Wednesday, June 29, 2011
ARE YOU AVAILABLE??
There was a time and it was not such a very long time ago, when telephone communication was a box on a wall in the kitchen or on a desk in the entry hall with a loopy cord and reliable ring.
Now we take our communication with us wherever we go, we are constantly connected and ever ready to text or ring or answer a call. The billboards along the main road in our capital city warn us that phone use while driving is strictly forbidden. Many motorists have their power SUVs rigged with no-hands devices which require only a click of a level under the steering wheel to keep the driver or passengers in touch with some distant point.
I remember an early Woody Allen film in which the main character was constantly at a pay phone telling his answering service "If anyone wants to ring me, I am at Santa Monica 367 459..." and his hapless entreaties seemed pathetic but garnered a good laugh. Now the public pay phone seems almost ridiculously out of date. I must be the only person I know who still carries a black "pirate card." This costs me a fiver and I can get several hours on a pay phone to anywhere in the world where someone has a land line.
A land line? Does that sound odd or what? Alas many people I know have abandoned their home phone or fixed line and rely on what must be a cheaper option of a cell or mobile phone (the latter is British and the former American terminology).
As with on-line communication, I generally fail with mobile technology although I do enjoy that SMS language: "BTW, r u home?"
A young friend of mine (in her mid 30s!) wrote me an entire email message, quite long and involved, in SMS-style language. Quite a chore to wade through that scroll!
Anyway, as we are more and more in touch, the question is do we communicate more? And more to the point, how available do we need to be?