Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You talkin' to me?

The scene that is best remembered from the 1976 movie, Taxi, is the one of Robert De Niro (Travis Bickle) practicing his assassination of a local pimp named “Sport”.

Throughout history, we’ve always had a desire to communicate with each other. The earliest known cave paintings (a form of communication) go back to the Aurignacian period, which was roughly 32,000 years ago.

100 years ago, very few people had telephones, so the most popular form of communication was by telegram. The peak year for telegrams was 1913, when an astonishing 82,000,000 were sent in England. ”

Although Western Union stopped sending telegrams in 2006, you CAN still send a telegram today by clicking on the link below:

clickety clack

When I was a kid, most people still had party lines. In spite of the fact that party lines were cheaper than private phone lines, my mother still MAILED a postcard to her mother EVERY DAY, because the postcard was still cheaper than making a phone call.

Today, pretty much EVERYBODY in the world has their own cell phone. In March of 2012, there were 5.6 billion cell phones in use, which meant that nearly 80% of the entire planet had a cell phone. China alone has over 1 billion cell phones in operation, and the United States had more cell phones than people.

What I’ve noticed lately is that our communication styles differ significantly by our age group.

The “baby boomer” generation still communicates primarily by phone and email, but the younger generation prefers Facebook and texting (as well as “tweeting”).

Few of us have the time for extended telephone calls anymore, and most of us don’t write (or receive) hand written letters very often.

Since I’m a former school teacher, I have a tendency to send out a lot of emails about topics that I find interesting to a wide variety of “family and friends”. However, since the younger crowd prefers different communication styles, I recently changed my “friends and family“ email category to the “baby boomers”, and will send my thoughts to the younger crowd via Facebook.

We may disagree on how to solve the problems of the world, or how to communicate with each other, but the most important thing that we can do is to “keep talking””.


  1. Having spent recent days with you in live-and-in-person social networking, I would like to see you do more on Facebook than you do. Links to this blog, for example, will get noticed, liked, and shared across a wide spectrum of age groups and social interests. Many of my baby boomer friends and family follow my status messages and photo journal albums daily on Facebook, but rarely comment. Some of my blog posts and Facebook albums get comments as much as three years after the fact.

  2. Another new direction to take in online communication is Search Engine Optimization certification. Do a Google search and see how you look to those you would like to find you. Kari is pursuing certification for her professional advancement.