Thursday, September 24, 2015

21st Century Problems

My youngest daughter, Molly, a high school senior talking colleges with a woman about ten years her senior. The woman remembered all her friends watching the clock so they could go home to check their emails to see if they were accepted. Molly said "Sheesh, you had to go home to check email?"

My other daughter Annie, a college junior, went on an overnight last Thursday to a place without cell phone reception. She spent Friday night with her friends in her class catching up on emails, texts and Facebook messages.

Now back in my day (that being the early 80's) we got our college acceptances and rejections by postal mail, where that one crucial bit of information could be determined by the thickness of the envelope. Some of my friends had their mail held by the post office so they could find out a few hours earlier.

In college I did have email access, in fact I wrote an email system for Cornell. But most students didn't use email so we resorted to other means. Student organizations could hire a service that put posters on key locations throughout campus. Chalk on sidewalks worked particularly well. The personals section of the Cornell Daily Sun served as a campus bulletin board. In my freshman dorm we had phones in our rooms but no answering machines. We did put little whiteboards on our doors so people could leave us messages. We had a lounge on our floor where you could find most people and talk to them in person. You young people should try that more often.

We had to coordinate activities and meeting places ahead of time, if someone was late you waited for them. On the other hand I never had to spend my Friday nights catching up on emails and texts.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you old people should try not talking down to younger people more often.

    We still use chalking and posters. We hang out in person on that. We just use other things as well. Just like you used the phone in your room unlike those who went to college when there was one phone to a floor or no phones at all.

    If someone is late, why wait for them and waste your own time on the off chance they'll show up eventually? Text them where you ended up and they can join if they'd like.