Confluence Chronicles-Where City & Country Meet 8-10-09 | TheFencePost.com

Confluence Chronicles-Where City & Country Meet 8-10-09

It is strange how technology has changed us. I’ve been encouraged, especially by a handful of high school classmates, to sign up for Facebook. Their reason? It will help us to stay in touch better and to find out what everyone is doing. For years we used the telephone to talk to those who live away while we actually had face to face conversations with locals. Then we graduated to e-mail which most use but not all were agreeable to having their addresses publicized. At least that was what they said, but in truth, most classmates from 40 years ago really don’t care to keep in touch.

Then there is Twitter, which I understand is brief versions of moment to moment events. One can write no more than 140 characters in a message, which is called a “tweet.” I am convinced, however, it should be referred to as a “twit.” Like Facebook, the hype to sign up is intense but can be ignored.

Blogs (short for Web Log) are supposed to be added to nearly every day to be effective. Why? Supposedly each of us do so many interesting activities in our day-to-day lives that others cannot wait to read what we’ve done with our time. Perhaps the readers do not have enough to do if the highlight of their day is to read that I spent more than an hour in the middle of the night rough drafting a column. Not to mention I would have to use my time to enter information into a blog so others could use their time to read it. Their time and mine can be put to better uses.

Even e-mail, which I do use and is handy for writers and other business people, is still so impersonal. These devices are all touted as a grand improvement, but nothing beats face-to-face contact. I’m told that in offices people e-mail each other in their cubicles or between offices that are next door. Attempting to support their theory that e-mail is great for such communication, they point out that e-mails leave a “paper trail” of everything that is said, and a verbal conversation does not. Factually that may be true, but the importance of watching the nuances of someone’s facial expressions as they converse cannot be overcome. Human contact is needed!

The cell phone is useful around the ranch and farm and I appreciate that technology. Many years ago we tried the two-way radios and they were not successful in our situation. Cells have saved all of us miles and hours since our work is spread out over several tracts of land. Personally, I consider them to be safety devices. Breaking down and needing assistance or being injured makes having a cell along a tremendous advantage. My favorite vision is of a horseback cowboy using his cell phone. He may be making a date or talking to his commodities broker, yet he has combined doing things the conventional way with the new technology, making use of his time on both counts.

Peggy’s Internet latchstring is always out via peggy@peggysanders.com.