This is my weird thought of the day.
Today, I came across an old lady in her mid-90s. She’s called Betty. She’s currently in hospital in Shrewsbury. She doesn’t want to walk. She’s not even that keen on feeding herself. I haven’t heard her talk. She’s inactive. She’s lived a good life. I don’t imagine she’s got a huge amount of time left on this world. Watching her sit in her chair today with her mouth agape I had one of my weird thoughts: ‘Perhaps we only live to around 100 because more than a century of change is too much for us to cope with’.
Betty was born in the 1920s. I’m not sure exactly when in the 1920s but at 90-something it will be the 1920s. She was born at a time when the motorcar was a novelty. The motorcar didn’t travel very fast. There were no motorways. We had had one world war, but not yet a second. I wonder if there were roundabouts in the 1920s? I suspect not. We didn’t watch TV. We didn’t have the word ‘television’. We didn’t really listen to the radio, or ‘wireless’. The telephone rarely rang and it had a handset and a mouth piece. I suspect we had to speak to an operator before we got to the person we needed. The idea of having a phone each would have been preposterous. There were no computers. We read books. We talked to people. We drank cocktails and sashayed about in flapper dresses.
Betty now lives at a time when we all have phones. We go to nightclubs. We watch TV every night. Our phones are connected to this amazing virtual land called The Internet. We drive up and down the M54 with such regularity, and rather fast, we could do it with our eyes shut. We don’t need to listen to the radio; we have iPlayer. Does Betty know what a pod cast is? Is she on Facebook? Does she update her status with ‘Spend the day sitting in my chair with my mouth open again.’ I doubt it. I suspect that Betty has reached her limit on change.
I don’t mean to sound patronising (perhaps Betty is very Internet savvy) but I suspect that in the year 2065 I, too, will feel tired of change. If I try to imagine what this world will look like in the year 2065, sat here in the year 2017 in the age of Facebook and Snap Chat, and I cannot. I cannot picture what it will be like. That’s my point. I suspect that by then, I will have had enough. I suspect that by then I will be like Betty.
So I conclude, we simply cannot live past 100. Even as medical science advances further, we won’t live much past 100. Why? Because if we do, it’s just all too much and our brains explode. That would be messy.