Zeitgeist – intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought that typifies and influences the culture of a period of time.
Zeitgeist comes from the German words “Zeit” meaning time and “Geist” meaning spirit. Zeitgeist is considered the “spirit of the age” or “spirit of the time.”
What is the most recent form of zeitgeist in our age? I would say it's the advent of the advanced level of technology that we depend on today. Computers with 1 TB or more of hard drive space, miniature computers called smart phones, the advances in medicine and science that have come because of the level of technology we have today. All of these things have formed the backbone of our lives and the spirit of our time these days.
You have to admit that for the most part, you don't see people without some kind of technology these days. Children may be exempt from the technology craze, though they aren't completely free of it because of the use of computers in their education. Not many adults exist without some form of the advanced technology in their possession.
We are beginning to become more dependent on our technology. If we don't know something, instead of looking it up in an encyclopedia, a book, or a dictionary, we rely on Google or other search engines to give us the answers. Where once we sent paper letters to each other, and had to wait days for a response, now we send emails that can be answered within minutes of the other person receiving them. Communication around the world which was so hard before is now as easy as connecting through social media or using virtual software to hold meetings across time zones.
Scientists use a higher level of technology to make discoveries. The most recent one I can remember reading about off hand was how a 3D printed cast was used in conjunction with ultrasound to help heal a bone (here's the article from IFLS). Stem cells have been created using an adult's tissues. Organs are being created in a lab from cells taken from the patient to help minimize rejection during transplants. More and more medical and scientific discoveries are being made every day. Look at the technology that sent a rover to Mars and allows us to make sense of its discoveries.
There are so many things that technology does for us, that it has created for us, that I believe it will become the “spirit of the time” for us in the late 20th century and the early 21st century. What do you think the zeitgeist of our time is? Do you know what the zeitgeists of other times have been?