This happened a few years ago, when people kept their computers out of the way of the rest of the house, like a shopvac or an inflatable mattress. If you needed it, you'd go use it, but it wasn't a day-to-day thing.
My son Riley (who was named that when it was only a boy’s name, not a girl’s or a dog’s) wanted to ask his friend Matt (which was always also the name of a thing you put in front of your door, but with one less t) about the plan for the weekend.
Since it involved me driving Riley to Matt’s house, or not, I was keenly interested. Also, Riley was in a growth phase where his attendance at dinner made a real difference in how much hamburger got thawed. Here’s the crazy thing I said to my son, “why don’t you call him?”
Riley looked at me like I’d said, “why don’t you telegraph him?” and replied, “I’ll go see if he’s on-line” which was a reference to an early form of instant messaging. To do this, Riley would go to the basement, dial up the dial up, which meant using our one phone line, and hope that Matt had done the same at his house some 25 minutes away.
I held the phone in my hand and said, “Here is the phone. It’s a fine phone. You can call him right now and we’ll know what’s up, like, right now.” And Riley, not a particularly rebellious kid in any other way, would not do it. Just wouldn’t.
We were at a generational communication impasse. I don’t recall how it ended up, but that scenario has played out time and time again in the years since. Wherever your cutting edge is right now, there’s somebody farther out on the blade. I don’t mean your feelings, or the actual content of any given communication, I mean the means.
Someone is talking to someone else through a chip inserted somewhere horrifying and they’re talking about how out of it we are. We can fight it. Amish people do and they have awesome furniture.
But we should probably look into getting the chips inserted.
For almost 30 years, Dan Taylor has created humor cards for Hallmark. He's also written books, mugs, t-shirts, pretty much anything that would hold still to get words put on it. He has been outrageously successful and is universally loved. He has recently taken up writing biographical information in the third person.