Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Who Needs Verbal Communication Anyway?

(2017/03...) - It's something often written/commented on - but the reality of sitting next to someone who only - grudgingly - talks to the person they are actually working next to (and with - on occasion), but picks up their bloody micro-computer ("smartphone") every 30 seconds or so to exchange messages with people far away... is quite depressing.  And so to do something about the frustration/irritation, I've (what else?) turned to the computer in front of me to write this.  I can't talk to the people I'm actually *with*, so (naturally) [sarcasm?] I turn to the wires to hopefully communicate with someone out there - somewhere - looking at this on their computer screen.
..... Yeah... it's so depressing, that I've already run out of things to say.  That's it - above.  Ah, an accent to my communication blues today was another work colleague who (out of the blue) said today how wonderful technology is.  "Just think..." they enthused, "thirty years ago, people couldn't do all the wonderful things we do with computers now!".
   True enough, and I like computer technology myself, but just as its dark side is becoming more visible (and/or harder to ignore), I can't start myself bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm about how wonderful computers are today - in March of 2017.  But I need to cut my colleague some slack.  When you first become aware of being able to do things (via a computer) that you didn't think you could do, it *is* exciting.  Still the always-texting, never-talking biped sitting next to me depresses me - a lot.
   I thought I was finished, but there's that theme of people only reading the news (or propaganda masquerading as the news) they want to see, and so it is with text between friends.  With distance being no issue (for text), why bother talking with the person next to you when you could be spending that time exchanging text with an old friend on the other side of the planet?  (Said half seriously and half in sarcasm....)

Update:  Fast-forward to June 2017....  I had decided not to post the above, but over the months, and very much so today, the young person constantly texting with people via her bloody smartphone is irritating me all over again.  I remember back in... 1997 I think it was, when I was walking down the street (on my way to the station), I passed a couple of young people walking side-by-side, but talking with someone far away on their cell phones.  I thought then, have thought over the years, and continue to think today, that it's rude and kind of stupid to ignore the people you are actually with in favor of people far away (via computers).  But... that's the world we live in I guess.
   And - an interesting thing - now that I'm writing behind the back of the person sitting at the next desk to me (but a million miles away in all respects other than physical), suddenly, by talking to you (hello computer screen buddies!) with her out-of-the-loop, suddenly I don't feel as bad about her continually poking her smartphone screen in text communication with people I don't know.  So there it is - we snub each other by talking with others via the screen - and suddenly everything is okay?  Well... things feel a *little* better.  Her bloody smartphone and thumb entry of little blurbs back and forth with someone is *still* bloody irritating!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon