Flashback to Christmas Day in
. Upstairs a flurry of activity (which I am studiously avoiding) indicates that dinner of regal proportions of forthcoming. My brother sleeps on the couch. My sister-in-law has provided me with a glass of rose champagne and I’m hiding in the downstairs family room with this scene behind me. Denver Colorado
Are they related? Do they love each other? Do they even like each other? Do they only see each other once a year? Yes to all of the above but in this techno world they’re hooked up to earbuds and headphones (now so old school they’re back again) watching movies on newly received Kindle Fires and iPads and listening to music on iPod-nano watches. Am I even speaking English anymore?
I could delve into the implications of a generation that knows each other through Facebook (one niece was given an account as her greatest wish for Christmas. By she had sent me a FB invite and by had over 60 friends). And yet…and yet. They play hide and seek, laugh and elbow each other, shriek over old photos of their parents and beg to be told stories about their parents’ misspent youth. Isolation and togetherness.
For some of us it’s all right- I sat and typed away, comfortable in my own head but for others it’s profoundly discomfiting. My mother moved from room to room asking questions and wanting to interact but not only unable to understand the technology but uninterested. What she really wanted was someone to sit and talk to her about their deepest thoughts and feelings. For people like her there is no substitute for the human voice.
Is this shift better or worse? Will this generation be able to truly connect with each other and the world at large? Or, like lovely penmanship, is talking going to become an antiquated form of communication? Will personal isolation become the norm and all socializing be done online? The clack of keys replacing conversation?
Asked as she typed this post while her husband cooked nearby listening to a podcast…