When is too much, too much?

November 5th, 2009    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Opinion

We are definitely living the the information technology age and it has its good points and bad points. Growing up in the snail mail and low tech world of the 50s and 60s it has been difficult and quite a stretch for me to adjust.

I’ve seen lots of comparisons between the old and the new. I just want to add my two cents worth, for whatever it’s worth.

I was talking to a lady today whose son is off to college. He’s away from home for the first time and she says he often calls her between classes. He just wants to hear a friendly voice from home. She said she remembered that it was costly when she went off to college and called her parents. That was before cell phones made it cheaper and easier to make long-distance calls.

That conversation reminded me of the days when my boyfriend (now my husband) was in the Marine Corps serving in Vietnam. There was no way to communicate except through the postal system. I sent letters to him on a daily basis and he said he often received a pile of letters at one time. The letters I received from him were often delivered two weeks after they were sent from the jungle. The only time that we spoke to one another was when he was on R&R in Hong Kong and that phone conversation lasted about five minutes. Back in 1968 it was really expensive to call the US from China.

Things had improved somewhat when my son joined the Marines and was stationed on a ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean. That was about 12 years ago and we could e-mail one another on a regular basis. It was nice to keep in touch with him using my computer.

When my nephew was in Iraq last year, his mom could chat with him face to face on her computer and she received calls on a regular basis from his cell phone.

I consider all this technology a blessing when I recall how much time I spent worrying about Don in Vietnam. In those days, if it was bad news, you heard about it quicker than if it was good news. His parents received a telegram within hours when he was sent to a hospital ship because he had malaria.

The old saying that bad news travels fast applied to the olden days, not today. All news travels fast today and things that aren’t even news at all travel fast these days.

I am referring to the latest technology that says whatever you are thinking should be posted on the internet for everyone to know. Regardless of whether anybody cares what you think about a given topic. It is to the point of ridiculous these days.

Why do people think that every move they make should be twittered? Who really cares?

I admit that I am on facebook, but everytime I decide not to log on anymore, I get a message that one of my long-lost cousins or a friend from by-gone days wants me to be their friend and I’m hooked all over again.

To my way of thinking, Facebook has a place as a way to keep in touch with family who live in other towns, friends out of state and it’s a great way to share photos. Beyond that, I have a problem with it. I don’t really think that most people care what I am doing at any given moment. Example: I’m doing my laundry and just matched up a pair of socks that have been separated for months. Who cares? That information, to me, is too much information.

I have another beef with too much info and that involves those who cannot put their iphone or laptop down while having a conversation with someone. Let’s get back to concentrating on the moment we are in and quit worrying about what everyone else is doing or the need to share a thought that popped into your head.

It seems to me that we need to develop some sort of IT etiquette which involves putting the IT down and living in the moment. All I’m asking for is uninterrupted conversation, is that too much to ask for?

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