By Wayne William Cipriano
Thankfully gone are the days when if you needed to speak with someone quickly, more quickly than a letter in the mail, you picked up the telephone and dialed their number. Their phone would ring, they’d pick it up and you’d speak one to the other. How inefficient, how time consuming, how bothersome to speak to someone you’d rather avoid.
Modern technology has made all that a fading memory now that we can cell-phone message, text message, email message, sometimes en masse, trusting to the electronic powers that be that such communi-cation is actually sent, possibly even received.
Of course, with such ease has come the unfortunate by-products of too much speech, too frequent speech, totally unimportant speech, and the very real possibility that something of actual importance becomes buried within the detritus of all this “other” communication.
Who is to say what is really important and what, to be as kind as we can, should be kept to oneself? Perhaps there are those “out there” really interested in what I had for breakfast, or where I plan to spend my day, or the fact that I do, or do not like long walks on the beach at sunset. And if I cannot so advise them “person to person immediately” are not these messaging alternatives valuable, saving both of us time? Our very precious time?
Do people, frustrated by a few seconds wait, aware of precious life moments slipping by, out of habit leave text messages, voice messages, emails for 911 operators?
What I have been noticing lately is the vast army of people who NEVER answer their phones, relying, I assume, on messages left and their ability to divine the important from the detritus, without further informa-tion. Or worse, or better depending on your point of view, those who NEVER answer their phones and NEVER check whatever messaging capability they enjoy. Maybe that’s a good idea –– No News Is Good News?
But, what to do about that one important piece of information? The one thing that really needs to be communicated? How can you get that message through? Should there be a “special channel” that would only accept “The British Are Coming” and reject “That Red-Headed Girl In Chemistry Class Likes You?” How could technology tell the difference? A “special code” for really important stuff that would quickly precede every message, and almost as quickly be ignored?
And, after all, which message, “The British” or That Red-Headed Girl” is really more important?