Hard Traveling

rmerulloRoland Merullo, a marvelous author, has a column on today’s Boston Globe op-ed page.
He contrasts our technological connections and communication (social media, cellphones, email) with face-to-face, one-on-one contact as he travels with his family in the southeast U.S. He recalls traveling in that area of the country decades ago, when the cultural messages were very different, communicated in different ways. I like his column – not only for his message but also for his clear, insightful writing.
Merullo talks about the loss of quirky, regional oddities as chain hotels and impressive technology overwhelm the regional differences. He also articulates the dilemma with which we of a certain age grapple – how to gracefully occupy the times in which we live while continuing to connect with people in ways that we deeply value. What is as natural as breathing to the younger generation requires conscious effort on the part of those of us who have been on the planet a longer time.
The irony in this for me is that my job sits smack inside the new media and technology arena. I love the sizzle of this frontier, the way we’re pushing the edges of internet applications, enhancing communications, enriching information, offering new ways to cast light on the dark corners. It’s exciting, it’s great, and it’s a challenge to foster those new-age interaction skills in the wild and woolly frontier while I maintain my comfort-zone communication skills.


1 comment so far

  1. C R Krieger on

    I was a little surprised that he saw a “Klan” billboard as late as 1976. The March from Selma to Montgomery was over a decade earlier. For that March President Lyndon Johnson had Army troops flown in to Craig AFB, just east of Selma and along the line of march. The troops did nothing, because nothing happened, but President Johnson wasn’t taking a chance.

    As for the use of Twitter, etc, it was interesting to me that in our College Writing I course this evening (UMass Lowell) we turned in essays that talked about communicating. One person talked about how twitter represents a new form of communication, with people carrying on a conversation in text, albeit, in small burst. Another wrote about how hyperlinking can help us deal with the “slippage of signifiers.” All this new technology is capable of helping us do new things as we communicate ideas to one another.

    But, it is harder for those of us older, to keep up.

    Regards — Cliff

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