Sunday, 21 March 2010

Staying in touch was never so easy, sadly!

This is kind of dangerous isn't it? I mean the whole keeping in touch via the internet. It used to be that once you lost touch - that was it. Other than going to the embassy and sending out private detectives, if we lost each other we had to pray that we both made, and kept, that appointment to meet on January 2nd, 2001 in Trafalgar Square at 11.15am. By the way, I was there - where were you?
Now it's impossible to lose anyone - except perhaps ourselves. Infact, we could lose ourselves while staying in touch with everyone we know. Scary but possible.
Last week, thanks to this marvelous technology, I made one person happy and pissed one person off. The person I made happy was: myself. I did this by finding a long lost friend.
The person I pissed off is another dear friend (who may wish they were long lost by me right now but) who will remain nameless. I'm going with the philosophy that says: if you wish to keep your integrity, you can tell the name of the sinner, or you can tell the sin, but never both.
My chosen method of causing a friend's blood pressure to rise? I failed to respond to an email within 24 hours on saturday. The dearfriendemailsender was seriously pissed off. A word of background here: I found myself floating in London for a few days without computer but with a rather rusty old phone that I bought second hand from Shakespeare - read: it does not have emailing capabilities. Hence when I didn't check my email for 48 hours I was out of touch with the whole world. My point is this: other than the fact that I obviously need to renounce my tape recorder and pager and join "the future" - when did we get so impatient? I blame the humble text. Nothing has changed communication like the text message. OK, other than, the tower of Babel, the railways, the talking drum, the telephone, the internet and the invention of therapy -nothing else has changed communication like the text message. It is utterly and completely sudden as a form of communication. We read so much into the speed of people's responses, perhaps more than we read the substance. It makes me wish that my dear pissed off friend had chosen to text instead of email.
We live in a time when you can find everyone, all the time (except me when I'm on Shakespeare's phone).
Another way of saying this is that you can't lose anyone.
But we do have a choice. Yes or no to the "friend request". Not checking email for 2 days.
Chosing not to look up pictures of our exes, hoping to find that one photo where they have regret in their eyes becomes kindness to oneself. Alfred Hitchcock believed that 9 out of 10 people, when they saw a neighbour undressing through the window of the house opposite, would keep looking. Human nature. Now, with a little more effort and a lot less chance of being caught, we can find our neighbours/exes and look at their lives through the window of our computers. Hitchcock was right.
This week, I'm going to give the things I want get: patience and kindness.
By the way, Jim - if you're reading this, you owe me an espresso chocolate chip brownie.


  1. Sometimes I think people today are too connected by technology. I do check my e-mail and blog daily, but I still don't keep my cell phone turned on unless I know I'll be getting an important call. lol If your friend is a true friend, he/she will understand.

  2. I've lapsed into the pleasant habit of checking my main email account only once every week to 10 days, and sometimes it runs even longer than that. This pisses people off no end, but I wonder just when the wonder of communication became an obligation. It's my email, after all, and I'll check it when I'm ready to check it...

    Is that crotchety? I think that was probably crotchety. So it goes.

    Some of it is just exhaustion over time. I was on email fairly early, starting in late '94, and I remember when every message that came in was one we actually wanted to read. Now I can delete pages of notifications, spam, and mailing-list news without missing anything of interest.

  3. Why can't we all take a step back and sloooooow down a bit, relax, get out of the loop.Most people seem to end up being slaves to technology rather than being in control, so that now you have to make a concerted effort if you want to stop being bombarded by spurious amounts of mostly unwanted garbage.
    Having said that, keep those blogs coming, Sylvie.

  4. Thanks for the thoughts everyone - my latest worry is being owned by my mobile phone. I bought it but IT seems to be running the show here. I'm like Pavlov's dogs - I run whenever it rings! Sigh. Ah well, awareness is the first step to recovery, right? :o)