It used to be that letters were the only form of long distance communication. People wrote to each other, actually sat down with pen and paper, and poured out their love, their loss, their problems, their joys and announcements, before folding each bit of paper up and placing it into an envelope with a stamp, and putting it in a mail box. After a period of some days or weeks, the letter would arrive at the other end, and the person would take delivery of the letter. It would evoke such excitement, or trepidation, or love, or sadness, even before reading those words. And then, because it was the only option, that person who received the letter would sit down almost immediately and write back with their response, and it would travel by horse or man or van or ship, back to the original writer.
But now, it's as if it's too much effort to put pen to paper, to fold the written sheet and place it in an envelope, too expensive to buy a stamp to send it on it's way via a mailbox. Too much effort, no more "sealed with a kiss".
Then technology moved on, and suddenly, the home computer became popular, and with it email. Suddenly, writing letters was made almost obsolete, because Now! Now you could really communicate! With so much more speed. Typing out the body of the email, carefully choosing the address you wished to send it to (because sending to anyone else would be embarrassing!) and with a simple *click* you sent it on it's way. Within hours, it was received, and responded to, with writing, with pictures, with files. The Works.
But now, it seems as if the email is too much to type, as if no one has the energy left to consolidate their thoughts into coherent words, too much effort to get anyone's email, or to move the mouse to click "send".
Now we have "social media". Facebook, where you can spill your thoughts as much as you like in a online forum, because it's so much more "cool" and has way more instant gratification than an email. But people can't be bothered to make two clicks, to open the chat function, to find an old friend who's online at the same time, and to click on their name for a live chat, not even for five minutes. And Twitter? That is a far cry from letter writing, 140 characters of garbled, shortened words, used for advertising and slogans and disjointed thoughts, and the frustration as you try to compress complex human thought into a single, short sentence.
And phones! What have we done to the humble telephone? That clever device that used to hang in the kitchen, which allowed you to call and talk to anyone you wanted, provided they picked up at the other end. We would spend hours on the phone, chatting away to our friends, our relatives. We've computerized it, and put it in our pockets, and now we have voice mails, and texting, and people who can't even be bothered to say something to the person across the table, choosing to send truncated replies to shallow, meaningless comments on our mobiles.
The demise of the letter, the short life of the personal email, the reduction of human thought into basic forms, the disconnection between human beings who no longer speak face to face...
The human race is no longer expressing itself. It's no longer moving forward emotionally or mentally. It's fallen into a trap, a maze of interrupted corridors leading nowhere, giving the illusion of free choice, the sensation that we are getting somewhere. No, we are not.
We're failing to communicate.