I’m considering wearing the garage door opener on my belt as a means of weaning myself from my cell phone. In this “roadrunner lightning speed” hi-tech world in which we live, perhaps, we have become too available to others. Whatever happened to the “good ole days” of unreach-ability and the mystique of our whereabouts? We seem to have become a world of disruption where we are beeped, paged or text messaged to a chorus of lovely or rowdy tunes. I’m predicting that in the not so far off future, our systems will be so adept as to be able to know when someone is just thinking about making contact– talk about wireless communication. Hmm…I wonder how we would be billed for that?
Remember the old timey days when we talked on the phone to just one person while we sat in one position with the phone securely connected to the wall? Those days are long gone when talking on the phone was considered an opportunity to relax without interruptions and beeps from others trying to get to you simultaneously. I wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would think of how his invention has manifested itself?
Isn’t it startling to be in the grocery store line or in a public bathroom stall and the William Tell Overture begins playing? We are becoming so privy to the personal lives of others. It’s almost like we are in some sort of invisible, silent dimension—but, we’re not.
Let’s look back to the days of the Pony Express that was established in 1861. According to the website, “Legends of America/Pony Express,” the ad in the newspaper was in search of young men who were not over 18 and they needed to be skinny. They also needed to be expert horseback riders who were willing to risk death on the job. Orphans were especially preferred. Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. They would be paid $100 per month for delivering mail that spanned up to 100 miles. (One good thing about our progress is at least we don’t have to worry about our present day mailmen being attacked by Indians.) The fastest delivery was seven days and seventeen hours. It was the important delivery of Lincoln’s Inaugural Address. I would say that constituted speed. What an enormous difference when you consider that now we can send a message into someone’s pant’s pocket or shooting down their ear in seconds flat.
The demise of the “brave, skinny, wiry fellows” came when the telegraph was invented. Then enter Alexander Graham Bell with his invention of the telephone that revolutionized communication. Our world then progressed into the world of cell phones and text messaging with its continual contact.
Now…there is communication and then there is miscommunication from misdialed numbers caused from being human and our unintentional mistakes. That is a problem that will never be resolved no matter how hi-tech our society becomes. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “the problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” For example: someone called me once at my home and asked, “Is there a lady with a baby looking at mattresses in there?”
I once had my phone ring loudly at 2:00 A.M. The man on the other end was obviously calling from a morgue. He thought he was calling a funeral home, as he hauntingly said, “You may come to pick up the body. It’s ready.” I think I would have preferred to have waited seven days and seventeen hours to hear that one and have had it presented to me by a “brave, skinny, wiry fellow” on a horse. Hunter Darden-personalized copies of my books can be ordered by scrolling to the top of this page and clicking or the link or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.