Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Digital Communication

Communication by FaceTime

These days it's fashionable in some quarters to denigrate the new digital way of communication with friends.  The hairs on the back of my neck always bristle when I hear someone suggest "We should put away all the smart phones and go back to the way we USED to communicate with friends."  

I get it, that criticism assumes that using smart phones to check our various forms of communications in this Digital Age (e-mail,social media, et al) is replacing the old fashion face to face communication.  WRONG.  Not so.  

I will never apologize for using my iPhone in public. Whether I'm checking my e-mail (so I can keep up on my communications with my friends, neighbors, co-workers and others) or I'm checking the latest stock market activity or the latest news bulletin.  Leave me alone.  If you want to ditch your hand held electronic device that keeps you up with the world then go for it . . . . for yourself.  As for me, I'm taking advantage of this new Digital Age and the communication revolution.  Just as I get in my car to drive to the local supermarket instead of my horse and buggy, I'm taking advantage of the evolution of our civilization. Excuse me while I live in the modern age.

I have a couple of dear friends that I talk to on FaceTime almost every day. One lives in the north of this state but we only see each other in person usually only once a year.  That's when he comes down for his birthday in June and we get an old time photo taken. My other good friend, as regular followers of this blog know, lives in Toronto Canada.  We of course do not see each other in person but maybe twice a year (if we're lucky).  All the other times we communicate and share our friendship on FaceTime.  What would our friendship be like if we didn't have FaceTime? If I bowed to the retro shaming of those he eschew using modern hand held electronic devices to communicate with friends? Telephone calls, that's what.  And I probably wouldn't do telephone calls anyway because I hate talking on the telephone.  Always have, always will.  So impersonal.

The famous "Lar" of Claymont, Delaware
a HUGE Joe Biden fan

For me, the new "personal" is my electronic communication.  So if you see me walking down the street with my face glued to my iPhone or see me in a restaurant checking my e-mail on my iPhone (more likely you'll see me in a medical waiting room checking my e-mail on my iPhone but I digress), you'll have to excuse me for not joining into the Greek Chorus demonizing our new form of communication. 

Greek Chorus chanting "Oh don't use your iPhone!  Whatever happened to face to face communication?"
Answer: Miles - when you live miles apart from friends you talk FaceTime - just like being there


  1. I think the complaint is actually about people who, when in the company of friends, family, spouses, dates, would prefer to be on their phone rather than be in the moment with the person they're with.
    So many people are using their phones, and all those mindless apps, to show how great a time they are having, when, in fact, they are missing the great time because they're too busy phoning it in.

    1. Good point Bob. I don't do that of course because that's just rude. Like someone talking to you and you get up and turn the TV on. That's common sense. However, there are those who lament and eschew the use of iPhones at all which I think is Luddite thinking and that's what I was addressing in my blog post. Their voice to use a horse and buggy but I prefer to take advantage of the new modern technology with the understanding of course that the normal rules of good manners and courtesy still apply.

  2. I use google video chat almost everyday, I live on email. There are times when I need to talk on the phone, but it is not my favorite (I worked on the phone for several years,)

    1. David,
      I've had enough of the regular phone for several lifetimes. All my jobs, including the one I have now at the hotel, involve the phone. I don't like talking on the phone, that's why I rarely answer my phone at home. However, I don't mind talking on FaceTime. I like to see who I'm talking to plus it's a lot easier on my ear.


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