Today I noticed something, its nothing new that has really happened, but it seems like its only today that I have found this weird. My mother texted our next-door neighbour, “are you in?”. Now this isn’t an unusual event in our house, my mother and our next-door neighbour usually text each other, or call each other to see if they are in before they bother knocking the door. Just in-case your wondering we don’t have these big posh houses with massive drives in-between, there’s nothing, just a little wall that doesn’t even come up to my chest, so very easy to lean over and just knock. So why don’t they just do that, when did mobiles take over our lives so much that we cant even knock on our next door neighbours?
Some people will say that thanks to all the technology we have these days, communication is greater, after all there was a time when most people didn’t even have a land-line, and perhaps had to walk a couple of streets to the nearest pay phone, but was communication any less back then? Did people really talk less? No, they didn’t really talk less, people would go visit each other instead of calling, or write letters to each other, I used to look forward to reading my aunties letters to my mother, and instead of phoning my relatives thanking them for Christmas and birthday presents, or sending them text message’s, I would write them a thank you letter instead. So I don’t believe that anyone really communicated less when there were no mobile phones and email. True it is a lot easier now with text message’s and emails, come Christmas day I will be able to “write” one text message, saying “Happy Christmas, have a great day” and then send it to all my friends, so much easier than trying to visit all of them, but not better, and much less fun, as I would have a better time going to visit them all one by one. On a plus note, having the ability to call someone also gets us out of having to visit the people that we don’t really like visiting although do visit every year. Although isn’t that a Christmas tradition? Meeting up with relatives that you only see at Christmas and don’t even get along with that much either.
I tend to believe that instead of increasing communication, mobiles and email just allow us to be more lazy, it allows you to perhaps speak to people more but see them less. So whether or not it has made a difference in communication can be argued from both sides. But I have to say, to me, a visit means more than a text or a phone call, and thank you letters mean more to me than a thank you text, but at the end of the day, as long as the message is getting through, does it really matter which form the message arrives in?