After the tragic storm that hit central USA in the last few weeks people are grieving the loss of loved ones. My sympathy is with the survivors as they struggle to come to terms with the destruction after the tornado.

In the wake of the storm I read a report on the internet which quoted a 50 year old man saying; “It is horrible the things we take for granted are no longer here.” He was talking about the fact that during the search for family members and loved ones, people had to talk to each other.

The article continues: ‘Cell phone signals were hard to find, internet was out and electricity indefinitely interrupted. In many cases, word of mouth conversations replaced text messages, Facebook status updates and cell phones.’

Little did I realise that talking had become a thing of the past.

A fifty year old man is quoting ‘the things we take for granted,’ A man I’m sure grew up talking to his fellow citizens without the aid of technology.

This made me ask; ‘Is the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell obsolete?’  Are we no longer in need of mobile phones to call each other as technology now allows us to share regular ‘status updates’ instead? Rather than ask how our friends and family are feeling we can just check out their status on social network sites.

Recently my Facebook homepage has been dominated with my brother and sister in laws ‘mobile updated status via blackberry’, so much that I think they have nothing to talk about when they see each other in the evenings. I receive news of my new baby niece through the updated status of my older sister in law. It was only a few years ago that I was sent a card with pictures of their first child happily welcomed to the world. Now this little pleasure of sending and receiving cards has passed to the electronic age.

This is not a criticism, rather a sign of the times and current trend. I myself prefer the free medium of email rather than pick up international calling costs.

My next book focuses on a relationship between a ‘traveller’ from the future, who after coming out of retirement is called into service to aid the human race one last time. The ‘traveller’ meets a retired human from our own age, and although he communicates with his own people through telepathy, he can talk, a rare occupation in his own human world.

Are we moving in the direction where our vocal chords will simply be surplus to requirements? Will evolution take these from us as they cease to be used?

I for one will keep singing to help future generations experience the necessity of vocal chords.


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