Monday, February 1, 2016


Distant relations
For most of us someone we love lives
far away. While separated families may
seem like a modern phenomena - it's
always been that way. In theory way
back when somebody walked across
ice from one continent to another.
When the ice age finally ended that
meant someone was left on the other
side. Immigrants came to this country
for a better life life. Yet someone had
to stay at home with granny. Absence
has always made hearts grow fonder.
So exactly what are we missing?

Return to sender
In the old days, letters were one of the
few ties that bound us. While it might
take months to get reach the one you
loved, the written word made a lasting
impression. Hence many historians now
utilize correspondence for insights into
times long gone. Today we're all still
writing but via instantaneous e-mail
or texting. With such immediacy one
can easily get into trouble. Therefore
before you press the "send" button -
stop, think, and make certain that you
meant exactly what you... "said."

Party line
Until Mr. Bell summoned Mr. Watson via
the wire, hearing voices was limited only
to clairvoyants. The telephone facilitated
free flowing communication. Suddenly
one could chat with whomever, whenever.
Given the cost of calling long distance,
one thought long before they spoke. Sadly
today we blather endlessly via cellphones.
Whether what's said over the air is of any
value is questionable at best. Could it be
that all of our idle chatter is too much ado
about nothing? The next time you start to
pick up that phone, think before you dial.

Picture show
Every seminal event of my generation's
lives were carefully chronicled via home
movies and snapshots. Yet in order to
accomplish that our parents dragged
around a lot of baggage, sent the film
to be developed, and ordered prints.
Given our phones are with us 24/7 any
moment of any day can be captured in
a nanosecond and sent soon thereafter.
Today my kids frequently transmit
photos or videos of their kids on a
daily basis. So even if when I'm not
there, I'm still a part of their lives!!

Face off
If you wanted to meet face-to-face one
had to travel many miles to reconnect.
Today a trip to see the folks still requires
a lot of time and money. Thus it's usually
a rare event. And so while a picture may
be worth a thousand words, seeing and
hearing for oneself is priceless. Now
via I-Chat and Skype we can show and
tell with whomever, whenever, wherever.
While that's not exactly the same as being
there, it comes pretty damned close. Isn't
that what it's all about? Stay close to those
you hold dear even when they're not near!

Party line
We're all social animals which explains why
social media has become such an important
part of our lives. It's really rather amazing
how much I find out on Facebook. Via said
vaporous vehicle I visit with my friends and
family on a daily basis. There we chat about
all sorts of things - memories, politics, kids,
recipes, and so much more. Many have used
this route to reconnect with long lost loves
or have righted wrongs from long ago. And
while that sort of meeting of the minds can
be all consuming, how can getting to know
each other even better be a bad thing?

Mother knew best
Whatever communication stream one
opts to utilize, it's important to stay in
touch. You can easily drift apart from
those not so near yet still dear. Thus
we must leverage modern technology
to insure we don't miss out on a thing.
You see we're all in this together. And
so, even the occasional hookup helps
reminds us that we're not alone. Which
reminds me of an old adage from the
my youth courtesy of the now extinct
communications monopoly Ma Bell -
"Reach out and touch someone!"