As communication frequency and the constant need to reach out and touch someone increased, answering machines provided an invaluable service, ensuring you would not miss even one precious call.
But somewhere down the telephone line, things changed.
Communication has crossed the line from thrilling to annoying and on to downright frightening.
We have come a long way since Bell’s first telephone call 134 years ago. And as we all know, with the advent of the Internet, the amount of information available is increasing exponentially—doubling at least every 18 months. As a result, we’re expected to absorb and respond to more information than ever before.
Maybe too much.
Many of us find it difficult to stay afloat in the flood—we feel as though we’re drowning in a sea of text messages, voice mails and emails, always on duty like Lt. Uhura while struggling to find time for more important tasks, like sleeping and eating.
And we are never alone because new technology makes information available and communication possible everywhere and at all times. But then again, we don’t want to be alone, because there’s always a friend and family fix, or an iPhone app able to supply instant gratification at the touch of a button.
Now, that precious message-capturing device is but a screen behind which we hide; the Blackberry—our only reliable link to friends, family and schedule.
But the ease and frequency of communicating in this day and age has cheapened the whole process. Some people ignore each cell phone ring and requests for an email reply, regressing back to the time of pony express for all practical purposes. These victims of information/communication overload have retreated to bury their heads in the soothing sands of silence.
It’s ironic that we have reached a point where we can send a signal to space and back in a matter of seconds, but we just don’t want to pick up anymore. The inundation of a universe of information and communication coming at us at the speed of light has seemingly spawned a big black hole of non-responsiveness.
But who can blame us?
I have 2,010 emails waiting for me in my inbox right now.
So, I understand. I really do.