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Pining and Opining

Remember going to the grocery store in the good old days before cell phones came around? You'd go with a list, and if you forgot something, or weren't sure about which kind of dealy-bob to get, you'd finish your trip only to get home and discover you forgot something, or got the wrong dealy-bob. Alas though, you did have one last resort to save yourself from a disappointing return home. If you were particularly quick-thinking and had some spare change, you could insert that change into the nearest pay phone. Maybe the phone would let you place your call, or maybe it wouldn't. One thing was certain though -- you'd never see that change again.

Nowadays, you can't get through a trip to the grocery store without seeing at least five people engaged in a cell phone conversation. Of those five, one will have a wireless ear piece and appear to be talking to themselves. You'll tell me it's progress and technology, and that it's marvelous. I'll agree with you and I'll go so far to say that the cell phone is a significant technological achievement that has revolutionized the way we communicate. That doesn't mean progress. The erosion of etiquette is not progress. The decrease and avoidance of face-to-face interaction is not progress. And the ability to be "more connected" with colleagues and bosses is not progress when it means there's less personal time for enjoying life. If that's progress, ship me off to any year before 1973 and let me stay there.


  1. Good Comments, Rob - I didn't know about 1973 - that was the year we got married.

    I thought progress was cutting down trees and building parking lots.

  2. Your comment reminded me of the lyrics from a John Prine song:

    "Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel... And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land... Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken...
    Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man."

    The song is called "Paradise", and Johnny Cash actually does a cover of it. It's on the CD I sent you for Father's day. Give it a listen again, it's a great song!


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