Friday, October 26, 2012

Can I Hear You Now?

By Maggie
My nine-year-old granddaughter and her fourth grade class have netbook computers, and they don’t turn in homework on paper anymore. All their assignments are submitted to the school website from home. We’ve certainly come a long way since I… eye-roll, please… practiced penmanship on special lined paper with a fountain pen and actual ink from a little jar. Some days, the changes are enough to make me launch into a “why, back in my day” rant. I have to admit, though, so much of the technology is enjoyable and good for us, saving time and trees. So, we do what it takes to keep up with it all, because today having an online presence and computer competence is part of a writer’s job description. We have gained a lot, but will we lose all that was?

            Email is a great way to communicate. You type it, send it, a recipient reads and replies when there’s time. And, you get a ‘paper’ trail out of it. Very cool, but it can also be cold when a phone call or visit would add a needed personal touch.

            Texting is a favorite of mine. Sometimes I feel I’d be lost without the sheer ease and convenience of it. Quick and easy. Bada-boom, bada-bing. Words out. Words in. Also cool, as long as we remember how to be present and in the moment, with our friends or family, on the earth instead of in the ether.

            I’m not a big phone fan, but really, what could be better some days than the actual voice of a loved one? Asking a question and hearing their tone when they answer? How about a written thank you, a card or a letter by snail mail? Nice. Day-making.

            Technology is a wonderful way to do business and communicate with each other individually, globally, or virally. Let’s just remember the importance of person to person and face to face, as well. Just saying. Sort of.

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