Ideas and Trends that are Changing our Lives
March 22, 2012
Innovation around the web: Creative insights combining business and spirituality…
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A recent issue of Time Magazine explored the breakthrough, game-changing phenomenon of YouTube, where 60 hours of video are now uploaded every single minute. That’s 10 years of video every day. We all have a sense that new technology is changing us as people–both as individual beings and how we connect with others, but we’re not sure how. Is it okay that we talk with and see each other less despite having more “friends”? Is it good that we have so much information–some of it outdated or biased or amateurish–at our fingertips? Are we happier and are our lives more fulfilling compared to life before YouTube or smart phones or the Internet or answering machines or word processors?
I definitely feel something internal in me rebelling in this pivotal year of 2012. I’m wondering in particular about relationships–how to be connected with others in ways that are nourishing and authentic. Am I writing this to connect with you (in large part, yes) and, if so, is it working (you tell me)?
These heady technology changes are only part of larger ideas and trends, and this week’s Time Magazine features a nuanced, non-technological list of 10 Ideas that are Changing your Life, which further asks us to think about how we are connected as friends and community members. Here are a few interesting ones:
More of us are living alone and the number is growing. 28% of U.S. households are occupied by “singletons,” NYU Professor Eric Klinenberg’s term for people living alone. It’s 47% in Sweden. Coupled with the 40% out-of-wedlock birthrate we now have, we need to think differently about the family unit and the make up of the community around us.
The number of people who claim “no religious affiliation” has doubled in the last 20 years to 16%. The numbers don’t mean the hunger for spiritual connection has decreased, but clearly the connection to a religious institution is changing in such a way that allows for new forms of spirituality and community to emerge.
Human activity is now impacting the earth in ways never seen before on the planet. Some scientists claim that we have broken into a new epoch due to the “human dominance of biological, chemical and geological processes on Earth.” With an exploding population and continued use of damaging fossil fuels (not to mention a backlash from fellow humans who ignore the science), we have to wonder how environmentalists–and all of us–need to change in order to be in community together and with the planet.
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We just completed our Poetry Pals school season with an interfaith community evening, and we celebrated–a gym of 200 Muslims, Jews and Catholics–by watching kids perform their collaborative poetry and getting a chance to talk honestly as adults who have a lot in common but don’t often talk to one another. There is a greater trend that we all need to heed: Coming together to creatively solve common challenges in a way that benefits all. I quoted Rumi to the group: “There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street, and being the noise.”