Friday, November 21, 2014
Can You Hear Me Now?
I am not sure why that is. Perhaps my life is just that boring. Perhaps I'm in a quiet eddy of life and should enjoy the peace while I have it. I don't know.
The other day, I was cleaning out my e-mails, sorting through some files, and it occurred to me we don't communicate anymore. Folks that have cell phones text. Most of the rest use social media via their computers. No one e-mails. No one actually WRITES. Fewer and fewer people TALK on the phone. My phone calls are 90% bill collectors for people who don't live here. My e-mails are mostly ads from companies I was insane enough to order products from. The last time I received an e-mail from a real live person was about two weeks ago. She was a reader asking about one of my books. I was thrilled!
More and more we rely on social media for that pale, shallow thing we call communication. We post pictures of cute kitties or puppies, post links to interesting or controversial articles, post prayer requests for unspecified catastrophes in our families, or post pics about the bad weather. Very little of substance is exchanged. Social media allows us to fake real communication.
I tried to figure out why we've stumbled down this trail to oblivion. I suspect it's pure laziness. Writing--or talking--takes energy and time we just don't want to spend. Where we used to have long conversations on the phone, we now have a quick 'message' exchange. Typing is too much work so the exchange is generally very short. And e-mails...well, I remember when they started replacing actual letters. Now, no one bothers.
When is the last time you wrote an actual letter? You know, the kind that requires a stamp and envelope? Birthday and Christmas cards don't count. Uh-huh. I'm the same. The US Post Office mostly deals with junk mail, packages, and bills. I love receiving letters. Can't remember when that last happened.
Instead of increasing communication, all the technology at our fingertips has actually isolated us even more. In the past, letters to loved ones in the military were treasured, carefully preserved, and taken out often for re-reading. I wonder how many soldiers receive letters now?
Families were separated by long distances. Letters and telephone calls kept the members up to date. Now, we're too busy to even e-mail. How is that better? Yes, a picture posted on Facebook is nice... I suppose I shouldn't complain, eh?
Perhaps, blogging is the last bastion of communication. Who would have thought?
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