I’ll never forget when Paul Peneda said, after a meeting we had attended, “Why don’t we go home get online and chat?” And I told him it would be easier just to use the telephone, if we ever had something to say to each other when not at work. I wasn’t even online at the time. This was in 1977 or so. Let’s see, that would be 34 years ago and hundreds of hand written notes, letters and documents ago, and a few innovations in the digital world.

These days I prefer digital communicating. I enjoy sending emails to friends and family. I have always held that composing a letter to a friend is one of the highest forms of communicating. It is both a communication and a record, and it provides the opportunity for thought. The ease of emailing is so seductive and it tells me when I spell incorrectly.

I am also a micro communicator on Twitter, FaceBook and iChat. I can text from my phone and get instant replies from my children! I have never been as “in touch” with my kids as now. I can post a blog via email and within 15 seconds it is there and available all over the world. You know what I mean. The world is not waiting to read that stuff but If there was someone out there who actually wanted to read it they could do it that quick.

Even voice communication has changed so much now that using the actual telephone is a matter of choice for many people who can choose between Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) on cable, or SKYPE on a computer, which is pretty much the same thing, a cellular network or perhaps a wifi application on their iPhone or Droid.

Some of us are old enough to remember watching as a telephone was installed for the first time in our home. That would be me. I even remember the number. 4881 – one long ring – four parties. That’s less than half the numbers you need to make a long distance call these days.

I don’t have a clue where Paul Peneda is these days but we could have a good laugh about that conversation we had 34 years ago. I wonder what will happen in 2011 to make communicating more exciting? I’m not sure it could be faster. I wonder what a digital hug would feel like?

I just accidentally turned on my laptop camera and got glimpse at the reason video calling probably won’t be the favorite early morning thing to do – ever! God, that looks awful!

Don’t forget that number – 4881. I’ll be waiting by the phone.

1 Comment

  1. Communication, reading and music. How far we have come. I remember having a little sony cassette player for car rides which I waited for E to be old enough to use (huge buttons to start a stop). That and paying attention to the beep to turn a page. Now he has music going on one window, the iphone next to him to text back and forth w/friends, a window w homework assignments another doing the homework. But, he will also communicate w/ his Mother through texting, so that is a plus for the generation(s) gap.

Leave a Reply