America Always Changing

One of the questions I always love to ask furloughing missionaries is, “How have things changed in America since your last visit?” I was able to ask that question again yesterday as we had the joy of spending the day with my cousin Sean and his family. Missionaries in the Philippines for several years now, they visit the U. S. every 3-4 years. This last gap had been four years. So what had changed?

– GPS. They are doing a lot of traveling to visit friends and family, as well as to speak in churches. Four years ago, he said, people would send him directions via email. Now, he says, everyone just sends an address and assumes he has a GPS, or will use Google maps, to find it. He didn’t know what a Garmin was.

– Texting. He sees people typing on their phones all the time. Didn’t see that much four years ago, he says.

– More Tattoos. He said this one was a real shocker. He came home to find far more people tatted up.

– Less Modesty. This is one that also surprised him. He says there has been a big difference in the amount of skin exposed compared to four years ago.

– Antibacterial hand wash – Sean said that he sees it everywhere now. When did America become so germa-phobic?

– More protection of personal information. On three separate occasions he was surprised to be told by friends that they would not pass along another mutual friend’s contact information without first securing permission from that mutual friend. This one not only surprised him, but me as well. I told him I had not noticed that very much yet, but perhaps it was a growing trend of which I am ignorant.

As I thought about these changes, I thought of some more:

– Increase in the price of gas.

– Increase in the number of empty commercial property units.

What do you notice has changed since four years ago?

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3 thoughts on “America Always Changing”

  1. I’ve seen:
    – An increase in the “Burger King’ Generation: “My Way, Right Away”…. We’ve become a society of “Me First”, instead of helping each other out.
    – An increase in rude behavior, and in Jax, of course…. bad drivers!!! (may include myself as well!!!)
    – An increase in how many people actually own an Apple product, e.g. iPhone, iTouch, iPad… of course Apple seemed to struggle in the 90’s, but is monster in the 2000’s.
    – An increase in social networking,
    And last but not least… an increase in my age by 4 years…. I feel old Brett!!!

    What part of the Philippines does your cousin minister in? Awesome that he and his family are there because there is a LARGE harvest there! Chat at you later.

    1. Thanks, John, for your thoughts. Interesting you mention Apple, in light of Mr. Jobs passing away this evening. Wonder if that is what motivated your comment about the computer giant. My cousin is in Cebu where he heads up the Cebu House of Prayer as a YWAM missionary.

  2. Actually, I’m quite neutral on the whole Apple products… it sure has changed the way we listen to music though… used to be that we would go to a record store and buy cassette tapes (records were on their way out)… Now we – as a society download everything. It seems that in the past 4 years, everything from calling to texting, to creating an e-mail from a device that is as thin, if not thinner than a wallet has just exploded into that huge giant.

    It is very sad that he passed away last night, after turning the company over to a new CEO about a month ago.

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