Last night I was struck by just how much we are in a place of changing times. I was watching the rerun of Downton Abbey on PBS. I love this series for showcasing a period of time that we seldom see. The opening episode involves news of the Titanic sinking and the end of season one shows the start of World War 1. What makes this so unique though is that aristocracy is fading fast. Rather than people being primarily occupied with managing an abbey or any large estate and all the employment that provides, the shift is becoming more towards employment in the business marketplace.
I just couldn’t help myself from looking ahead to show descriptions for season two, which has already aired in Great Britain but not yet in America. Depictions of World War 1 are on their way, along with the nuances of caste systems marrying. The importance of finding an heir to governing the Downton Abbey estate weighs heavily upon the family, but in the long-run it may not be as important as culture would expect.
While watching, I was struck but just how much change was happening during this time period. Aside from the caste system of the aristocrats becoming substantially less important; electricity, telephones, and automobiles coming to wealthier homes, America was settling in on new territories and battling prohibition. There were many changes all within this short span of time happening on a global scale.
Fast-forward 100 years. In the past decade we’ve seen the internet give way to social media. This is a global scale. Not just the wealthy can access our new technology, but many people that have skipped land-line phones are now connected globally through their mobile phones. Revolutions are happening in northern Afica and the Middle East.
While we live through these changing times, I do believe we are seeing many powerful technologies drastically changing the way life unfolds. In 100 years, will people be watching movies depicting our current times and the changes? Will people look back and point to a few key pivotal factors that brought about global transformation?