Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Twitter Trumped By Telephones In Small Towns

One thing that repeatedly jars me out of my optimal work zone when I am visiting my parents is the telephone. It rings all the damn time. Rings are not limited to the land line either - my mother's cell phone rings constantly, and often at the same time as the land line. Just because it can.

The telephone ringing off the hook serves a serious purpose in a small town. It serves as the Twitter of the greater Western Nebraska network in which my family lives. Information moves by phone from one end of the state to the other at practically the speed of light. Good news, bad news, weird news. . . people 300 miles away know about it in real time out here.

Ringing Telephone

"Did you hear that. . . .?"

Oh, people have email. But why bother to type out an instant message when you can pick up the phone and call?

In fact, when you receive an email out here, it seems as though it absolutely must be either preceded or followed by a phone call. There's "I'm going to send you an email", "Did you get my email?" and "I just saw this email. . . " All three phrases seem to be independent merit for a phone call to talk about the contents of the message.

It completely baffles me. I don't know if it's a generational thing, a cultural thing, or a technology thing, but I never cease to be amazed at the network of information that is being shared out here over the phone even though other message distribution systems are in place as an option. Sometimes I think Twitter or some other social media network will spring up to replace the ever-ringing phone, but at the moment telephones reign supreme.

And now if you'll excuse me, the phone is ringing. . . again.
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