Things are speeding up. People are moving faster, goods are moving faster, information is moving faster, ideas are moving faster. You can’t take a moment to study something because by the time you blink, it will have changed.

Previously, there was a definite sense of things happening around you. Identifiable periods in history were long – sometimes centuries long – and they were things that you could see and appreciate being a part of while they were going on. You could have a sense of the gravity and importance of something. But, as technology started to kick in, things sped up. They got faster. They accelerated. Century long periods were cut down to decades, then years, then months, to the days or hours that define periods now.

Think about the late 1960s. The American Social Revolution. Civil rights, feminism, anti-war, and pro-drug movements all spun into one broad counter-culture thread. And everyone could feel it happening. You knew these were the defining days of a period of history. It lasted long enough for you to be able to grab hold of something tangible and hang on for the ride if you were so inclined.

But after that? Things start to blur together, like things moving past the window of a speeding car. The 70s blended into the 80s which blended into the 90s which blends into now. The biggest event was the end of the Cold War, but that was more of a left over from a previous period when things moved slower.

Now I feel like I exist in a world that is blurring around me because it moves so fast. Nothing is tangible because by the time you’ve reached out your arm to touch it, it has already faded away. Things are more ephemeral than they’ve ever been, and it is all due to the acceleration that technology caused.

Think about it like eating a fine, multi-course meal. Except, that the time you have for each course is half of the previous one. Before you’re even out of the appetizer/soup/salad courses, you’re throat is jacked open and food is shoved straight down your throat. The flavors mash-up, you can’t appreciate any of the texture or nuance, but because things keep coming, you start to forget what it was like to ever be able to chew or savor the food. Eventually, you just go numb to the whole experience, as the only sensation that’s left is a mass of food stuffs being forced into your gullet. Time and experience have been force-compacted into bland, forgettable food stuffs.

I love technology, it lets me do things that absolutely blow my mind (like typing this piece), but this is my greatest apprehension about it.