Yes. It's been something that I've been watching with interest for some time now. We; all of us; this whole society have begun an era of "over-communications".
Is there any place that one can go without seeing or hearing SOMEONE using a cellphone? In cars, on bikes (that are hazards on the roadways, to begin with. And if you don't believe me, read my last editorial….), in supermarkets: "Honey, they're out of Frosted Flakes…. Now what do I do??" Institutions have post signs limiting or banning the use of cellphones, as a courtesy to the general populace. Some churches have to remind their flock to turn off their f**king phones at the beginning of the service. If God wants to talk to you, He's most likely not going to call your cell. (If you had Caller ID, would you pick up??)
And that's part of the point, my friends. As the frantic mania for communicating has exploded, the art of listening has all but disappeared. It has to. It has long been a personal contention of mine that the average human being can only process and retain a finite amount of input. If I'm wrong about that, someone will have to explain to me just exactly what "burnout" is all about. The more information (i.e. phone calls and texts at home, at the office, in the car, on vacation, on the john, for heaven's sake) that "Joe" receives, the less able he is to process that information. Otherwise known as "listening". The less listening that Joe is able to do, the more frustration he suffers. The more crap he takes from his significant other.
The other point I need to make is that the quality of communicating has taken a dive and now hovers just above that of the sounds of a bad cold. Since folks have the idea that they can access anyone at any time about anything, the average call/text has become less efficient and informational. And why not? When someone knows that they can contact you ANY time, ANY where, via any gadget, there is no pressure to supply complete and concise information when leaving a message. Heck, they can always give you the whole skinny on your call-back later that evening. Very convenient for the communicator. And a very big pain the the sports-writer for the communicatee.
Our lives have become so dependent on a technology that supplies digital communications, that I shudder to think what might happen if, for only one day, the only source of communication was the standard, wired, sitting-on-the-kitchen-counter, telephone. The rock-heavy black one with the rotary dial. Think about that for a moment. That, and the post office, for the love of God.
I really don't know if this is making sense to any of you. But, the next time you're out and about, get your nose out of your own damn phone for a minute, pay attention and see if I'm completely off the mark. Is Jack Hoff is just a whiny old fart? Or not so old?
by Jackson Hoff