There is a topic I want to address which is more on the serious side, though I haven't figured out how to best approach it...so once again I need to let it marinate, and sit for a while. Till it's ready, let me tell you about something a little more confusing, and slightly unnerving! As I am often reminded in the most unusual ways, people continue to amaze me. I was heading home from work and driving on the ramp to the highway, as I got stuck behind a man who was weaving all over the road, and driving in fits and starts...at first I thought something must be wrong with his car, till I caught a glimpse of his phone propped upon the steering wheel as he furiously texted someone a message. I've heard of people who text while driving, but haven't ever seen it before...I couldn't believe it! So I start yelling at him, "STOP IT!! Put the damn phone down and stop texting before you KILL US ALL!!!!" until it struck me that he actually couldn't HEAR me. So I ask you, dear readers...who's the most ridiculous??
After I got far away from his car and was able to calm down, I had a good laugh at myself. And then I started thinking...I must be pretty old fashioned. Not that I think texting while you are driving a car is EVER a good idea, or that it's a goal to strive for...I just don't get the whole texting thing in general. I've talked before about the world being too fast, as everyone is always in such a hurry...I often feel like I can't keep up. But it's more than that...I'm still a person who prefers to write letters, and receiving one is like a present. I remember a time when a friend sent me an eight-page letter, and it was like I'd won the lottery! But I find myself straying away from this task, mostly because I'm not sure anyone else really cares for the practice of letter writing anymore. E-mail's quicker, so that's mostly what I do now...but I miss the stories. I like communication that takes more than 30 seconds, and sharing that consists of more than just quick, abbreviated sentences. I like opening up the mailbox and seeing more than sales magazines and heating bills...something I can sink my teeth into as I get a glimpse into a friend's life. And if you've ever seen my attempt to actually text someone, well...let's just say it's an effort in futility. I have to search for the letters, and I pretty much spell EVERY word out, because that's how I learned them...and I just can't break the habit! I have yet to figure out all the abbreviations people use these days other than LOL, but I'll refrain from even typing them--because I'm still not sure if I'm saying something bad.
At least this blog allows me to discuss any topic I wish, and I get to spell out all the words! It's almost like writing letters to friends, as a lot of them actually log on and read my posts. I can laugh, cry, vent...even yell, about anything I want to. And there's no one standing behind me, tapping their foot with impatience...I am on no one's clock to produce a story in less than a minute, and even though these posts are written within the world of technology, there is no need to shorten my words and sentences. Though what worries me are the future generations. I have a fear that we are creating a country of people who are pulling away from the details of language in exchange for the quicker abbreviations...and they are missing hidden nuances of subtle humor, and the complicated emotions you can achieve within a simple sentence. More often than not I see children reading their friend's text messages, rather than reading books...even in the library. And words have POWER...the power to evoke the senses and draw caring and empathy from the hardest of hearts. There is so much time spent on improving our technology and creating the latest and the greatest, that sometimes I feel our language gets lost in the shuffle. And I believe that one of our biggest strengths is our ability to communicate...the biggest and most needed changes can be achieved through words, and those words can move mountains!
As we continue to progress in this world, new technology and new innovations that lie at our fingertips are very hard to resist...and we shouldn't resist them. They are important and have their place, and as people, we should always strive to move forward and continue to stretch our imaginations to the limit. From my own little corner of the world I have managed to reach people with this blog, through more than just a simple written letter...not just across the country, but around the world as well. And I have raised more awareness for CMT than I ever thought possible! That is proof of the usefulness of technology, and the growth of progress. Though at the same time it is also important not to forget the 'ways of old' such as the power within words and the art of communication...for those have served me well, combining nicely with the technology of today. And these old fashioned tools also stretch our imaginations, make us think and dream, and continue to create powerful change. So once in a while, put the phone down...for goodness sakes, at least put it down in the car! And whenever you can, encourage your children to do the same. Pick up a book--or even better, pick up a pen...and write a letter to someone close to you, if for no other purpose than to make them 'laugh out loud'. It may seem a lot slower than what many of us have become used to, and pretty simple in the grand scheme of things...though I guarantee you will all be better for it!