When I saw that video from Birla Sunlife Mutual Fund, I couldn’t help smiling at the way the man actually wrote a note to ask the girl out for coffee and passed it on, rather than simply texting her and getting an instant response.
Gone are the days when we have to actually wait anxiously for anything. This is the age of instant gratification, thanks to technology.
As much as I love “those days” I can’t help being grateful for how far we’ve come, how much easier it is to do things today. Perhaps the best example of this is communication.
Rewind to the 80s, when I didn’t even have a landline phone at home! Besides relying on the post office to handle all our communication needs via the post cards and the inland covers, and when we felt like it, “book post” greeting cards, we didn’t have much else it terms of choice.
If we had an urgent message to send, it was via a telegram where we had to count every word and be clever in conveying what we wanted to say.
Then, when we could afford to make phone calls, we would go to the local telegraph office, fill out a form and request to be connected to the number we wanted to talk to. We’d wait in queue and pray they could get through – and that our person would be available at the other end. When the number connected, the person at the counter directed us to one of the booths where we could lift that receiver and hopefully have a strong-enough connection to hear each other. We could book trunk calls that meant a several-hour wait and demand calls that were somewhat quicker and more expensive.
Next came the STD or subterranean trunk dialing, as we know it today. Except, back then, we still had to visit one of the phone booths in the area to talk. The person who owned the booth would note down the number on a chit of paper with hundreds of others and we waited in line for our turn. We avoided doing this during the daytime, as it was costlier. After 9 or 10 pm, there were half-rates and then, after 11, quarter-rates which found the most takers.
In the mid-90s, we got our first rotary dialer phone with pulse dialing – which meant each digit took a few seconds to dial!. How proud we felt to be able to connect with our folks from the comfort of our own home!
Cut to today – and we have email, mobile phones, Skype and Whatsapp to help us communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world instantly.
Best part? We can talk for as long as we want without spending an arm and a leg. We can exchange photos and videos – live.
I am thrilled to have lived in those days when it was a challenge to connect – and I am excited to be here to enjoy all that technology has to offer – especially with my son away at college. I’d go nuts if I had to depend on what we had back then to stay in touch. In fact, the best is email and Skype – letting us interact face to face – on the go, from anywhere – without being tethered to our gadgets or our home.
What a miracle it seems to pick up the phone, hit the video call button and see my son’s smiling face spring to life – helps me sleep better at night.
Communication technology is the best ever! And that’s why, while watching that #JanoTohMano video, I had to laugh when the guy chose the tough way, not the easier, better and faster way to communicate. Charming, but come on! What a missed opportunity!