Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just Like a Ripe Blueberry

The Disney movie, The Rocketman, has a rather predictable but hilarious character in Fred Randall. Fred, the typical geeky computer guy with a great heart is the main character and appears on the scene partially blue from being sucked into the toilet. You just have to watch the movie to understand. But, he looks at earth and compares it to a ripe blueberry, something that you hold so gently in your palm.
While I have not had the particular pleasure of comparing the earth to a ripe blueberry from space, I have had the chance from the air. The lines that I see on maps fade out and everything is seen from a much different view.
Technology has offered some different views as well. As I sat the other night, chatting with a friend in Ohio, looking at pictures of a friend in Florida, and challenging another to a game of Tetris, it once again surprised me at how very small the world has become. Technology, though it may seem to sterilize our communication at time when losing the emotional face to face interaction, allows quick and daily views into each other’s lives. We can even link in information from the Department of State to hear about what is going on in the government, see new exhibits with the Smithsonian, read the latest in professional journals, as well as read and watch about our own local town’s goings on.
I wonder if as we progress down the paths of technology, if the value of our face to face time will increase even more. I know there are predictions of how we will lose the ability to communicate except via technology. But, as something becomes more rare, it generally becomes more precious. I wonder if instead of typing classes, high schools will now have communication curriculum. I can read the class catalogue now, Day to Day Speaking 101: how to speak to your classmate without a computer in hand. Okay, so a bit of sarcastic tongue in cheek tone there, but really it may be the opposite of the predictions. We may learn to utilize the technology better, to facilitate communication rather than lose aspects of it.