I didn't make it!
Hi, For an english essay, I'm supposed to write what I think it means to be human in modern society. Basically, my teacher wants us to consider what is/are the most important or prevalent characteristic)s) of modern humanity. My problem is that this topic is so broad, I'm not even sure where to start. That, and I have a very pessimistic view of society, so my opinion is pretty biased. I'm wondering what others think about this topic, and maybe you could give me some ideas on what I could possibly talk about? Thanks.
Aye! Another thread with a worthwhile, philosophical topic. This should be even harder to answer than Metall_pingwin's!
That being said, I'm as tired as a bowl of something.
So: tomorrow or the next day I'll flesh it out much more, but for now: a semi-useless, short answer:
I think the defining facet of modern society is hierarchy. The hierarchies of politics, economy, community, ecology, and ideas dominates every crevice of our mode of living. I view this as a large problem; I think the source of the majority of issues we face today, from war to religious and ethnic prosecution to nationalism to greed.
Being an libertarian socialist, I think of course that eliminating such hierarchies would go a long way in fixing human civilization, toward a more desirable state.
I think that something that defines modern society, especially in America is the dominance of the media and consumerism. Many-a-times they exist one in the same. People like Al Gore have written books on this stuff, like, The assault on reason.
Another thing that could define modern society, particularly this generation is how we gather information and go about life. For example, we process visual information much faster that we used to (and filter alot of it out) because of our technology like computers. You ever gone on the wev and seen about 12 flashing ads? or watched the news and seen about 5 news screens/ news being covered all at the same time? Also, we tend to have much less patience than we used to, particularly in urban environments, this is because were always so busy.
and thats all I can think of that won't waste you time. So if I think of more I'll post it.
Are you at University? Because the arguments you use, and thus to some extent the content, will depend on the level at which you are expected to write.
Something else that dominates modern society is the difference between what is right and what is popular. To plagiarize themanclaw's example, the Media: often disregarding what is right to bring you what is popular.
Another worthy one might be that despite of the openness of the world now (the internet, books, etc, as well as relatively cheap travel have opened up the whole world to potentially explore, whereas for most people in most of human history it was confined to about 100km around their homes), there is still a culture of deep-seated prejudice and discrimination.
Read about post-modernism, it should give you a lot to talk about. We live in a post-modern society