everything new gets old fast

Posted: April 27, 2013 in Observations and Commentary
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Everything new gets old fast. Is this a product of age or the age we live in? Perhaps the constant influx of new and amazing things has dulled our appreciation for their inherent awesomeness. Or maybe our attention spans are just stunted by the slow deterioration of brain cells. Whatever the reason the incessant phenomenon which starts with a bang and quickly ends with a shrug is sad and pathetic.

I first experienced this unsettling sensation thanks to, of all things, the film Terminator 2. If you have seen the movie you certainly remember the evil terminator, the T-1000, played by Robert Patrick. It came from the future to destroy Arnold Schwarzenegger’s good terminator, the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, which had undergone a crisis of conscience since the first film, now protecting the same woman one of its brethren was attempting to previously kill. It was all very confusing, this Cain and Abelish subtext. It is also beside the point. The point is the evil T-1000 was an FX wonder with its melty, shape-shifting, alloy vibe. We had seen nothing like that before, the way it effortlessly morphed back into whatever form it desired despite being shot, exploded and dismembered. Damn, it was cool. Until a few months later when the same effect began popping up in television commercials and other uncool venues. Saturation joined the party and the special effect, so dazzling at first, dissolved into no big deal. Since then it has gotten worse.

Think of all the jaw-dropping things which have emerged since the days of the T-1000, most which can be laid at the fast shuffling feet of technology – Facebook, instant messaging, Skype, cell phones, Twitter, HDTV, gaming, digital photography, the explosion of laparoscopic surgery, MP3 players, Instagram, virtual communities, watching movies and television on some untethered device from the comfort of your own hand, online shopping, and the necessity for the U.S. Post Office to adapt and new business model (which they better hop to fast). All of this stuff was, at first, astonishing. And it always prompted the same question: How did they do that? Of course none of us really cared how they did that. We only cared about the other how: how we were going to use it. And use we did. For about 15 glorious minutes, minutes of spectacular wonder peppered with scintillating awe, until they each became passé and no big deal.

Maybe technological advances are not at fault. It could be a product of aging. All of us are older now then we have ever been. Our constantly advancing age has its own agenda, one which seems to more quickly process information, then move away from it. Or maybe our youthful obsessive desire to fully immerse in whatever happens to be in front of our inexperienced faces has disappeared like a shadow when the light fades. Here’s a solid example: there was a time I would have labored over this piece trying to punch up the prose and address all the gaping holes in my sketchy theories. But right now I would rather be done with it and grab a snack because we are all already onto the next thing, aren’t we?

  1. rangewriter says:

    Oh Lordy, your last sentence is funny and cuts to the bone. I think a lot of this has to do with those of us who are, indeed, getting older and hating it. We sense the youngsters pushing up from below with their computer wizardry, their scientific genius, and their absolutely fearless self confidence in attempting the impossible. We feel their surge of energy and that prompts us to work all the harder treading water just to not get sucked under and trampled into our early graves.


  2. sparklebumps says:

    I’m trying desperately not to get old fast….


  3. It’s so true: the most amazing technological marvels get old and boring almost immediately as they’re replaced by the latest most amazing technological marvels. It’s wild, how easily jaded we can be. But I like to think that the human tendency towards being easily jaded is nothing new; people probably felt the same way after the invention of the electric light, the telephone, etc etc etc. Maybe not as quickly as people do now, but then again, nothing was as fast then as it is now.


  4. bronxboy55 says:

    Remember when they were predicting that our food would eventually be in the form of pills? I think it’s the only thing that hasn’t gone that way. All innovation now is quickly swallowed and forgotten, and as you said, we’re on to the next thing.


  5. I knew the microwave had become passé when I started screaming at it to hurry up. That didn’t take too long. I’m happy to report that I have no clue what instagram is, even though I keep hearing the term bandied about. I’m gonna try and hold out as long as I can and remain ignorant on this one item – sort of like when you let your siblings open all their presents on Christmas morning and you hold back. Then you get the satisfaction of being the last to open. I think they call that delayed gratification, or maybe it’s just passive aggressive? Lol!


  6. We may be older now then we’ve ever been, but we’re also younger now than we’ll ever be.


  7. kncali says:

    I thought your words were perfectly timed.
    Most excellent.


  8. So true. The follow up should be “everything old is new again”


Whatcha got to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s