Things have changed significantly in the past 50 years. Social climate, fashion, and even the way we communicate with each other. Consider that communication remained relatively unchanged from the Roman era to approximately 1436, the year that Johannes Gutenberg invented a moving-type printing press. Yet, in the past 50 years, communication has undergone a complete transformation. From shorthand to Basic to email to texting, communication has become faster, more efficient and, some would argue, less personal.

                My grandfather, I call him Pop-pop, worked on the very first computer, ERA 1011. Today, he is baffled by his cell phone. “Is this on?” he asks me, turning the plastic brick over in his weathered hands. How strange it must seem to him, once an expert on cutting-edge technology, now obsolete. He is very interested in the latest and greatest, but he simply can’t keep up with it. I can relate to this sentiment.

My Pop-pop is one of the many members of his generation who believes that communication today is too cold and impersonal. He reminds me (a few too many times, he can’t remember as well as he used too) to always write thank-you notes and that face-to-face is more valuable than anything else. He has seen the transformation, so I trust his judgment. We cannot turn back time, nor should we desire to reverse the progress we’ve made, but he reminds me to respect the value of old-fashioned communication. As a society, we are required to adjust to the new and cutting-edge technology and this is valuable as well. I learnt it from a man who knows, change is good, but tradition deserves to be honored.

 

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