Have we really come a long way baby? About 40 years ago, in the olden days before cell phones, we had the CB radio. Remember them? My first husband was a bit of a zealot and installed one in our car and our boat so he could keep in touch with his guy friends while on the move. Popular with truckers, CBs were the communication link that allowed them to inform their good-buddies of their exact “20” (location) and other seemingly vital daily minutia.
CB users had their own idiom with secret codes and abbreviations for various common expressions. Chatting to each other when driving to the cottage or boat, CB’ers would warn of “Smokies” (police) so the following car could avoid radar or at least slow down. Many of them set these radios up in their homes to listen and chat with others at any hour. I thought it was embarrassingly juvenile, like little boys playing with walkie-talkies. This, despite the fact a hugely successful movie, Smokey & The Bandit starring Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason also starred a CB radio in a leading role used to facilitate the smuggling of beer.
Fast-forward to 2013 and technology looks quite different today. It’s advancing and changing so rapidly I can hardly keep up. We now have texts, blips, tweets and apps for our cell phones that make James Bond’s gadgets look prehistoric. Cell phones and e-mail in their various forms have become the 21st century’s CB radio. It’s the new millenium’s way of enabling our basic need to keep in touch, to communicate with other human beings, albeit through an inhuman medium. Even the most benign daily events are now text-worthy, so much so that some people even risk their lives and mine to do it while driving.
The concern is that the keyboard has replaced human contact. Can an LOL really replace a good belly laugh when sharing a joke with your BFF over a pot of tea? Eye contact is becoming as scarce as Phillip Lim purses at Target. Walk into any coffee shop and witness dozens of lone customers staring at their smart phones and laptops with fingers and thumbs a blur of singular activity. Simply walking down the street has become hazardous as you dodge preoccupied texters and e-mailers looking down while walking into traffic, utility poles and even other texters. Let’s hope we don’t forget the importance of a real live warm hug or the sound of a room full of laughter when someone shares a story.
One of the first things I do when I get up in the morning is check my e-mail and throughout the day I constantly re-check to see if any of my inner circle (which is now widening) has a message for me. It’s also one of the last things I do at night before going to bed. Don’t want to take a chance on missing out on the latest news on who’s e-mailing who or what they had for lunch.
The bottom line is I am now no better than my ex. Please don’t tell him. It’s simply too embarrassing. My blog is proof of my guilt and I tell everyone I know that if they want to know what’s going on in my life, tune in. We’ve come full circle – but in a different band width.
BTW, my “handle” is boomerbroadcast.net. 10-7 (signing off) for now. TTYL.