How much more advantageous is it living in this century or even this decade? It’s funny, the movie You’ve Got Mail was just brought up during dinner and we were talking about how it was the advent of e-mail when it came out. And then the subject of telegrams came up and it’s notable to me how the first thing that came into my mind was the messaging software instead of the telegraphy technology that’s been a popular mode of communication during the time of my grandparents.
I even had to ask my mom what a telegram was. Should I be ashamed? The way she explained it, it seemed almost like a beeper, where you had to abbreviate words because it won’t fit the space allotted for the message. My sister and I both chimed in and said, “Oh, so it’s like a postcard.” My mom just agreed.
When we were younger, my parents would send us postcards of when they’d be traveling for a few weeks to a month, but we’d often get it when they’re already home. It’s a fun little thing to remember. Most of these just stay in my head, as of course it’s so much harder to keep physical letters. They’ve probably been thrown away now. These things are just considered trash nowadays, in this Marie Kondo era.
This takes me to the fact that I still have boxes of letters here in my room, from retreats, friends, random exchanges with people. It’s fun to read these letters actually. I still keep cards from Christmas or birthday gifts that are given me. I think it’s great to remember people’s kindness and generosity towards me, albeit the fact that it just takes up space and is often considered garbage.
Wow, just in writing this, I’m realizing how much of a hoarder I am. I have about 256GB on my phone and most of it is used up. I haven’t erased photos from as long as seven years ago, the first time I ever got an iPhone. And it has served me, mind you – sometimes I’d go back to certain memories and get the picture on my phone that would prove their truth. I’m often able to trace specific instances and get to the picture that would validate my memory.
The way more meaningful communication can be transmitted now, and even stored… has it made us have deeper connections? I see how the younger generations can’t stand to be away from their phones, can’t leave it out of the dinner table, can’t even look a person in the eye when conversing and leave the phone out for a good few hours. It has to be checked. The notifications have to all be attended to. It’s almost like the little box is more important than the person we’re actually in the flesh with and able to commune with as deeply as we possibly could. It’s ironic – more capacity in the smallest of gadgets, yet things are devoid of any real and lasting meaning now. And this is what most people choose, every single day.
I know this opinion’s been stated quite a number of times over popular culture. But it’s such a worthwhile question, especially now that physical contact isn’t as accessible as we want it to be and we’re all craving for it – or at least I know I am. Will people’s attitudes shift towards giving others undivided attention more now? When the old ways of being and living return, will what was lost be regarded with the value it always deserved from the beginning?