Aughties Anxiety: Here’s to 2KX

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The steady stream of commentary on the closing of this decade has been fairly gloomy. Whether its the demise of journalism, the perils of climate change or the fragmentation wrought by social media, the annual parade of retrospective stories have cast a dark cloud on this New Year.

As an optimist, my retrospective of the aughties is mostly sunny. Why the first decade of this century was great.

5) Mobile phones: It’s hard to believe that 12 years ago I didn’t have a cell phone and proudly proclaimed that if someone needed to find me when I wasn’t in the office I would have a secretary to handle my calls. Today, I’d be lost without a cell phone and don’t expect to have a secretary.

4) Cable News: While I find the repetition of news stories mind-numbingly unnecessary (even with shrinking newsroom staff), the growth of news options (3 C-SPAN channels, BBC America, Univision…) has largely been beneficial. Now if I could only get NZ One Morning Breakfast on the tele in the U.S.

3) Blackberry (or iPhone if AT&T service works in your home): I blame the blackberry for the return of eye glasses, but I don’t miss carrying that heavy Franklin Planner. How does one survive without this mobile utility?

2) Social Media: For all the ballyhooing about the loss of intimacy, increase in homogeneous communities and lack of offline networking, Facebook, Twitter and the like have redefined social communities and brought new means of intimacy to both personal and business relationships. I can get pictures and video of my niece’s latest school play performance, and Dell can learn about glitches in its products. What’s not to like?  Even my mother is on Facebook.

1) The outdoor fire pit: The fire pit makes a bonfire possible in an urban or rural setting. Just when you think technology rules your life, head outside on a chilly evening with the hot toddy of your choice, light a fire and either zone out or mingle with others around the fire. Something about orange and blue flames reminds you that simple pleasures still rules the day.

Now we can put the anxious aughties to rest and look forward to 2KX (or 2010 or twenty-ten).


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