go back in time about thirty years.
the most part, people corresponded in two ways. The first was
a phone call. The second was a good old delivered by the Postal
it came to the phone call, there were a few problems. Many homes
only had one phone. It was located in a somewhat central place,
like a kitchen wall. Likely had a cord, and not a long one. You
got to talk on the phone, needing to be aware of others in the
house if you had any privacy concerns, and couldnít move more
than six to eight feet from the wall. Add in charges for long
distance calls, and things really begin to get fun.
alternative was a letter. Nice. Always great to get in the mail.
But there were some challenges here as well. Most notably, if
you sent one out it might be seven to ten days before you received
a reply. Really. Day one, you write and address and send. It will
be day three at the earliest, and more likely between days four
and five, that it arrives. Give the person time to read and write
a response. Include that a Sunday will become involved, with no
mail moving on that day, and itís easy to see where a week or
more is about right.
about those options. Sitting on the kitchen floor to whisper to
your friends, or get to place your part into the conversation
roughly once every two weeks. Then think about things today. And
when you do, keep in mind that not a lot changed between those
days thirty years ago and the thirty years that took place before
them. Phones in the kitchen and the post office. Your communication
options for decades.
we have some interesting alternatives. You can use different apps
that essentially make a phone call around the world with no additional
charges. Text messaging and e-mail allow you to reach out and
get a reply in fairly short order.
moved away from a group that anticipated the arrival of mail and
watched the clock when making phone calls. Weíve arrived at a
place where many folks get ticked off if someone doesnít answer
a text message in five minutes or less.
a sense of wanting it and wanting it now that permeates virtually
everything we do as a result. No question that technology advances
are amazing and make life more convenient, and yet there are times
when you really do need to wonder if all of it is an improvement.
a thought: You can do an internet search and find a collectible
you never knew existed, while at the same time rolling your eyes
because you had to respond to a text (which you did with the letter
k and a smiley face emoji, so exhausting). There are mixed messages
in that, go ahead and look.
was wondering about this the other day when a couple of new shows
arrived on some streaming platforms. Some of them were placed
with the entire season out there in one swift drop. Others are
posting at a rate of about one new episode per week. And the streaming
services canít win with either approach. One way we sit down for
three to six hours, then complain that itís taking too long for
the next season to arrive. Or, we get mad we have to wait a week.
All while being able to avoid commercials in either situation.
So, yeah, weíve got it rough.
in mind, thirty years ago you had to set your VCR or miss things
entirely, then fast forward the tape to skip advertisements. Sixty
years ago, you either sat down when the show aired or lost your
change seemingly forever. (And before you say nothing is forever,
I would encourage you to search for things like the BBC hunt for
old shows. There are missing episodes of several shows likely
forever lost to time, and if some are found it is usually in some
of the most stunning places and conditions. Time is marching on.)
an old saying about patience being a virtue. I appreciate that
concept now more than ever. Still, at the rate things change,
the next thirty years should be amazing.