Communication…or is it?

People say they “communicate” more and cite being on the phone, texting, twitter, facebook, etc.  I look around and see people totally absorbed in their phones…”communicating” with whoever is on the phone to the degree of virtually ignoring the person/pet they are with.  Seeing parents with their children…parent is totally absorbed with their phone and the children are alone…these precious children who need to have their parents 100% are alone in their own little worlds.  Whole families at a restaurant…”together” in body alone…each glued to their phones.  Couples who profess to be in a “relationship” and on their phones while they are together and taking “selfies” to prove it to themselves and to others.

It all reminds me of the Pixar animated film “WALL-E”.  In one section, everyone is overweight and lounging…fixated on the screen in front of their faces…not noticing anything or anyone around them.

Growing up in the 50s, we had a big black rotary dial phone.  Dialing long distance or getting a long distance phone call basically meant something was wrong(also if the phone rang after 9 pm or before 8 am).

Telegrams were still used for events such as births, deaths and important news.  A long distance phonecall “home” to Denmark  back then would take hours to go through.

I can still hear my dad saying, “but that’s a long distance call!” with horror on his face if my mother would even suggest such a thing!

When I was a freshman in college, my floor in the dorm had one phone booth and I was allowed once a week to make a long distance phone call home and reverse the charges.

Even just 25 years ago, calling overseas was quite expensive.  When my husband and I were engaged(he was in England and I was in the US), we allowed ourselves one phone call every Saturday.  One week I’d call him and the next week he’d call me…and no longer than 10 minutes.  The rest of the communications were snailmail…and I still have all of the letters he  wrote to me.

Now with my daughter 3000 miles away, I usually get a phone call when she is on her way home from work…1/2 hour to an hour every day and it helps so much with the lonelies I have with her so far away.  At least I still have her in voice if not in person.

I personally don’t have an Iphone or anything even close to that.  A $10 Tracfone I bought New Year’s Eve at the dollar store because my other one died suddenly(that was a tracfone too).  Meaning to just use this one in the interim, I find that it is still going strong.  I use it basically for texting, for emergencies and just knowing that I have it for any messages from my daughter plus other family members.  Surprisingly enough, it can receive photos(but not take them) and although it does cost me minutes, I got a photo this week from my girlfriend of her new born grand daughter!

I am concerned to see where all of this fixation on phones is going to lead us all.  So many people aren’t able to turn all of the technology off…the phones, computers, tvs, games…and children are becoming jaded quite early and not enjoying the simple joys in life.   Children being outside in nature and of having parents and siblings who are focusing on them and spending time with them…. that to me is “Communicating”.

til next time…Eva

W

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