The Unilever Series: Dominique Gonzales Foerster - TH.2058


Fifty Years Ago

By Inari Porkka

Every so often humanity looks back to the past to see how different life was when their grandparents were young. 

Fifty years ago people had more time for themselves, they had less confusing choices to make in their lives, they considered family to be important. Fifty years ago the world was a real place to be in, and society was something you belonged in. There was much variety between people of different areas, so that all of humanity had a richer culture as a result. 

Fifty years ago technology was simple and unintrusive. You didn’t need to constantly be connected to everyone else – you had a choice. You could switch your phone off, you could log out. And you could talk face to face, and even send letters and postcards and parcels; that is, pieces of physical information that would take a couple days to travel through space, carried by people employed to carry this physical mail to people’s places of residence.

Fifty years ago it was common for more than one person to live in the same address. 

Fifty years ago a normal commute to work took much longer than three minutes, and intercontinental travel lasted for hours and hours.

Fifty years ago some things were safe and innocent. The worst things criminals could do to you on the street was kill or rape you. Nobody could attack your mind or identity. Nobody could steal your soul. 

Fifty years ago health and medicine was incredibly infantile: It was possible to catch a life-threatening disease just by having sex. Also energy-giving medicine like Ecstacy was illegal, yet habit-forming drugs like Lunesta, Halcion or Sonata, which make you mellow and drowsy, were considered medicinal. In fact relaxation was not just for society’s outcasts and drop-outs; you weren’t expected to be always wired up and alert and active to be considered a decent person, a respectable member of society. It was okay to relax sometimes.

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