Communication Theory

As I was watching one of the old episodes of Seinfeld (Season 4, The Movie), I was amazed at how much we have become accustomed to the mobile phones. So much so, that we’ve forgotten how it used to be in the “pre-mobile phones” era! In this episode, Jerry Seinfeld and his friends are busy trying to get in touch with each other to watch/not watch a movie. It’s funny to watch how things go awry when Jerry has some change in plans, George is standing in a wrong queue and Elaine is trying to save seats for everyone – and nobody has any idea of what the other person is really doing instead of what he/she set out to do!

Nowadays, it is almost impossible to find someone without a mobile phone. We meet people and then if we want to stay in touch, the first thing people ask for is, is the mobile number – mind it – not a contact number but a mobile number – landline number is not the “contact number” anymore! In fact, if you give your landline number, they seem to think you are trying to avoid them!
In the old days, when there was not even the telephone, people communicated by letters – which took such a long time that if you sent the news of someone being ill, he/she would have recovered completely by the time the letter asking about the health reached you! (Even more old one is when there were no trains – people took the letters with them, riding on a horseback, travelling across the country, stopping to take rest at “Dak Bungalows” (at least in India) and finally made it to their destination. And for the more romantic ones, pigeons were the carriers of their love-messages to their beloved 🙂 !)
Then came the telegrams – faster but very short – you can read a lot about them in the stories by P.G. Wodehouse (I personally have no experience of seeing a telegram). In fact in India, the only news people expected from a telegram was of someone’s death !
Thereafter appeared the telephones. They made life a little easier, at least for people who could afford it. There used to be a black handset with rotating disc for dialling the numbers and you needed to shout in the receiever to make yourselves heard on a long distance call!
And now we have mobile phones, emails, instant messengers – next is what? Telepathy as a communication mode and not just a doubtful theory?
Still more amazing is the fact that all this advancement in communication took place in the last 100-200 years and most rapid of it in the last two decades itself! I guess it’s all to do with imagination of those wonderful brains who gave us these wonderful gadgets. Until next, keep imagining 🙂

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