, or without my overpriced daily coffee? Where would I be? Would I even be me? Probably. Perhaps it’s my unique perspective growing up as a low income child of a single parent in the early nineties. A world that didn’t have laptops, readily available internet everywhere you turn, and practically everything on demand be it music or books or movies. I was still the same person before, orchestrating fictional battles between evil aliens and oddly gifted superheros. I still wanted to be a writer, and still listened to music whenever the opportunity came up. All these innovations, while making life more convenient and enjoyable, are not necessary to live. Which is really sad when you think that there are millions of us in this country fighting to keep up with the gotta haves, allowing ourselves to live in a world of perpetual dissatisfaction. There is always something that you’re missing, something just out of your reach that seems so crucial. I got my first smartphone little more than a year ago and there was only one model newer at the time. Still a half year to go on my contract and my phone is now three models behind and so outmoded that most new ‘must have’ apps barely function on it. There is nothing wrong with this phone and it still runs like it did fresh out of the package. Yet because society moved on I’m behind once again. It’s the standard of our economic system, because our economy is based on consumerism it always needs to come up with some ploy to get you to come back and buy the things you really don’t need. Sure your phone works fine, but does it have a built in heart rate monitor and fingerprint scanner like this newer better model you’re missing? DVD’s are all well and good, but if you want to buy our super special combo pack DVD and Bluray for the added bonus features you had better step up to a Bluray player. Because all those bonus features you paid for are on a Blu Ray only disk. Heaven help you if you have an analog TV though, because we’re updating all our wiring so that your new Bluray player is not compatible. Does anyone stop and think how much damage this does to our psyche? It’s never enough, and though we spend billions of dollars every year to catch up there is always going to be one more thing we missed. We spend so much of our lives working ourselves to death for money we hand right back to them for these inane improvements to our lives. A life we really can take no part in because we’re always working to fund them. Nobody knows how to just be happy with themselves anymore, nobody really knows how to sit in silence with their own thoughts and find peace within themselves. Worse still, few seem to understand this or care. We are caught in a cycle of wanting and fighting to get. And somehow this material obsession is supposed to be fulfilling, but to the detriment of our race. We want to be happy, and stuff can make us happy. But it always ends, and then there is new stuff to buy. What the human race needs is real happiness that we make inside ourselves, the kind of happiness that radiates all around. A kind of warm peace of mind where we can sit back and be content with all the wonderful things we do have in our lives. For the most part we are gifted with so much, and if you are reading this you’re already luckier than most of the planet. So just give thanks for the life you have been given, because it is already so amazing. Forget that billionaire asshole that wants to convince you otherwise. I am not a fan of the modern world still, but with these tools it’s given us we can all make it better together.

Published by Andie Welsh