For me, modern means something that is open to the new. In literature, modern represents the 20th century for me, followed by postmodern, which is closer to today’s culture. Modern means something different for every generation, in my opinion. It had a stronger meaning in the 80-s, with a popular band created called “Modern Talking”, and the phrase being commonly used in popular culture.
Modern, today, however, means something that is in trend. It is a problematic word, as the world is changing more rapidly than ever before. Further, modern beliefs are currently being challenged by postmodern philosophy. While in modern culture and ideology artists and people believed in absolute truth, postmodern thinkers think that only assumptions exist.
Modern today is more subjective than it was in the 20th Century. It is open to new ideas, future trends, and opportunities. Modern is accepting difference, and making sense of the world in one’s own way. Therefore, the definition of modern is different for every person. For me, personally, it simply means: forward-thinking.
People’s motivation to be on the “cutting edge” is complicated. It can potentially be explained by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. The need for self-actualization and self-esteem explain why people choose to have the latest gadgets, brands that are popular, and clothes that make them look their best. In modern culture, the role of spontaneity is greater than it was before. An expensive car, a smart phone with features that other friends’ mobile does not have provides the person with a status and social standing. At the same time, belonging to a group of customers who wear the same brand and use the same gadgets provides individuals with a sense of belonging.
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