Communication: The Ten Little Black Boys
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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??