When Telephones Really Did Come Into Existence

THOSE WHO KNOW ME well know that I am not world’s biggest fan or user of I. T. Or modern technology. Or the 2nd biggest. Or the billionth. (Although I do enjoy staying in touch with you FB friends.) I prefer to hear someone’s voice on the phone, and I usually call when I can. And I’ve often wondered—when I have nothing better to do—in an age of texting and tweeting and fingers and thumbs endlessly tapping on our little screens—kind of like a modern version the telegraph—what if, now—just right now—someone first invented the telephone?! Where you could actually hear a loved one’s voice in ‘real time’ from thousands of miles away. Or from halfway round the world. Could hear their tone of voice, that special timbre or rhythm or way of speaking. Could hear them laughing—their own particular laugh—instead of reading for the ten-thousandth stupid time, LOL. Wouldn’t that be COOL? Extraordinary?

And then I try to imagine what it was like when telephones really did come into existence. How absolutely earth-shaking that must have been. To hear that voice that you love from far away. How along with the phonograph, and the moving picture, and the electric light bulb, and the rest of (largely) Thomas Edison’s incredible burst of genius and hard work, the entire modern world—the world we know—was invented and created. What an amazing time to be alive.

And I just wonder if we don’t take almost all of it completely for granted now. Yeah, the internet is way cool. But the telephone… wow. What if it were just invented now, after decades of telegraphs and texting? Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing? Maybe we’d even give our thumbs a rest.

I gotta go and make a call.

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