The World Changed When I Was Not Looking
I joined Facebook three years ago to promote my books. Why did I wait so long to join social media? I did not see the point of exposing my private life because I did not need to connect with unknown people. Yet, once I was on, I found the experience to be rewarding, and I have met (virtually) many people whom I would have never met without social media. Plus, I connected with old friends, gained resources, and learned a lot.
All seemed to go well until my daughter said, “Nobody uses Facebook except old people.” What? College students started Facebook for college students. It’s about partying and young stuff. Right? Well, no. It is a place for older people to post their ancient achievements and old-timey photographs. Young people have moved on to better social media platforms. What the heck? When did this happen? Where was the news report? Call out the National Guard!
And here is something else. DVDs (Blu-Ray) are no longer a thing. What? Just, yesterday, I was shopping in Target and saw racks of them for sale. New releases, classics, bargains, compilations, and box sets existed. Of course, we all know that CD sales experienced a massive decline in the 2000s, but not DVDs. Right? Physical media is an outdated distribution model, and sales have moved online. Why? Streaming media is more accessible and environmentally friendly.
Alright, those are small potato issues. No big deal. What about the actual issues? I certainly am on top of those. How about homelessness? Millions of Americans are homeless, and every day, there are thousands more. The topic dominates the news and our conversations. I even see homeless people in my neighborhood, and I can say for sure this was not the case five years ago. This problem is getting exponentially worse!
Well… In 2007, the homeless population (according to The Department of Housing and Urban Development) was 647,000 and today it is 553,000. Not “millions?” So, this major problem is getting better? What the heck? Why didn’t somebody tell me?
These three things quietly happened without my awareness. Now, wait a minute. I am a connected person who reads A LOT about what is going on in the world. How did these changes slip under my radar? The answer is that the world changed when I was not looking, and even a connected person like myself cannot be aware of everything.
Growing up, I was aware of significant changes my parents did not fully appreciate. For example, I remember a conversation with my mother. “Soon, computerized cash registers will be in every store. This way, the employees will not have to remember prices.” She said that would never be the case. Why? Computers at the time were thousands of dollars, and only experts could operate them. That is a good guess, but not true.
Have I become like my parents and can no longer see changes? Are there too many? Is the word too complex? Is my perspective skewed? The answer is that the world has always been complicated and in the process of change. Plus, there are many news outlets, and I pay attention to a limited number. For example, I rarely read the local newspaper. In addition, the news might not be aware of the change, and one person can’t know everything.
Is it wrong that the world changed when I was not looking? It took me a while to answer this question. There will always be change, and discovering a change should not cause outrage. What this means is that I need to be more accepting of change, which is the mark of a mature person.
So, I am going to end with the world indeed changed when I was not looking, and that is a good thing. Yet, I am posting this article on my Facebook page…

You’re the best -Bill
October 25, 2023
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