The World We Live in Today


King Street, Sydney in the 1900s. Photo credit: Wikimedia

Grace Kim, Photojournalist

My grandmother was born  in the late 1930s a time where World War 2 was beginning and butterfly sleeves with exaggerated shoulder pads were every male and female’s go-to outfit.  As World War 2 came to an end in 1945, bikinis made their debut on beaches everywhere. After a series of tense conflicts on the Korean peninsula, on June 25, 1950, North Korean communists attack non communist forces. At that time, my grandmother, only 12 years old, recalls her memories of the war as “a really hard time for [her]. [she] remember seeing the village [she] lived in throughout [her] childhood burn down into nothing but black rubble.” Our history as well as our lifestyle has changed in so many different ways since the 1900s and 2000s.

Expensive presidential campaigns, controversial military involvement overseas, prosperity, fast-moving technology, monopolies, immigration, natural disasters. The 1900s was truly a time of change and experimentation. Compared to the 2000s, many people in the 1900s enjoyed more leisure time and were fascinated by a spew in new technology. Outdoor concerts such as John Philip Sousa, Scott Joplin, or Elvis Presley were the hottest social gathering to meet with your friends on the weekends. Movie theaters, outside and inside, featuring short black and white motion pictures dazzled many Americans. Although the 1900s didn’t have adequate plumbing systems, electricity, or even air conditioning, the happiness of the people in America was very high. The world of the 1900s was hopeful. For most Americans and immigrants, the United States of America was a place to go from “rags to riches,” the American dream. As a result, the population increased rapidly with the intake of immigrants from all around and a baby boom between 1940s to 1960s. As for the economy, the 1900s proved to be the climax of change. During its earliest stages, the economy was very rural, and agricultural based;working conditions for anybody was depressing. There were no guaranteed work insurance, no mandatory protocols or safety gear, and children were worked as slaves getting paid $1 to$ 2 each 12-16 hour shift. Yet, with the insistence of the people in the formation of Labor Unions,  marches, strikes, protests, gradual improvements were made to the dire factory situations. Although working conditions were pitiful during the early 1900s, the industrial revolution from this time period gave birth to new innovations such as typewriters, lightbulbs, telegraphs…etc.

In the 2000s, the most distinguishing differences are our relationships with the internet and advancements in existing goods. The 2000s gave birth to a new genre of popularity in music, pop. Singers/rappers like Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj,and Eminem captured the hearts and ears of millennials. Movies are not only in color, but 3D movies can be watched at the comforts of your own home. Cars go at 110 mph and airplanes become a routine for families going on holiday vacations. The early 2000s made low rise pants, flannels, denim, crop tops a necessity for every teens wardrobe. Plus, the 2000s, so far, follow internet memes and reality TV shows such as, Keeping up with the Kardashians or Dance Moms. Katie Toblesky (11) thinks “we have definitely more technology as far as cell phones go. Instead of having small flip phones,we have touch screens and face recognizing devices.”  The world we live in today has changed rather drastically from when my grandmother was only a girl in her teens.