Thursday 14 October 2010

One woman's meat is another man's poison.

It's raining and so I have put off again checking the boat battery bank. So I had a good read of various other canal boat blogs today. I think we bloggers all spend some time reading our own favourite boating and non boating blogs. Often we gain some inspiration from reading other blogs to generate tomorrows posting. Occasionally we come across an article covering a subject we have written about, that has a different or opposing viewpoint to our own. Today, was one of those days.

Sue on Nb Chertsea writes in her blog, Don't call me....... And I won't call you either.  (You can read it the full text by clicking the link) Sue writes a piece which has a different view to my own on the subject of modern communications. A subject that I touched on a few blog pages back.

Sue says "For maybe seventy years, the phone was a necessary evil. But now, thanks to email and the wonders of SMS, it simply isn't necessary any more." The problem is that SMS (simple message system) is reliant  on mobile-phones to work.  What's more SMS is also available on our land-line. So its not such a clear cut distinction after all.

The gist of Sue's posting is that text messages and email are a good thing. That maybe acceptable in her particular circumstances. However, I would contend that we do live in a joined up world, but increasingly we live our "joined up lives" in isolation behind a computer screen. Emails often replace the normal day-to-day contact with people in the same building. Replacing even a simple walk along the corridor and a normal conversation. Our children seem to be unable to hold a normal eye-to-eye conversation amongst their peer group. Unless it it is through the medium of a mobile phone or SMS text message. What's more worrying is that a mobile phone is now considered to be an essential part of our children's school equipment.

Sue continues "The visual cues which contribute so much to communication are totally absent. Now, I know this is also true of written communication, but the thing is, we know that's not a conversation; we approach it differently and make allowances for its inadequacies."

Yet we have technology like Skype, which offers a visual link for the visual cues. A system that can stitch together, our voice and the video from a web-cam. Even the news which is presented from far distant regions of the Earth in just this way. 

Sue continues "A phone conversation on the other hand, is merely an inadequate conversation, an emasculated, shadow of one."

I would contend that an inadequate conversation is better than no conversation. Our children use "Text" to communicate even though it has a limited character count. They now use the same principal to communicate with a limited character count when they "Tweet".  Young people are conditioned in this way, that they now feel the need to text and have phone conversations whilst driving, risking their life and the lives of others.

Here we both are, Sue and myself, blog writing an open ended communication, intended for a readership group of unknown individuals. Individuals who may or may not read or pass comment on the content. We strive to elucidate our viewpoint, because we don't understand the background of the readership other than an interest in blogs or canal boats. If we had both been brought up and educated in the culture of the "Tweet" and "Text" would we have the life skill and understanding to be able to put across our point. The paradox is, that at the same time we are not diametrically opposed in our views.


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