You And Your Hand

Counting Voices

A lively group discussion, an intimate tête-à-tête, an inner monologue — in your view, when it comes to a good conversation, what’s the ideal number of people?

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According to the world of Facebook, most people have at least a hundred friends and they share their feelings, their thoughts and what they ate on a daily if not hourly basis.

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid my Mom use to make me check in at least once an hour. And could I call in? Oh no. I had to show up say I was checking in and then I was  free to leave.

That is, until the next check in time.

I hated doing that- and I would tell her I did which is why I found myself having to run home to check in instead of calling.

I knew I was on my way to be independent when she stopped making me check in almost hourly to every few hours and then I could call- which I forgot to do.

But in those days we didn’t have Malls or computers or parents who drove us from block to block on demand.

So me and my friends were free rangers, just like the chickens.

Looking back on it, because we were wandering around so much it made sense to have check ins. In a few hour we could easily have ended up a  mile or two from home and not just blocks.

Nowadays people obediently check in via Facebook.

And we what passes for conversation is created by you and your hand and the few words or quips you throw into your status box.

We tell people we don’t really know details about where we are and who we’re hanging out with and what we’re drinking, smoking or eating.

In other words we tell Facebook things our parents would have given their eyeteeth to know…complete with pictures.

If I have anything to say about conversations on Facebook it’s this:

My Mom would have never accepted ” notes ” in the place of check ins.

One’s presence was required at those moments. You know, you had to actually be there for it to count.

It’s a different world now, isn’t it?

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