We, the elder generation--not the elderly, but the generation of "elders," meaning we who are the parents of people more often than the children of people--are fond as anything of reminding our youngsters of our communication and electronics deprived upbringings.
Not unlike the jokes about grandparents discussing the trials and travails of walking barefoot, at least 10 miles in snowy conditions to the one-room school house they were lucky enough to attend, we talk of changing television channels with our hands and having to adjust an antennae both on the car (for the radio) and on the TV. Oh, the horror.
Now, we are so quick to communicate that we are in jeopardy of being seriously overly-communicated with. This is old news. The advent of the BlackBerry, also known in many circles as the "CrackBerry" made it well nigh impossible not to "be in touch," and while the excuse has always been that being in constant contact was good for the professional life of VIP-level employees, it's now become so commonplace for everyone to have a picture-taking-internet-accessing-email-checking telephone that the housekeeper at the fancy hotel the so-called VIPs stay at most likely has some absolutely side-splittingly hilarious videos of them doing ridiculous things posted on YouTube as we speak.
But really, though the point has been made hundreds of dozens of times, it cannot be overstated that we have way too much of an ability to spew out whatever comes into our heads in this day and age.
When I was growing up, a telephone call across the country was still kind of cool. There was no Skype. If you talked to someone in Los Angeles from New York, you had to do the math in your head and make sure not to wake them up, talking excitedly with them as if you practically were visiting with them. Then, if you didn't like the conversation, you bad mouthed them and gossiped with the immediate family members of your household like everyone else - you didn't tweet them to ask why so awkward or send an email reminding them that you were the one who bought them their first engraved iTouch, so why the bad attitude?
Now we can instantly communicate just about any thought that pops into our not-always-stable heads. This has caused so many problems for everyone from senior VPs to housewives, from BFFs to husbands and wives, sisters, brothers, marketing majors and fifth graders. The concept of editing one's thoughts has flown out of the window along with typewriters and rotary phones. We can't stew in our thoughts anymore. We don't spend sleepless nights thinking about someone and wondering if they're thinking of us, too.... now we just text "LMFAO I LOVE your facebook pic!" and see if they friend us, or ignore.
Edited by Alison Stanton
Aimee Boyle lives, works and writes in CT. She is a mother of man-children.