A failure to communicate

Published 9:31pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Among the most memorable lines from the movies of my lifetime is from the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke. Paul Newman is part of a southern chain gang and the Captain knocks the “be-jeebers” out of him and sends him crashing to the ground.
Paul Newman, I mean Cool Hand Luke, has just sassed the Captain and receives the Captain’s backhand and hears these memorable words.
“Don’t you ever talk to me that way again. What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
There are so many ways to communicate these days.
It seems that cell phones are natural parts of our bodies and one report said that some young people receive more than 100 texts per day.
If one is listening to a radio or television show, the last thing you hear before they say goodbye is “Don’t forget to email us at blah, blah, blah. Or text us at so and so. Or send us a tweet at ‘hashtag’ whats-its-name. Be sure to go to our Facebook page for minute-by-minute updates.”
They don’t say it, but I guess their lives or jobs depend on your staying in touch with them 24/7. Heaven forbid that they would have an un-contactable nanosecond.
Yet, and here is the irony, many people think that we are losing our ability to communicate face to face. When needing to talk to someone, chances are the conversation takes place either over a phone or by text or email.
I know because I am guilty of that sometimes.
What will it be like in 20 years, if we are still here and have our abilities to communicate interpersonally?
Here is a not so unbelievable invitation from the future regarding one of our current means of maintaining family contacts.
“You are invited! Don’t forget the 15th Annual Cyber-Reunion of the Haggerty Family!
“For one hour on May 29, from noon until 1 p.m., we will gather on Facebook for an exciting few moments of interaction.
“It doesn’t matter that we haven’t seen each other in 15 years, we will imagine what it would be like to be face to face with each other.
“We can’t wait to receive your email at Haggerty.com during this hour. Let us know what changes or additions have occurred in your family’s life by tweeting us your pictures at #Fun-time Together.
“If you have any old pictures of Ma and Pa Haggerty actually touching each other or Crazy Uncle Bubba really telling an old story please text them so that we can all gather around the  computer and enjoy this Facebook reunion. We can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we almost saw each other.
“And here’s the best part. Remember that old, roasted pig that they say we actually ate? It was called barbecue and it was accompanied by Ma’s Brunswick stew.
“This year, we have re-created this wonderful experience with old photos of the dishes and we will be tweeting pictures of barbecue and Brunswick stew right after we have all had the chance to log-on.
“Yummmm! Can’t you just imagine the taste?
“Well, it won’t be the same if you aren’t with us on May 29 for the Annual Haggerty Cyber-Reunion. It’s going to be the best one yet! See you, uh I mean, imagine you there!”
Some people actually say we’re moving forward. Don’t think so.

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