Life Before “There’s an App for That”

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in ComLead

I love driving by this corner: payphone. mailbox. In my head I give a metaphorical fist bump and say, “Hang in there guys!”  It reminds me of a simpler time.Mailbox

Despite the latest and greatest technological advances, I long for the days before apps. This longing does not negate my appreciation and awe of modern communication.  With a push of a button on a palm size device, I can watch TV, book a flight, or video chat with my family.  Amazing!

But I still marvel at the innovation of the telephone.   I can a put piece of paper in a blue box, and in a day or two, have it delivered to anyone, anywhere in the world – that is remarkable!

As a student in the Communication and Leadership program, I can’t help but filter every experience through the lens of communication and leadership.  A frequent conversation specific to non-profit, is the topic of making communication personal.  Whether it’s sharing the mission of the organization or securing a substantial monetary gift from a donor, it is all about relationships.

More than the simple nostalgia, that is what resonated with me the most about this ‘time machine-esque’ corner.  It is a reminder of relationships. In the era of landlines and letter writing, communication was intentional and personal, and maybe there is a piece of that missing today.

I’m in a unique class of adults who had a childhood free from the complete clutch of electronic devices. We played outside and idolized Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell who had the largest mobile phone known to mankind. Although we have incorporated smart phones into our daily living, we also know what it was like to ‘be in the moment’.

These endangered species (the payphone and mailbox) challenge us to return to a place of being in awe, intentional, and making communication personal again.  After the passing of a loved one, I’ve never heard anyone say, “If only I could send them one more emoji.” No, it’s longing to hear that person’s voice just one more time. People don’t save text messages and emails in a box.  They have a shoebox full of handwritten cards from the people they love.  Our voice and handwriting are unique, and we have so much to share in our personal and professional relationships.

So, when you are buying stamps at the post office, put down your phone and have a conversation with the people around you. (But that’s another post for another time…)

Written by guess blogger Jen Kilo, M.S. ComLead (Non-Profit) 

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