Lonelier Than Ever

My childhood was spent on a dairy farm in Los Angeles County. Telephones were still luxuries. It was a big deal when we got a four-party line (yes! four households shared the same line). Phone bandwidth was expensive. Only the wealthy had private lines. On Sundays friends and neighbors would drop in on each other unannounced. In those days, existence had a more tangible personal feel to it. Phones became cheap; and the Internet made communication faster and even cheaper. Today we send messages everywhere on Earth at a moment’s notice. But, are we closer now than the neighbors who knocked at each other’s doors on Sunday for a visit? Are we getting more “free time” by flooding each other with more email and cell phone messages? I don’t think so. In fact, I suspect that we are now lonelier and more confused. We think we’re more connected – but spend more time skimming massive quantities of messages and images coming to our computers screens, cell phones, portable audio headsets, televisions, and radios everywhere. Less and less time, do we spend face-to-face with each other.