10 June 2005


"Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus".

I read it. You should too.
Made me laugh out loud!

The thing the author said that impacted me most was that when women talk, they are just expressing themselves and want others to listen.

Men however are "fixers". When a woman talks about something that could be considered a problem, men think they are being asked to make it better. Therefore, men frequently think women are nagging, when actually women are just talking to hear the sound of their own voice!
(Just kiddin', Sara Jean!)

But women ARE better communicators. With few exceptions, men don't express themselves as well as women.

I have always been a letter writer. After I was drafted into the Army, letters became one of the most important things in my life. Later, Mom and Dad and I bought tape recorders and sent 30 minute tapes back and forth, but even during this time, we continued to send letters now and then.

Letters to family were answered quickly. Letters to women were dependably answered. Letters to men were frequently ignored by the recipient!

Home from Viet Nam, the telephone became our main means of communicating. Obviously, telephones are immediate, and you get the benefit of hearing more than just the words......tone, cadence, inflection, emphasis.......things you have to work at to express in a letter. But when you hang up the phone, all you have is the memory. Letters can be re-read and re-re-read.

Now comes email.
I don't know what I would do without email!
Nearly instant.......Easy.......Free!
One of the things I love about email is that it's not a telephone!
(Duh, huh?)
When the telephone rings, you have got to drop what you're doin' and answer. Nothing irritates me more than to stop doing something I wanted to do in order to answer the telephone, only to find someone on the other end I didn't want to share my time with........sellers, politicians, survey takers, bores.

Sara Jean LOVES to talk on the phone! She can literally spend hours talking with friends and relatives........giggling and laughing!

Me.........."Greybeard here. Yeah..... No...... Okay........ Bye!" Done!

I got an answering machine for the phone. Some folks are uncomfortable leaving a message.
Too bad.
My time is important enough I don't want to be talking with someone about my long distance service or aluminum siding! Friends and relatives will identify themselves......we're screening the calls, and we'll pick up when we hear your voice.
Otherwise, when we listen to the messages, we know you called and will call back!

It took Sara Jean a while to acclimate to the machine. She'd answer the phone, and then hand it to me so I could tell the caller I didn't need a magazine subscription! She has finally seen the light and allows the machine do its' job!

But email!
I check mine two, three, six times a day! And it doesn't irritate me! It waits patiently in the ether until I turn on the computer and ask it to speak to me! Viagra and other irritating ads are easily and immediately eliminated! Important stuff can be put on hard copy for later reading/sharing!

I'm surprised at the reluctance I still see to computers and email. Relatives and friends that I love dearly have refused my offer to buy them Webtv or a computer just so I could communicate with them via email! I don't know if this is a fear of not being able to learn the skill to use them, or if they just don't want the complication that having the technology in their homes would bring. But they steadfastly refuse my offer, then complain that I don't "stay in touch"!

A couple weeks ago we emailed relatives we would be in their town staying with other relatives, and suggested they get in touch with us while we were there so we could get together. They later expressed anger with us because we hadn't called to tell them we'd be there. They have two computers at home and access to email at work, yet didn't get the message we sent. When I told them I had emailed, they said, "I don't have time to mess with it"!
But they have time to mess with the telephone!

I was thinking the other day about the impact of telephones,
and maybe to a larger degree.....email, on history.
If we want to know about the relationship Thomas Jefferson had with John Adams, we can go back and read the letters they exchanged.

Telephone conversations are gone when the receiver is back in the cradle.
I seldom make copies of corrrespondence I receive via email.
Future generations will have a much more difficult time trying to piece together the history of our times!

When I go back and read letters I sent home from Viet Nam, I realize progress has its' costs!

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