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A March 10 New York Times blog post about the ways in which writer Nick Bilton prefers to deal with texts, voicemails, and e-mails generated an unexpectedly large number of reader responses ranging from horrified to elated. Writer Mathew Ingram says part of the issue is reflected in the sheer number of communication methods available compared to one hundred years ago, when all people had was the telephone. Today, he says, “We have more ways than ever to communicate, but sometimes that just means more ways to miss each other.”
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Ingram also notes that there are conflicts, some of them age-related, over how and why certain communication tools are used. Citing his mother’s experience as an example, he says, “[E]mail and the phone are her primary means of connecting with the world, and [Facebook] was something that took ages for her to get comfortable with. [Yet] now that she has grown comfortable with it, no one is using it any more.” As technology continues to advance, the challenges of communication are likely to continue as well, along with the speed at which different groups adapt. Ingram’s recommendation: “Perhaps the one thing we need most is to be patient with those who aren’t where we are.”
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