9/6/04

The Connected Generation

This generation is more "connected" than any other in our history. That statement deserves a "Well, duh!" Or at least a big, "Yes, so what's your point?" I mean, it is obvious. But, I thought about this as we sent our 3rd child off to college.

First, mobile phone plans make it so easy to stay in touch by telephone. "Long distance" rates are meaningless to those who have a bunch of "anytime minutes" and "unlimited" long distance phoning at nights and on weekends. In addition to that is text messaging and phone-to-Internet e-mail.

Next, we have live Internet chat, complete with voice and video. It doesn't replace an "in person" visit, but when I was in college (here it comes, reminiscences from an old guy), we didn't have e-mail, except to others users ... on the same mainframe. To connect with parents and friends we used postal mail and long distance phone calls, when we could afford them.

Another example... as I was writing this, a friend came on line. She's a missionary in Africa. Postal mail works most of the time. But, message turn-around is slow. (Another friend is a missionary in Ukraine. Postal mail works half the time. It is not very efficient.) But, Internet with voice and video work just fine, and when it doesn't work you immediately know about it.

A small world gets smaller.

No comments: