Is This the Future of Family Communication? Or Will Some Remain Committed Luddites?

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Is This the Future of Family Communication? Or Will Some Remain Committed Luddites?
Communication may be even more vital among family members when you live in Wyoming, the lowest populated state in the country.
 
But not every generation thinks of communication in the same way.
 
Older folks think of using a telephone for that craziest of all reasons – making phone calls.  Some will even write a letter through the Post Office. To their credit, many seniors occasionally use email by using the Internet on their ancient home computers.
 
But Facebook?  Twitter?  And the biggest biggie of them all, texting?  But not so fast.
 
And let’s not even talk about Instagram, Pinterest or Tumblr.  Maybe Yahoo, YouTube and Google, but . . . 
 
A daughter we know recently “un-friended” her mother from her Facebook page. Seems the 20-year old had posted some photos of herself and her bikini-clad friends.  Mom scolded her and as a result no longer had access to her daughter’s Facebook’s postings.  A few years ago who would have even known about such a word as un-friend?” They since have reunited.
 
In another case, a sister was furious at her sibling because something showed up on Facebook where an event was held where the mad sister was not invited to participate. Not sure she even knew how to “un-friend” her but the fallout was severe.
 
And yet in other cases there are examples of shameless self-promotion, such as guys flogging their new books on Facebook. Guilty as charged are myself and those bold promoters CJ Box, Craig Johnson, Mac Blewer and Ron Franscell, for example.   
 
We are now living in a world where billions of people use cell phone texting and Facebook.  I actually have a lot of experience of these two methods of digital communication. 
 
When it comes to texting, it is not unusual for me to receive a long, long text from one of my daughters.  It probably frustrates them when they get a text back: “Great.”  Or “cute.”  Or my most frequent response, which is “ok.” Some dads even shorten it to “K.”
 
How these gals can pound out lengthy text messages on their cell phone keypads is baffling to me. I am always hitting the wrong key plus there is built-in auto-correct word substitution system that constantly puts in the wrong word.
 
Here is an example from the Internet of how auto correct can send the wrong message:
 
Husband: “Can’t wait to see you honey.”
 
Wife: “It’s Friday. I’m getting pregnant on my way home tonight.”
 
Husband: “Shouldn’t we talk first?”
 
Wife: “Oh my God. I typed in Pringles and it auto-corrected to pregnant.”
 
Husband: “I almost had a heart attack.”
 
Dewey Vanderhoff up in Cody found something on Facebook that was hilarious.  He says this photo should replace the current Wyoming bucking horse logo.
 
You can find it on the Internet at the EquineRescueNetwork. It is a photo of a young gal named Bessie Splatz onboard  a horse named Hubba Bubba at the Kaycee Roundup Rodeo.  Ms. Splatz is flying off the horse in what Dewey thinks could be a modern substitute image that could be used as the new symbol for the Equality State.
 
He thinks maybe this image could replace the legendary image of Lander’s Stub Farlow aboard Steamboat that has graced our license plates for over 60 years.
 
Not sure this whole thing isn’t a spoof by Dewey but it sure is fun.
 
You could not call Dewey a Luddite, but I call my wife Nancy a modern Luddite.  She really wants to resist these modern means of communication although she does Facebook and Internet. But no texting. 
 
A Luddite is someone who resists change. This trend first occurred back in the 1700s when the steam engine came into being.  A man named Ned Ludd in Great Britain formed an organization to resist these “modern contrivances.”  It was going to ruin the world.
 
Modern-day Luddites include those folks who are resisting smart phones, ipads and all these modern techno-whiz bang devices that keep you connected with everyone else on a 24-7 basis.
 
With all the recent spring rainstorms, the following “auto-corrected message” allegedly occurred on a smart phone during an attempted text:
 
Girl: “I love thunder so much.”
 
Guy: “I know. Me, too. Except when it makes my dog bark, so usually only when I am outside.”
 
Girl: “My dad barks, too, we have to comfort him.”
 
Guy: “I am so sorry. I imagine his manly vocal chords cause him much more commotion than a small dog.”
 
Guy: “Oh, did you mean dog?”
 
 
 
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at www.billsniffin.com.  He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent book is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at www.wyomingwonders.com.
 
 
 
 
 
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