In many ways, our means of communications have changed dramatically from ancient mumbo jumbo gestures at sighting a rack of bananas and painting on the walls of caves. Today, a goat herder in Zimbabwe can order pizza from New York City with the rare anchovy on top.
At the same time, I can order an iPod and track its progress in China from its order to production to packaging, all of which takes under an hour. Moments later, it’s FedExed to Anchorage, Alaska and eventually my precious cargo winds its way – weeks later after being handled by Canada’s infamous snail mail and flown the final half-hour leg of its epic journey – to my home.
Back in the day, the Eaton’s catalogue met everyone’s expectations when it came to Christmas shopping in October, allowing for the four weeks for the order to get to Toronto and another six weeks to return COD. Things got much better when Simpsons-Sears catalogues arrived and ordering became just a little more complicated. Fierce loyalties to Eaton’s came to a grinding halt when the famous retail giant finally folded and Simpsons-Sears became simply Sears. Oh the choices we had to make, especially for growing kids – will they still be the same size when the parcel arrives?
Even further back, before the plane was a regular service, ships delivered all the goods and everyone went to work – men, women, children, Elders – everyone with muscles was employed. It also gave everyone a general idea of what the local store was going to offer for the next year or so, but it often meant that many had to go without fulfilling their dreams. During the winter months, dog teams were used to deliver tons of mail and made Christmas a special event when goodies arrived unexpectedly.
Today, we communicate at an accelerated rate, often multi-tasking and sending out a variety of messages by the second. In an average minute, one does Facebook constantly, texts rapidly, emails and peruses the Internet on the fly, Blackberries left and right, and sometimes, gets into trouble within moments on YouTube. In fact, you can have your 15 minutes of fame reach international news networks if your personal video goes viral, beaming far beyond your own grasps of reality.
Our personal communications have now been reduced to acronyms, apparently in a very economical way as data transmissions tend to get expensive, so people have come up with a slew of new expressions to complement the standard texts such as LOL (laughing out loud) and ITOL (I’m thinking out loud) to name a few. Perhaps I could communicate en masse with these final impressions.
Wacha do. I fine. Nope. No Probs. K. wildo. Later…