Communication: The Ten Little Black Boys

Make room for the future...it's here!

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fitness bandssmart glassessmart watches...quite like these!
fitness bands
fitness bands
smart glasses
smart glasses
smart watches...quite like these!
smart watches...quite like these!

As each new technology "cuckoos" the last, what's next?

I'm afraid the old way to write this title would have alarm bells ringing all over the HP editorial office and Google screaming “Foul!”

But I will assume you know what I mean and understand my reticence in not using the nasty, non-PC word for our African cousins. (One: I'd like the article to be published!)

Well, we all know they rolled over, one by one, and eventually fell out of bed. Which is what has and is happening to all forms of communication we have used for the last several hundred years.

It must have been such a wonderful way to communicate with our friends and business people before the advent of the telephone to write a thoughtful, newsy, missive and have it delivered to the home of place of business of our contacts. People of my age – gawd help 'em – can remember actually writing letters and I suppose a few still do today if their palsied, arthritic hands allow. Thank goodness I possessed the literary skills to compose an interesting, well structured letter giving my news and gently enquiring as to theirs. I fear for the youth of today is they are ever returned to a world where writing a letter is the only way to communicate...would it arrive in “text-speak?”

Then the advent of the telephone in every house and business took away the need to write half as much and long, chatty phone calls were the norm. We welcomed the then musical sound of the telephone bell. Not pressured 50 or 100 years ago as we are now, a call might last hours, especially among the teen set where removing one from the phone was akin to wrestling Mike Tyson. He boxed? I know, but I wouldn't want to wrestle him either!

I suppose the next method of communication had to be by email as computers took the world by storm from the mid-nineteen-eighties and onward. That was fine by me, I liked emails and still do, but I am becoming a dinosaur I'm afraid. The young especially have abandoned emails in droves, it's all mobile phones now, and I don't mean making calls on them. Texting is what youth does and adults more slowly and clumsily. They are also used for making phone calls, but here's the rub: no one likes to be called on the phone any more! It interrupts their hedonistic and filled lives. Amusingly, some even email first asking if they might call on the phone!

And telephoning as a means of communicating in the business world: forget it! Getting a living, speaking homo Sapiens is akin to finding the same somewhere in outer space. And when you do, he or she is likely to have an incomprehensible accent. They try, poor devils: the Indians and their ilk, but I usually end up frustrated and no further ahead with my needs.

Even when you are still dealt with by the Anglo home team, pressing up to 20 numbers on your phone before you get through to the right place has had many heaving the cell-phone through the lounge window. While it was closed.

And the smart phones!? Unless you are that rare bird with the IQ of Einstein, understanding a smart phone is the bailiwick of the under 25's. Even when you do get an approximate clue into how to work the thing, it changes all the time, not allowing you to get settled. Or that is my experience, even with one of the “easy” ones from Doro.

You're lucky if you live with teenagers. I have friends who do and who take advantage of the kid's easy familiarity with new technology as it arrives. You'll never see a youngster reading an instruction booklet (and don't get me started on those, either!). They just shove in the battery and sim card and start texting their mates with a “selfie” (Grrrrr!) of them and the new £700 mobile phone dad just bought them. Damn, these things can be pricey, I wouldn't even pay that for a laptop (for a lap-dance, maybe!).

Smart phones, in knowledgeable hands, can do everything a computer does. Also it takes snaps and movies as well as plays them. It can communicate in every way known to god and Mammon, (who was she?). It emails, calls, uses something obscure called WSP networks and more I have not even heard of. It can navigate you round the world on a yacht using satellite navigation.

I still hate them

Why? Because although they do all this and more, they don't perform any one function as well as the original device supplying this technology...I can't even get my clumsy digits on the virtual keys (virtual Grrrrr!); neither can I see half what I need to on this tiny screen. And I have two contracts supplying god knows what at more than £20 a month and am assured I am getting off lightly! And by the time it all comes together enough for me to understand and use all the functions, it will be outdated and have to be replaced by some monster even more incomprehensible (nice word that).

So what's next? More complex mobiles obviously, but is there anything on the horizon that will replace these things like computers replaced typewriters or digital cameras and camera phones replaced film?

Well, get ready for WEARABLES. These are, among others waiting to hit the market, smart watches (Help!), fitness bands, that record your daily activities and much more...analyse your “couchpotato-ness” as well I suspect. And smart glass, like Google glass, where your “smart specs” (my name) puts all the info from your smart phone where it gets your attention all the time you are awake.

