Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photo A Day, Day 20: Communication

It never ceases to amaze me how communication has changed over the last century. One hundred years ago, the majority of communication was either face-to-face or by written letters. The telephone was just becoming common, and long-distance communication was more likely to be via telegraph. Within my own lifetime, we’ve gone from party lines and five-digit phone numbers (I still remember learning my phone number as “47398”), to seven digits, to multiple area codes, to e-mail and cell phones and texting and Skype and Facetime. My children have never even seen an actual rotary phone or any kind of phone with a cord attached. It makes me wonder what communication will be like when they’re adults.

But communication itself will never go by the wayside. Even though mail is not terribly popular, my kids delight in occasionally writing a “letter” to Daddy and leaving it in the mailbox for him to pick up when he gets home. They love sitting on Daddy’s lap when he Skypes with a friend far away. But most of all, they love chatting on the phone when anyone they know and love is on the other end. And by far, their favorite person to have on the other end of the line is Daddy.

Several times a day, at least, my daughter will pick up a phone (either one of our cordless phones or my cell phone) and chirp, “Hi, Dad!” She’ll even give it a hug or a kiss before solemnly and a bit sadly announcing, “Bye, Dad.” It’s reassuring to her to know that even when Daddy isn’t right here with her, he’s only as far away as the closest telephone.

And heaven knows, as a stay at home mom, I also find it reassuring that even though I may be at home with only my children for company, the company of a friend is only as far away as my phone or my computer or my Kindle Fire. I can give someone a call, shoot them a text, send them a message on Facebook, drop them an email, or chat on an online message board. Because of the wonders of modern communication, I am never far away from a friend. It’s a beautiful thing, communication.

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