Communication in a world obsessed with Technology

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How did we manage?

How did we manage?

Last Saturday I was running out the door to head into the big metropolis that is Cork City. My parting words to my house mate were “give me a call about lunch” and grabbing my bag and car keys I headed to the city. It was only when I had parked that I realised I have forgotten my phone. How was I supposed to contact my friend?

There are very few numbers I know by heart anymore but my fathers is one I do have. Making my way to a payphone, now there’s something I haven’t used in a while, I put in a €1 coin (the minimum fee, I remember when it was 50 cent). I got my sister’s number from him but pressing the FC (follow call) button didn’t allow me to make another call. I had to insert another €1 coin. My sister then gave me the number of her friend who is a sister of my housemate (are you still with me?) Another phone call to her, another €1 spent. She wasn’t answering………………..

Off I trundled down the street thinking to myself how did I manage before my mobile? This was a time when people made arrangements and stuck to them. There were none of these texts saying “I’m five minutes away” when the person hasn’t even left yet. Still, pondering these notions wasn’t going to get me out of the pickle I was in, that of contacting my friend who now thought I was missing in action.

It was a beautiful day in Cork and as I walked down the street I bumped into a friend of mine. I told him about my little conundrum and he immediately offered me the use of his phone. Delighted to be holding  a mobile again I rang my housemate’s sister again, no answer. Thanking my friend I left him with instructions that if a girl called Julie rang, it was me contacting her to get my friend Kerry’s number.

Off I went around town doing normal Saturday things, looking for a friend’s birthday present, buying newspapers, that kind of thing.  I decided to try Julie one more time. I saw another payphone and headed toward it pen and notebook in hand to find the elusive number I was looking for. I did get a few strange looks from people, probably wondering why I didn’t use my mobile.

I slotted another €1 coin into the phone box and this time she answered. The phone hadn’t been serviced in so long that it was difficult for us to understand each other but eventually I got the number. I hung up and dialled Kerry’s number, success! Luckily Kerry found my phone and agreed to bring it to town when she was coming in for lunch. We arranged to meet at a particular place at a particular time. Possibly something we should have done in the first place.

It made me think that technology might be hindering our communication process. Sometimes, having all of this technology confuses us into sending about ten text messages when a quick phone call and arrangement might do. It also made me realise how dependent we now are on our mobile phones. So much so that eircom are phasing out their telephone boxes.  (if this happens I don’t know what I’ll  do if I forget my phone again)

Still, I was delighted to get my hands back on my phone. It did make me think about making proper plans the next time rather than a vague “text me” attitude. I’ll certainly be more careful next time and I’ll certainly communicate the human way..with words and not texts.

Rant over!

Doreen

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