By John Matonich
I was thinking the other day how our society has become so entrenched in things immediate. It is tax season so the ads covering TV are on the advances you can receive after you file your taxes. Even though it usually only takes a couple of weeks to receive a refund if you are lucky enough to get one, I guess that big screen TV is calling and the one you bought last year isn’t cutting it anymore.
It is the same in our news. “Breaking News” has become such a common tagline; I don’t even pay attention anymore. We seem to have a thirst that cannot be quenched. We see news commentators immediately at the scene of something thought to be newsworthy, but once the main story is reported, you can see them struggling with what to speak about next. I was watching some of the coverage of the fires in California and it got to the point where the commentators were actually examining some of the gear being worn by the firefighters to make sure it was up to snuff in doing their duty. I would have rather learned more about the dedication those firefighters showed in those horrible battles than whether the gloves being worn could hold up to the challenge. I know a lot of firefighters and they care as much about their equipment as anything because they know how important it is to keeping them safe.
Early in my career, there weren’t any cell phones or even computers, for that matter. Oh my gosh, how did we survive? Well, plans were drawn by hand on a drafting table and a lot of snail mail was sent out. Messages were taken by a receptionist and a little pink slip was put into a slot with your initials on it for you to retrieve when you returned. Clients understood when you weren’t in the office and knew they would receive a return call when you got back. Today the demand is for cell numbers so immediate info and questions can be obtained even if it could wait.
Back in the day, lunches were spent in the office kitchen where conversations around family, sports, politics or client news took place. Today, folks really don’t stray too far from their computer to be sure to catch up on what the latest Facebook news is. Lord knows I couldn’t survive if I didn’t know that Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers is now dating a female NASCAR driver. I don’t know who she is since I didn’t look at Facebook to find that out and really don’t care. I hope he is happy and can now get to the stadium faster if she drives.
I am afraid this will only get worse as our drive for the most current useless information continues. I think I am going to start a Twitter account just so I can let folks know quickly that I finished my coffee and now have to visit the little boys’ room. I am not sure that is very important info, but maybe if I add which sweatshirt I am wearing today, it will get some attention.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Image credit: allen