Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Of Princess Phones and Conversation

Transparent LanguageWhen I turned thirteen I wanted a phone.  A Princess phone.  For those far too young, 'Princess phone' has nothing to do with pink sparkles, crowns, and what is now referred to as "bling".   This was the Princess phone of my dreams:


"It's little!  It's lovely!  It lights!" 

The stuff of heaven.  I dreamt big and wanted not only the phone, but my own phone line.  It was a big dream.  It didn't exactly happen.  I got a pseudo-Princess phone and my dad put a phone jack in my room.  It meant I had to share the phone number, but at least I could whisper of boys and clothes and pop music from the luxury of my very own room.

I imagine it's a little like wanting an IPhone today, though from my observations having a phone now doesn't result in more talking.  As the ultimate in reverse psychology, we now hand people phones and we stop talking.  We type.  A lot.  In fact I wonder if in future millenias they will unearth our remains and find unusually formed thumb joints thanks to a lifetime of texting.

The truly sad part, however, is that adults seem to have taken cues from the younger generation.  Oh, it's sad when it has to do with fashion, but it's just awful (and immature) when it's about communication.  Adults now text things that used to require some backbone.  I know of someone who lost a job via text message.  Family squabbles are now conducted with abbreviated language in emails.  Insults are shared (usually in veiled fashion) over facebook.  Even concern is no longer expressed face-to-fact.  We have become a spineless, wimpy population.  Gone are the requirements that one must approach and look someone in the eye to hurl a curse - threats are put in writing - authority figures don't bother meeting with constituency or employees.

Maybe if we all got back to a Princess phone...perhaps if we had to share phone lines...perhaps if we all just nurtured the spines we were given.  I think, maybe, strengthening our spines is the real answer.