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Sinclaire Sparkman: Taking communication for granted

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated Jul 7, 2017 at 1:00 PM

We live in a fast-paced and foregoing society. We can microwave a meal in less than three minutes, pay our bills without leaving the house and find answers to pretty much any question with little to no effort. Information lives in virtual clouds and there’s always something you don’t know, but could. 

It’s an age, not of destruction, but distraction, and with that comes a lot of anxiety. How could I be the only one that doesn’t know that most American car horns honk in the key of F? How could I have missed that vague reference to the movie where the famous voice actor turns into a can of vegetables? What if someone in my newsfeed is having more fun than me? How did I not know it was your birthday when my app is supposed to inform me of all pertinent knowledge about your life? Why would I ever need to define things about myself when popular culture can do it all for me? 

It’s seriously overwhelming to consider the vast realm of possibility that is missed every single second that you’re not plugged in to the social media machine. I mean, seriously, if I can’t validate my existence by generating at least 50 likes per day, I’m not doing the 21st century correctly. 

Recently, my paternal grandmother began blogging. She’s a writer, so she writes about writing and reading and incorporates a lot of her own history into her posts. 

I’m honestly amazed just how much has changed within her lifetime, especially the availability of pretty much everything. Books and paper to write on were precious treasures to my young grandmother, and such things were rarely taken for granted.

Back in the times before our social revolution, it wasn’t weird to drop by someone’s house or write them a letter. These days, if someone says they’re writing a letter the rational follow-up question is ‘how’d they end up in prison?’ The phone call has also seen major upheaval, because why take the time to focus on actually talking to someone for minutes at a time when you could just take seconds to send a text whenever you want? 

I know, I know, get with the times, things change and my groaning about the ways we cowardly communicate changes exactly nothing. There’s just this serious lack of respect for generally everything that is difficult to ignore. In our first-world culture, possessions are so replaceable that it’s difficult to remember to be grateful for what you have.

I actually love technology and all the ways it provides us ways to synergize our creativity, but it’s like anything else, it’s how you use it that matters. 

Personally, I long to unplug from the social media monster and return to simpler times when I would never take even a piece of paper for granted. 

Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at ssparkman@lebanondemocrat.com and follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.

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