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Life In General

Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We Are Going

Man oh man, have things changed over the last 20 years. I remember going off to Green Mountain College with one of those Brother word processors. You remember the kind, with a detached printer and those three inch floppy disks?! Essentially, that little word processor was barely a step above a typewriter with the major difference being liquid correction fluid wasn’t needed. Not to mention a shared pay phone in the hallway to make outside calls and getting my first e-mail address around my senior year. It wasn’t so long ago in my memory.

Man oh man, have things changed over the last 20 years. I remember going off to Green Mountain College with one of those Brother word processors. You remember the kind, with a detached printer and those three inch floppy disks?! Essentially, that little word processor was barely a step above a typewriter with the major difference being liquid correction fluid wasn’t needed. Not to mention a shared pay phone in the hallway to make outside calls and getting my first e-mail address around my senior year. It wasn’t so long ago in my memory.

Now days we’ve got Windows, Linux and, of course, Mac (my preferred operating system and hardware source). On every system we’ve got all kinds of jazzy programs available that are capable of creating the most complex and creative documents. Whether you want to insert pictures or delete a block of text just a push of a button will do the job. I remember teaching myself PageMaker in the GMC art building and creating my first page layout and JEG business card! (This is how JEG started! Circa 1996....)

Add to all this technological innovation the information highway and even the most inquisitive person can have their curiosity satisfied. A world of information is at our fingertips, literally! How exciting and yet used in the wrong way all of this technology can be quite destructive, isolating and just plain lonely. Don't forget we now have the ability to self-diagnose our every symptom and issue!

Take, for example, all the social media that has come to dominate our hands and eyes. One can hardly walk down the street without seeing several people with phone in hand and their head down. Whether we’re texting, talking and walking or checking our e-mail, we hardly look at each other anymore. I know that it’s efficient but I don’t know if it’s better.

Let’s face it sometimes a phone call is more efficient that typing an e-mail pressing send and waiting for a response. Over and over again this email exchange will happen when a simple phone call might have taken just a few minutes. What’s more email robs us all of the opportunity to get to know someone new or get to know someone better.

I’m not saying we should abandon e-mail altogether but a blend of telephone conversing with perhaps and e-mail to confirm the conversation would bring us back together. Conversing, joking and wishing one another “have a great day!” It’s something to think about… later after I respond to and e-mail or two or three.

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