May I show my age and ramble a bit?
Recently I have been amazed at how instant communications are a part of my every moment. This past week when a nasty virus attacked my home computer, I felt the withdrawal pains. The adage about not appreciating something until you are without it hit home (literally). I felt more bored than out of touch as my Blackberry kept me connected with business and the internet to some degree, but that tiny screen annoyed me. I found myself reflecting on how much technology has advanced communications.
Many years ago I recall aborting a mission in Southeast Asia where our aircraft lost communications, while flying very near hostile air space. Upon our return to safety, I saw live coverage on my black and white television of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. While I swelled with pride, I must admit that I envied his communications equipment. Without accurate and timely communications, we are left to wonder and make assumptions that may not serve us well.
In my early years as a CPA, we used pink message slips, usually a stack of them, to relay messages. The fax machine brought us into the 20th Century, as we were now able to send copies of documents to our clients, providing they were not too large. Now we can scan images instantly. Or we can attach documents to emails and forward, leaving the fax machine as a near obsolete office product.
And let’s reflect a moment on the telephone. My earliest memories are that my parents had a “party line” with the neighbors across the street. Our phone number actually began with a word which was “Kimble”. Today my adult children do not even have a land line telephone. And my 11 year old granddaughter has reminded her father that she is the “only” child in her youth group that does not have a cell phone. Where I used to have one telephone number for my home and one for the office, I now have an office number, a private office number, a cell phone number, an 800 number, a fax number for the upstairs office, a fax number for the down stairs office, a cell phone number for my wife and probably one or two more that I cannot recall.
And when was the last time that we prepared a hand written letter? The “snail mail” is so slow…a good excuse. My mother will still writes from time to time and it brings back fond memories of times she wrote me, when I was away from home as a young man. My last letter home to my mother from Southeast Asia in 1970 is now a historical document as part of the collection at the University of South Carolina Library. Today we may get certain holiday cards with hand written notes, but writing a letter is perhaps an art that is fading.
So with all the developments in my lifetime, it makes me wonder what the communications world will look like 50 years from now…or even 5 years from now.
Oh yes, my daughter told me to get a Mac, as they are not as prone to the long list of viruses that are floating around the internet. Perhaps she will give me her old Mac, if and when she upgrades! Hint. Hint…if she is reading my blog.
Blogger: Charles ‘Eddie’ Brown, CPA