Modernity, what are the main disadvantages as we move forward?

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geosc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Disadvantages of modernity: Until recently, I confused modernity with contemporary.  Contemporary is right now or recent.  Modern is everything since the Middle Ages.  Modernity started about the time Martin Luther nailed his post to the church door.  Modernity has resulted in changes in family values, social values, sexual morality, and a whole host of more.  The many changes did not take place the minute Martin Luther sunk his nail.  Some of them had already started.  Others are more recent.  Some are on-going, perhaps in all times, certailny in modern times.

The atomic family of modernity has benefited industry.  Small families without ties can move from where the jobs are drying up to where the jobs are being created.  The old traditional family with grandparents and great-grandparents, and unmarried aunts and cousins, could not easily move.  Industrialization has permitted many more people to exist within the same space (Earth).  Now-a-days we put Grandma in a nursing home and sedate her with drugs, and move on.

The contemporary college education typically teaches that if a value or idea or tradition cannot be subjected to experimentation and verification by the scientific method, then it should be dismissed.  That was the attitude that I left college with, but as I have gotten older, I realize that there are traditions (and formerly there were many more) that have withstood the test of time running for many, even hundreds, of generations.  What has been distilled from the experience of hundreds of generations should not be dismissed because it cannot be submitted to scientific test.

As a previous answer points out, people in traditional times acted much more according to what their community deemed proper; now-a-days, people are very individualistic.  A result of this and of our mobility is more crime, I believe, less strength as a nation, and I am not talking about armed might, I am talking about the strength of character that produces happiness and protects it for family and community and nation.  People who do not have strong family ties, do not, cannot, form strong ties to their community or nation, and cannot be depended upon to defend them.  Greece declined when too much individuality compromised the family and society.  Ditto for Rome.  America is following in their footsteps.

I have said enough to get your brain working.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The striking element of modernity seems to be the same issue whenever time passes from one stage to another.  How can there be an authentic expression of modern freedom without complete repudiation of the past? This might be where one potential area of challenge that faces individual in the modern setting. With technology occupying a new role in defining individuals' belief system, the question becomes how strides and active steps can be taken without completely forgoing the past, a paradigm that might have been devoid of technological advances.  I am not completely certain the terms like "disadvantages" can be applied to this setting because, to a large extent, the progression of time is inevitable.  Rather, individuals might have to ensure that such a move forward is not automatically presumed to mean silencing voices and ideas of the past within the march to the modern cadence.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Moving forward is something that will never cease to exist and it it something that has occurred since the beginning of time. It is a natural instinct for people to become better as time progresses. The problem with moving forward is that many times the past is forgotten. Civilizations change and cultures change in the process, so people forget where they came from and the importance that this holds.

Aside from that, modernity also leads to new, more advanced technology. Although great good has come from technology such as the internet, a lot of harm has come from it as well. The internet allows for easy communication yet takes away the face to face communication. This is very harmful to society as we lose our ability to socialize and interact with others.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To me, the main disadvantage of modernity is that we lose traditional values and relationships.

First of all, modernity seems to have an emphasis on personal rights instead of paying attention to the good of the society.  So people end up being more selfish and less interested in helping others.

Second, we tend to lose touch with friends and extended family.  Traditionally, people lived in the same place for their whole lives and they had strong relationships with their friends and family members.  Now we barely know the neighbors and don't see our cousins and aunts and uncles much at all.

epollock | Student

The main disadvantages are the costs associated with modernity, and the ever widening gap in the people that can afford the modern conveniences. The costs of producing modern goods leads to environmental and health concerns in how to get rid of the by products of manufacturing modern things and also the fact that the more modern and convenient things are, the more expensive they become and the less and less people are able to actually acquire the goods. Modernity seems to have several drawbacks when it comes to social happiness. If the more modern objects could become available to the masses without any ill effects, then society would be able to move forward faster.