I suppose it won't be a coon's age (is that PC?) before we have info hard or soft wired into our brains 24/7 . Heaven forbid we should be out of touch with our mates, businesses or the Internet, etc., for even a micro second.

That's when I give up and go and live in a cave in Baja California...coming??

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Comments 15 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 21 months ago from Rural Arizona

Bob - Yet another interesting and thought provoking article by one of my favorite writers. There is a great deal of truth to everything you said.

My sister owns a home in a small beach town in Costa Rica. For years it was customary for residents to stroll downtown to visit friends and neighbors after the sun went down. The ice cream parlor was the main meeting place and it was a pleasant place to spend the evening. Then they all got telephones for the first time in their lives, and this evening stroll pretty much ended. I was sad to see this custom fade away.

As one of those dreaded old folks I have tried my best to keep up with technology, but my old brain just doesn't retain information the way it used to. I have a smart phone that was a birthday gift from my family and it will do some pretty amazing things. It will do these amazing things while in the hands of one of my grandchildren. I use it to make calls and receive calls, and that is about it.

The way technology is advancing we may just eliminate the need for humans one of these days. I'm not sure that would be all bad.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 21 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Yes, Mike, one of us has to go! Technology or the lot of us. No doubt we were better off before it all began...perhaps we were better off when we lived in caves.

No doubt the world of wonderful creatures would have a chance again if man was long gone. Easy for us to say I suppose when we have lived nearly all our allotted span. But looking at the world today is like watching one long horror movie.

Bob


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 21 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Bob,

I have a gadget hanging on my truck visor that allows hands free usage of my cell phone as I drive. It also translates my text messages to voice, and then translates my voice response to text and then sends it back. Of course I could just call and avoid all that text to voice and then voice back to text nonsense, but I love the sheer absurdity of it all!

We went on an 8 day cruise last month, and since shipboard cell phone access costs more than most new cars, we told our loved ones not to call us unless someone died or we won the lottery. The result was 8 days of peace and quiet.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 20 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Lol. Isn’t wonderful how Apple, et al, constantly come up with these newfangled, techno thingamajigs that we never knew we needed before they were created? A cave in Baja California? I’m there. Great hub.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks Genna...I have the cave located!

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Will That's a new one on me; trust you to be at the cutting edge. I have been thinking cruises for a while, it's that or a long break back in Mexico somewhere away from computers and their ilk.

Back to ships of the desert again?

Bob


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 20 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 20 months ago from Rural Arizona

Bob - I recently read where a person can live cheaper on cruise ships than they can in most old-folks homes. They even have doctors on board, great food, and plenty of beer and wine. That sounds like a good plan to me.

And then when that last day on earth arrives they could just bury us at sea and save our heirs all that money too.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Ho Mike: Like the good old days when many lived in hotels. Always fancied that: room service and no clearing up.

So many cruises available...if the bottom drops out of the market, as it might after a few terrorist attacks, these behemoths will be white elephants for sure. Good life...I took two cruises when they were affordable back in the sixties, and one or two of them have already been turned into floating hotels for permanent residents. You might be on to something!

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Will. Cheers for that I'll have a look, Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Found em Will...cheap too B


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 20 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Bob, I found this hub very interesting and funny, too. Being of your generation, I can readily identify with everything you say, especially when talking about smart phones. I finally bought one a year ago, and haven't used all of its functions yet. Although my Samsung screen is bigger than others, I still hate using the virtual keyboard and typing. I guess it's because my figures are too wide. Voted up and sharing with HP followers.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Paul, thanks for kind comments. Yep, same with me, why did the man upstairs decide to give me fat fingers and a small 'nose I'll never know!

Regards Bob


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York

LOL! IAC, IAWTP. Translation for my age group and up: Laughing Out Loud. In Any Case, I Agree With This Post. Welcome to the world of texting. Seriously, those keyboards were not made for human fingers. When I got my new smartphone the guy said, "oh, you can watch movies on this phone." I said, "really? I have a 42 inch tv at home, why would I want to watch a full length movie on a three inch screen?"

As always Bob, you've hit the nail on the head with the humor we love.

Voted up, useful, funny, and interesting.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks again...you are doing your homework today!

Bob

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