By David Barron
Having an email address is almost like having a phone. It is a great way to communicate with friends and relatives. It is also a great way for strangers to communicate with you -- whether you want to or not.
In the “old days” emergency information was communicated by Telegraph. Some people never answer their phone; they just let it go to voice mail, allowing them the chance to skip sales calls and relatives they don’t want to talk to.
Email is sort of the same. While a good email service can be trained to dump certain types of emails to the junk or “Spam” folder, some still slip buy as marketers get smarter and smarter.
Of course you don’t have to open email from a pesky correspondent; you can just delete it.
Like the people who let phone calls go to voice mail, some people only check their email once a day...some people check it once a week.
I have a friend who reads emails late at night and then writes responses at 2 a.m. -- just to impress his friends.
Sometimes friends who also stay up late and respond immediately to 2 a.m. message catch them.
Of course, more and more people don’t have “land lines” because it is too inconvenient to manage two phone systems. And, because its more convenient and “cool” to talk loudly on your cell phone. Of course a cell phone gives you the advantage of being able to talk to long-lost friends while you are driving, walking, eating and doing what ever pleases you.
You can also text, email, take pictures, check out Facebook and surf the web while you drive.
Phone companies must be dense; otherwise they would have provided you with these features on your landline. Instead, they have opted to offer you Wi-fi service in your home so you can see Netflexs and Hula and all those other “free” movie channels that conveniently offer you “new releases” for $8 a showing.
Maybe landlines and cell phones are not alike. I remember having an old AT&T wired phone that lasted for decades and worked perfectly well.
A cell phone will only last a couple of years. Then you have to buy another, more expensive unit that is flatter, larger, has a bigger screen and cost you a lot more.
A friend of mine had a dream that there is a god up in Apple land who sends a signal when your cell phone is two years or older. The signal interrupts phone calls, reduces the battery life and overall makes it difficult to use, until you finally conclude “Time to get newer cell phone.”
Conspiracy experts believe that payphones were systematically removed to get people to buy cell phones. I don’t believe that because I never liked public phones unless I had a disinfectant to wipe them down before I used them. After all, I was going to put my mouth and ear against the phone that hundreds of people had also used that day.
(Published with my apologies. The printed version in the Journal contained many typos because of the mad rush to go to press.