posted by Joe Anaya on May 13th, 2013

Snail mail, Email, Text, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat.

There’s a saying that throughout most of human history information traveled as fast as the horse. That’s it. Then the telegraph came a long and news traveled as fast as electricity. Nowadays if it takes more than a nano-second for an email to arrive, we complain about how slow the connection is.

Growing up I marveled at how a letter put in the mailbox today could end up at my aunt’s mailbox in Ohio two days later. That’s really pretty impressive. But apparently not fast enough. Email came along and made “snail mail” obsolete. Then texting came along and you didn’t have to be near a computer to get your messages, you could get a message where ever you got cell reception.

Then Facebook created social networking. And Twitter made it even easier. There are some who attribute the success of the Arab Spring to the pervasiveness of social media. The young rebels kept up to date on protests and the movement by checking their Twitter accounts. So, some good comes from all this instant information.

But really it’s just more stuff to manage. Working freelance, I’m always working with new people and one of the first things I have to do is figure out what type of communicators I’m dealing with. Are they a phone talker, an emailer or a texter? I’ve had to send texts telling people to “check your email” to make sure they were getting the information they needed.

I try to avoid being the old man who complains about new things. My wife was lamenting, “Kids aren’t even learning to write cursive anymore.” I shrugged, “What for? Learning to type is going to be way more important to them than writing in cursive.” I even enjoy some of the new media to some degree. Facebook is great for keeping track of those friends you like but don’t get to see very often. Twitter is a fun way for athletes and celebrities to circumvent their handlers and say whatever crazy thing is on their mind, no filter. Oh and of course, they’re great for keeping up with or spreading the word about your favorite middle-aged man blog.

File Under Mr. Cool