Today was errand day. The first stop on my to-do list was picking up a book I’ve been wanting — you remember them — the kind with actual pages. The only problem is that with one exception, all the bookstores have closed in my area.
While driving across town, I had a chance to ponder what a crazy time it is that we no longer have bookstores.
It is somewhat heartbreaking as these last vestiges of the pre-technology age dwindle to virtually nothing.
When I arrived, it made me grateful for the holiday shoppers jamming the parking lot, and somehow was hopeful that at this moment, we DO still have some bookstores and they are humming.
I walked in and a lovely woman asked if I needed assistance and took me straight to the book I wanted. In the background were groups of lifelong friends playing mahjong and kids running the aisles.
When I remarked that there were so few bookstores in town, she lamented that most people prefer to shop on the internet, which has really hurt their business.
As we continued chatting, I posed the possibility that as with most extremes, perhaps this too will take a pendulum swing.
Whereas, generations moving out of the 1950s craved MORE connection and communication and into even OVERsharing, by the turn of the century we became more protective, less communicative verbally to the point that we, in the US, are largely a society of compulsive multi-taskers and smartphone addicts.
Did you know that nearly 80% of those 18–44 with a smartphone keep their smartphones with them 22 hours a day and that same percentage reach for their phone within 15 minutes of waking? This includes me, by the way… so no judgement!
However, as our plugged-in kids grow up and have kids, I suspect that the pendulum will start to swing back the other way.
With your grandkids and even more so, with their kids, the need for connection will continue to build. I am convinced that their rebellion will not be daring to text while their elders are talking, but to reprimand their parents for texting too much!
Humans fundamentally need to be seen and heard. And our children are keenly aware when they’re not being listened to. As generations progress, the up and coming youth will begin to demand eye contact, spoken conversations and with any luck create a lovely backlash of re-connection.
Will this happen in our lifetime? Perhaps not. I’m a fan of shopping online, and of course, my online shop depends on you to keep my organic, Made in America t‑shirt biz going!
Yet, at the same time, I’m a big fan of frequenting local businesses, and I encourage you to do the same.
Consider… for every two items you buy on line, perhaps you buy two items locally. This is a great principle that can be applied to any balance you want to create. If you buy imported items three times, buy Made in America one time, or vice versa. Maybe for every regular food item you buy, buy one organic.
Or regarding texting. Perhaps it’s allowed at breakfast, but not at dinner. Flexibility is key.
Your ratios can vary and the items can shift. But, the reward you will feel in taking action on the things you’ve been wanting to do “someday” will make a huge difference when you do them now!
I’d love to hear your experience with similar experiences and transitions in your life. What prompted them? How are the kids in your life involved?
I look forward to finding out more about you and your world.
And in the meantime, I am most definitely in your corner…
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