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So Connected We Can’t Connect

Frank Bruni

Interesting article by Frank Bruni in yesterday’s New York Times about an interesting side effect of our being so incredibly connected these days: we can’t get in touch with people, despite (or because of) various options. Here is a taste:

The other night I did something silly. In a hurry to reach my friend K., I made the mistake of calling him on his mobile phone.

“You should have texted,” he chided me the next morning, when he finally heard the voice mail I’d left. “You know that’s the fastest way.”It’s hard to keep track. Because my friend A., who frequently sends text messages, somehow fails to recognize that she might receive them as well and almost never checks. With her, I’m supposed to call.

But not with my friend D. Between his two mobile phones, two office phones and one home phone, you can never know which number to try, and he seems never to pick up, anyway. E-mail is his preference. He has three e-mail addresses, at least that I know about, but I’ve figured out the best one. I think.

You hear so much about how instantly reachable we all are, how hyperconnected, with our smartphones, laptops, tablets and such. But the maddening truth is that we’ve become so accessible we’re often inaccessible, the process of getting to any of us more tortured and tortuous than ever.

Check out the rest here. It would funny, except it can be so true! One of my colleagues here at Messiah College has the problem solved. He has all mail sent to his College address, only uses his College phone (no home phone or cell phone), has only his College email address, and avoids Facebook and all social media as if they were the plague. That is one way to do it, I suppose! (Any Messiah alumni want to guess who I’m talking about?)

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