How often do fashion trends change?



Obviously, fashion trends come and change in cycles. We can hardly invent something new in clothing without making it bizarre but we can easily reinterpret old trends in the present-day context. Old fashion can be easily revived by fresh associations, its link with contemporary art, or even social movements. Designers are artists taking their inspiration from trends that already exist as they found well-known basics productive again.

As a rule, trends revive every 15-20 years. What was old is new again, though with certain modifications. An old fashion can easily become fresh and bright with actual patterns and fabrics. The invention of new textiles makes classics, literally, very flexible. Remember old suits without elastane threads? Now compare them to the chic new ones made of high-quality cloth blend that fits just perfectly and is rather comfortable to wear. The difference is minuscule but it helps to make old clothes fashionable again.

So why exactly 20 years are necessary to relaunch the fashion? It happens mostly because of the generation gap. Old trends are definitely new to the younger generation who never faced the invasion of those clothes in the streets. And while their parents want to forget the times when they could hardly find the alternative, the youth takes on creation a new-old fashion. They take inspiration from the past that is nothing bad as long as it acquires a new interpretation.

Who are digital natives?



Digital natives are the new generation of people born after the advent of technology. They are on first-name terms with tabs, laptops, and cellphones as they are being brought up surrounded by devices. Digital natives make a contrast to digital immigrants who are the generation raised yet without the abundance of technology. These two groups do not differ only in digital mastery; they appeared to have different mindset and values that make them move apart. This is usually described as a generation gap between children and parents who were raised in very different settings.

If digital immigrants are the generation living a traditional life with conservative values, digital natives are innovators targeting global issues. They view the world horizontally and cannot see distinctions that put people on different levels of hierarchy. Digital natives are free from stereotypes common to the previous generation or, at least, come closer to overcoming those boundaries. They dismiss the blind reliance on traditional social institutions such as religion, marriage, government. Digital natives feel empowered enough to create their own democracy without control-based forms of government.

Digital immigrants, in their turn, are driven by goals. They accustomed to being tough in the competitive environment focusing on rather down-to-earth issues. A perfect institutional structure is a comfortable environment for the pre-digital generation. Making their way from the bottom to the top, digital immigrants avoid risks, create a reputation, and strengthen the vertical hierarchy.

With all the distinctions between the two types of people, they should cooperate and learn from each other. Digital natives can be very progressive and innovative but have no idea on how to implement their plans into life. At the same time, digital immigrants frequently need to free themselves of imaginary burdens that do not exist anymore.

Electronic chips: technology of the future or total control?



RFID chips evoked awe and panic when they first appeared. Though the technology was used yet by the military during World War II, it has leaked into the everyday life some time ago. Farmers found radio transmitters useful for tagging animals and even pet-owners equipped their four-legged darlings with radio frequency chips. Today, RFID is applied to retail industry, product distribution, inventory management, and logistics. People still speculate about having a chip inserted under one’s skin to experience maximum advantages of the hands-free technology. But even if we do not consider such options at the moment, the current application of RFID in trade brings us quite impressive advantages.

These days RFID chips are expected to replace barcodes on all consumers items. Printing an electronic transmitter instead of a barcode will greatly optimize our shopping – just walking with a trolley full of products past scanners, we will have all our items carefully calculated in a moment. The technology is already used by some major global retailers, though we are expecting it to come to the grocery stores where we need dozens of items at once.

RFID technology is an inevitable part of the “Internet of Things”. As the cost of chips decreases, we expect that soon most everyday items will be tagged in order to communicate with each other. Smart items will inform us about their needs merely scanning nearby objects.

All in all, RFID chips present a realistic opportunity to optimize our life for little cost without any sufficient drawbacks. Injecting chips into humans has more issues to consider, however, the risks may be not as dramatic as we think.

Are We Losing the Art of Listening?



Listening is as essential as writing or speaking because it is our primary source of perceiving information. We can also read and see facts with our own eyes, but there are much more hidden things. Listening is a key to understanding and a must for effective interaction. If communication fails, there are high chances that one of the interlocutors was not listening to the others. Losing a thread of the conversation, we cannot eventually get to the idea of a speaker.

The ability to hear people out and interpret the information has devalued in the digital age. Today we are more concerned about expressing ourselves and driving our own needs to the foreground. Social networks do not encourage us to listen, understand, and analyze information. Besides, we do not need to listen to understand people by our side. Just take a look at their Facebook account and you can already decide what kind of person they are.

However, the ability to listen and hear does not degenerate merely because of the digital age. Attention to what other people say can diminish under the influence of temperament or education. Egocentric people also would not listen to the others as they are interested only in themselves. However, we must admit that selfishness has progressed recently due to the consumerist culture.

Pushing our society to the next stage of development, we gradually forget to listen. Nevertheless, effective interaction is impossible without putting our partners first at least for a while.

Should We Rethink How Long Students Spend in High School?



Looking at the traditional high school dropout rate in the US, educators are concerned with the prospect of shifting the duration of studying. If the system does not work as it is, we need to adjust it to the needs of an average high school student. In fact, not all principals are aware what motivates their students and what they expect to get after graduation. Some students want high school to prepare them for college, the others see it as a starting point for technical occupation. A great part of seniors has not decided what to do after graduation at all, but they are already depressed by specific subjects such as trigonometry. All of them want high school to meet their expectations, but about 25 percent of students drop out annually.

Rethinking the system of schooling, we have three ways to go. First, we could raise the high school education span to six years. In this case, students would be better prepared for the college as extra two years would be dedicated to specialized subjects. Second, we could cut high school education to 2 or 3 years. It would allow children to graduate earlier and spend their precious time on higher education or special training. The last option of our imaginary education reform is to make high school tuition more flexible. If students are not expected to graduate in 3 – 4 – 5 years, they could study at their own pace and decide for themselves, how long or how intense they can study. Choosing among all these options we must admit – education is not about time. It is about motivation and obtaining skills crucial in future. High schools have to cut highly specific subjects and add activities that would be interesting and relevant to all students.

Impact of technology on interpersonal communication



Interpersonal communication is a comprehensive category that includes workplace, group, intimate, and romantic interaction. Influenced by the Internet and its advantages, communication in all these spheres has largely transformed. 90% of individuals irrespective of their lifestyles are present on social networks every day. Each of us is accessible to the others every time. Our boss, spouse or completely unknown person can contact us whenever they need. People do not hesitate to interact, they cannot see any limits to communication now. And many of them find this exact factor discouraging.

A vast sociological research conducted in the US confirmed that the increase in wealth and quality of life caused higher isolation among Americans. Constant online accessibility made communication such a routine thing you want to avoid. Many people got tired of empty chatting that took their time and did not give back anything in particular. Under the impact of technology, we became lazier: why go hang out with peers if you are already connected online?

To put some advantages of technology, it simplified business communication. In many cases, you need only safe online connection to work productively and report your progress to the manager. Even in traditional offices, communicating per e-mail sufficiently accelerates performance. Technology has simplified interaction between a provider of services and their clients. In most cases, clients do not even need to communicate with the provider to get their services.

As a result, the impact of technology on interaction is diverse. We cannot address online channels of communication as a negative phenomenon because we gain even more than we loose with the Internet. In fact, the culture of communication is individual to all people, and those who use the net responsibly never complain about how dramatically the technology has changed their lives.