Around Communication in 80 Years

23 May

Mom, Aunt Honey and I on our way to the Dance Along Nutcracker - 2009

I recently sat down with my Great-Aunt Honora and had a discussion about the present state of communication and her perspective on how things have changed over the past many decades. Aunt Honey, as we call her, is a very fun character – in her early 80’s she is full of vibrancy with a passion for parties. While she may not be much of one for computers, her interest in them stopped once she learned how to create fliers, she is incredibly up to date on the latest news from the tech and media worlds.

What do you see as the big change in the way people communicate now, as opposed to when you were in your 20’s?

I think there is a big difference in the composure of a conversation that is being had when your at home and seated and very intentionally taking or making a phone call versus if you are on a call-on-the-go or if you’re texting someone. I think people are more likely to say things which are informal and might be regrettable even when they are using an impersonal medium like texting, whereas if your really concentrated on making a call, as apposed to concentrated on driving or walking, then you think about what you say more carefully.

Have you played with any social networks yourself?

No, I have a lot of friends that keep asking me to join facebook; they tell me they’ve uploaded pictures and want to share them with me but I’d rather just visit someone then talk to them over the computer. I might join someday but for now I don’t see the big draw of it.

How do you feel about privacy and social networking?

I have concerns about privacy when I buy things online but as far as photos of me being online? Who cares? People have always been able to share photos. I used to have tons of photos taken of costumes I wore at camp and rarely did I ever see them until years later when they’d show up in a newsletter or something. Its a photo – if you’re doing something you don’t want shared then don’t do it in front of a camera.

Would you be interested in participating in social media if it was geared more towards seniors?

Eh, maybe. I don’t really think we all have similar interests or anything. Now, if the computer was easier to see and simple to use that might provoke me to spend more time with it but I don’t think more senior geared content would be helpful.

How do you think social media could be improved to help bridge the gap between in person and online communications?

Well I think a major problem is people using cell phones and texting while their driving and walking. I make a real effort to pull over when I get a call or wait to answer the phone until I’m stopped. Overall people need to remember that most of the time the call or text can wait 10 minutes. I also think there is a real downside to everyone being connected all the time. Everywhere you go there are people on their cell phones and standing right next to one another but not making any conversation. Its really kind of sad – the conversations you can have while standing in line can be very fun but few people engage in that type of thing now.


One Response to “Around Communication in 80 Years”

  1. demandingdata February 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    ass photo credit should go to the dutiful husband, son-in-law, great-nephew-in-law dwight,…

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