For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Clearly, the same can be said in regards to public trends. It seems that the new trend is among young professionals who are putting the brakes on "virtual reality" and embracing reality - deceptively simple and mindfully technical with the added bonus of being cordless. Reality is making a come back.
The New York Times posted an article today called "Leaving Behind the Trucker Hat" that is reminiscent of the 1960's back-to-the-land movement. It profiled young, former urban professionals who are founding organic farms in rural communities in order to fulfill the societal demand for fresh, local and organic produce in surrounding cities, as well as the personal itch to abandon office high rises and paperwork for tactile and emotional experience.
The most notable difference between the modern trend and the the 60's terra hajj seems to be the element of success. The 60's and 70's saw the rise of modern convenience services and goods, while the 00's is seeing a national disgust with pre-fabbed food and products with large carbon footprints. This bodes well for those who no longer want to spend their days staring at computer screens and filing cabinets and instead wish to make their living through communing with seasonal cycles and applied organic chemistry.
There also seems to be a growing interest in where things actually come from, since the invention of cryptic labels eliminated public knowledge of what an item contains and where it originated. The desire to know the story behind food, from seed to aisle seems to also be fueling the organic and local foods movement - all facts I find very exciting. One of my good friends who studied to be a chef at C.I.A. has been working on farms in upstate New York since graduation to get a thorough education in food production. He is one of a growing number of gourmands interested in increasing the intimacy of food through both the growing and preparing aspects of cooking.
I'd say I'm an example of wanting the experience of doing rather than simulating, as I began my historic house restoration with the desire to use my hands to accomplish something. Pushing pencils towards success became old by about 12th grade. Popping nails out of hundred year old studs is much more satisfactory than grading a paper that goes in the trash five second after retuning it to its owner.
So - virtual reality? Take a virtual hike.