"What is modernization?"
"Well, I define it as..."
Well, what is it really?
The answer is that it truly does vary.
Today, being modern entails the ability to discuss in depth the most popular TV shows, being able to talk about celebrities, and investigating the modernized world of multi-media industries. But, are we really so modern?
In the Renaissance, picking up a classical book and reading it and bleeding it of all its information so that you might soak up the fascinating insights of authors past? That was considered modern. People, during the time of the Renaissance, called their world a modernized one. In the Victorian Era, if one were to be properly modern, one had to use education in a clever manner during conversation to publicly emphasize just how much one knew. Until television gripped the heart of the world, was it not the turning of a page that brought about a certain satisfaction and a "modern outlook"?
Is the newest generation, and the multi-media hounds preceding it, really all that modern? Doesn't modernity imply a certain heightened intelligence? Though the History Channel, the Discovery Channel and other educational programs are indeed quite useful for the fun facts spectrum of our lives, it is unusual to find thought-provoking TV shows, let alone movies, as the world turns its back on the old tradition of entertainment: books.
People always say, "Oh you must watch _____, it's so clever! They reference all kinds of smart things, so you have to be smart to watch it." Perhaps, and yes. Often times TV shows are clever. But, you must notice that it is the show that is clever, not the thoughts forming in your head as a response. It is a much more one-sided experience.
Books, however, are directly engaging, pulling the reader in with the entire mind enwrapped in the text. We analyze the literature as we read, whether it be wondering if we are like the protagonist, or picking apart words out of habit, wondering why the author chose to write a certain phrase as he did.
Over this break, perhaps read a book. What a beautiful, "modern" New Year's resolution.
Feel free to contact columnists at Unleashed.
Women in the World and the Ripple Effect Section, Sasha Martin:
I made my own major, The Nature of Emotion as investigated through literature, psychology, anthropology, cognitive science and other interdisciplinary fields, and am minoring in Creative Writing. I created Unleashed for the general empowerment and knowledge of women and men everywhere, and continue to be involved as editor, designer and writer. I am an editorial and PR intern for City Lights. I happen to love the Unleashed staff quite dearly, as well as readers like you. It's amazing what words can do! Feel free to email me at Unleashed. I hope you enjoy!