Communication breakdown 

Technological advancements lead to new ways of staying in touch, and avoiding contact

 

By Gillie Easdon

I was on the lounge chair. Scotty was on the sofa. Fritz was on the sofa too. We were at my house. Fritz is allowed on the sofa at my house, and at Scotty’s, when the roomies are out. Scotty had brought over a classic flick. Not Gone with the Wind, Psycho nor The Sound of Music . No, Scotty had rallied. He came equipped with a true comedy classic; which, in my books, is a movie I can see at the age of nine or 32, and it is still funny. Scotty brandished Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein (“It’s Frahnken-shteen”).

A bit of wine, a bit of this a bit of that, a blanket for him, a blanket for me and a blanket for Fritz. Centralized munchies that we would both have to reach for, but I couldn’t be bothered to move my armchair. Video recorder pre-set-up by fabulous Irish flatties at that time slinging drinks at Monk’s. Water to my left, wine to my right, red fleece socks on. I was ready, Scotty was ready, Fritz was ready. Play. Volume cranked.

I revered the stark, melodramatic black and white pre-screening credit roll. It set the scene and I actually read the credits. It was a good idea. It did not taunt me with trailers of similar flicks, nor did it tell me to buy Coke. I especially appreciated that it did not present a Cole’s Notes version of the whole film, thereby annihilating any possibility of surprise in a very fruitless and irritating attempt to coax me into buying a soundtrack of the film I had yet to see.

The anticipation was palpable. Scotty, Fritz and I were transfixed. Yours truly reverted to her nine-year-old goof self and started giggling before the first syllable was uttered, even before the credits finished rolling.

Then my cell phone rang. It glowed and launched into a samba. I tilted my head, shrugged my right shoulder and pressed the red button that shut it up.

Back to Mel.

“I love call display,” I pronounced.

“Yeah, it’s great,” reaffirmed Scotty, my dear friend and neighbour.

“It takes away the surprise, but you want to know. I don’t recognize that number, I have a movie to enjoy. I am hanging with you and Fritz. It is wicked. I love having the ability to make the decision to answer the phone or not. I love technology. I can’t imagine life without it.”

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