I may be old-fashioned but it seems to me that folks are on a slippery slope when it comes to working on methods of communication. Way back, a couple of years before my time, people communicated with drums and smoke signals, then they evolved to messengers on foot; then horses, the Pony Express; and finally—a giant step for mankind in reaching our friends, neighbors, and even those we are fighting with—telegraph wires speeded things up in a giant jump. Then of course the wireless, followed by the telephone, faxes, email, texting, Twitter, Facebook and who-knows-what’s next.

But here is the point I am trying to get to: No matter how much we speed up communications we are missing the point. It’s what we say, the feeling, the purpose of the message, that can assist in the of advance humanity. Does it matter what method we use to communicate the need for healthcare, or making peace, or stopping global warming, or making the world a more even playing field so everyone can play? We are giving technology too much importance when the message is what really counts.

My granddaughter can’t talk on the phone but tells me if I text she will communicate–communicate with the “nice warm smile” of a keyboard, with letters for me to read instead of hearing her laugh or even sigh at my bad jokes. Somehow I like to hear “I love you” instead of reading it on a Blackberry.

I personally like to get all the messages from someone I am engaging with: the tone of the voice, the wisp of sarcasm, or a telling pause in the conversation. I guess I am old-fashioned but I am still hopeful and waiting by my phone for it to ring so I can talk to a human voice (pre-recorded sales messages excluded).—Bernard Sandler, Montecito


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