Ann Bednarski: Our world and city are losing their personal touch
July 20, 2013
Every 24 hours, the days of our lives are disappearing without much notice or fanfare. The high speed of cyberspace and technology has become the guiding light to many among our young and restless population, hurrying to do everything. There are no snow-capped mountains, birds or flowers out there in satellite country; therefore, the world of technology lacks some of the wonders of nature that I find peace-rendering.
More and more routine tasks that we used to do by hand or in person are now done electronically. It truly is another world. But what we have sacrificed in the process is interaction with real people. What are the unintended consequences of this change in the way we communicate? One is a general lack of common courtesies and manners. We rarely write anything anymore and have a new language that is abbreviated to make our texts easier and faster.
Most people realize they have but one life to live. How do they choose what to do with that knowledge? Many spend lots of their lives in front of a computer screen and attach a Bluetooth to their ear (I like earrings much better) so they will not miss a text message that says “C-U-LTR” or “LOL” or “OMG!”
I am not that modern. I use the dictionary held in my hands and the phone book every day and, of course, read the newspaper. I read books curled up on the couch and for me, cellphones are not critical to survival. It matters to me where I live, and I like to look in people’s eyes, give them a hug or shake hands. Yes, I am “old school” about many things in my life. It’s a good thing we still have choices, but even those are diminishing steadily.
That is why I chose Carson City as my home after traveling much of the world and most of these United States. It is beautiful; we have four seasons; it has a glorious, impressive history; and it is the capital. It has changed a lot since I made that decision. Once I was a zealot for education reform, was involved with our education system, and worked hard to be a flame in the wind but was only a match. The cry is always for more money; mine still is for more quality.
Our Battle Born state has become more impersonal and a less desirable place to live. The dark shadows of reality modify the quality of life most Nevadans enjoy. Carson City has changed a lot in the past 10 years. We used to have a general hospital, and now we have a regional medical center with state-of-the-art equipment. The new I-580 freeway has changed the landscape; it is decorated with metal sculptures. Many businesses are gone; many homes have been foreclosed, leaving empty buildings. The Ormsby House Hotel and Casino closed in 2000. This ornate magnificent building is now a huge white elephant.
Our beautiful Carson City is experiencing the same financial shortfalls that happened in other cities; some are in bankruptcy. Our city leaders are not fazed by that. More distressing is Carson City residents are having hard times; our schools have the lowest ranking in the country; our unemployment rate is high; and the homeless population is increasing. Instead of finding solutions for these difficulties, our leaders are trying to turn Carson City into a tourist attraction. That would destroy the class and ambiance of our capital city.
Ann Bednarski is a retired educator and journalist.