In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Modern Families.”
If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?
This is an interesting thought. I’ve spent a bit of time building my family tree, and I found it really cool. That being said, family trees don’t go into much detail past names, birth and death dates and maybe a grainy photo if you’re lucky. This prompt forces you to think beyond that a little.
If any of my ancestors came back, I don’t think they’d be too surprised about anything in my family. We don’t have any skeletons in the closet, there’s no teenage pregnancies or mixed families. There’s one divorce that I can think of, no gay people or even inter-racial relationships. We’re the epitome of unsurprising in this day and age, to the point it’s actually kind of boring.
That being said, I think they’d be extremely surprised about the world we’re growing up in. Technology is everywhere and taken for granted. Can you imagine someone from 1900 seeing what we have today? Giant TVs that can stream basically any movie you want, gadgets in your pocket that allow you to speak to anyone at any time, watches you can control by speaking to it, cars that run on batteries, roadsigns that can change depending on traffic conditions, lights and heaters that can be switched off and on from anywhere in the world with the click of a button, wifi internet that allows you to connect to all the information you could ever need. The list is endless. We might laugh at how advanced they assumed we’d be when they were asked “what will it be like in the year 2000?” – we may not have hoverboards and flying cars but we have a lot of other things they couldn’t have even dreamt of.
I think the single biggest thing that would blow their minds would be navigation. It’s something we all take for granted now, but it’s actually incredible. You can be basically anywhere on earth, and with the tap of a couple of buttons you can find your way. You can have a voice telling you where to turn, if you miss your street it can automatically readjust and find another route, you can even use Google Earth to see almost anywhere in detail. How crazy would that seem to outsiders? Instead of having to pour over maps and planning your trip in advance, you just do it on the fly, without even thinking about it. Instead of asking strangers for help if you get lost, you just wait for the gadget to readjust and keep right on going. To them, it would seem like you literally have the whole world in your pocket. It would be the coolest, scariest thing in the world…and we don’t even think twice about it!