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Friday 27 January 2012

Discretion is the better part of valour!

In my teenage days, we perched uncomfortably by a telephone that was attached to the wall with a long curly cable.  The telephone, by necessity was in the central part of the house (the kitchen or the sitting room) so that everyone could hear the conversation as they meandered around doing whatever it was they were doing and privacy wasn't really an option.  It meant that I was unlikely to discuss my more intimate moments with a boyfriend or my friend's more intimate moments, for fear our parents would overhear.  Or, even worse, that our siblings would overhear and tell our parents.

Nowadays, between the texting and the what's apping and the MSNing, teenagers don't seem to actually hold conversations anymore.

The speed of modern communications also means that things are divulged in confidence to one person have spread around the county 15 minutes later.  Because this divulgence is all done electronically, it is written down and cannot later be denied.  So, if you tell a blatant lie about someone, this information can be communicated not only amongst the teenagers, but also to the parents within an hour.  This can lead to extreme awkwardness, especially as teenage boys tend to boast about their prowess in the downstairs department to impress their mates and teenage girls tend to say something in bitchy jest that is then redistributed as fact.

I vote for going back to the one on one, sitting on the stairs, phone cable stretched to maximum conversation.

1 comment:

  1. Hear, hear!
    I reminded of this clip from "Meet Me In St. Louis" (story circa 1904). And of how times have changed regarding our attitudes toward intimate business and "inventions"....

    Esther Smith: Warren is telephoning Rose long-distance from New York at half-past six.

    Katie the Maid: Long-distance?

    Esther Smith: Yes, and if the whole family is sitting here drinking in every word, she may be loathe to say the things a girl's compelled to say to get a proposal out of a man. If that man, unfortunately, is Warren Sheffield.

    Katie the Maid: Personally, I wouldn't marry a man who proposed to me over an invention.