Party line…two short rings, two long

A few decades ago, when I was a child,  my family lived on a farm. My parents connected with the outside world by telephone. It was black, made of bakelite with a large silver dial . I remember it took a heavy hand to lift the receiver… not surprising given I was four or five years old when I first tried this.. We were on a party line. We shared our line with six of our rural neighbours. Our ring tone was two shorts, two longs and we often heard it wrong. You had to wait your turn to use the line when someone else got on there before you. If you were naughtly you could listen in to anyone else’s conversation. Everyone on the party line seemed to know what everyone else was up to. It was a source of information with people sharing advice (sometimes unsolicited) and help along the line. If you go to Telephone History: Party line service. it provides a light-hearted commentary on the history of party lines.

Technology has moved on since our party line on the farm. The advent of the internet and social media has produced a closer world community. Instead of sharing our world with six people  we have the capacity to share it with millions, dare I say billions. With the likes of  Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn , and Youtude we can all become part of  a community where information and opinions are ‘out there” and instantaneous. No question goes without an answer. If you want a recipe; to voice an opinion (on absolutely anything);or spread a breaking news story; or market a new business opportunity. Everyone of us has the capacity to ‘go viral’ through blogs, wikis, twitters and youtube and all from absolutely anywhere. The only limitations are time, a PC or smart phone and a decent broadband signal. And we can be provided wth instant feedback. It is a two way conversation street, so expect the bad with the good…

And  it helps to learn the language …Internet Marketing Geek Speak, Social Networking Lingo.

Food a thought …what happens if you do not have internet access? Not everyone does. B Rigby (2008) in Mobilizing generation 2.0: A practical giuide to using Web 2.0 technologies to recruit, organize, and engage youth (on page 46) suggests that this technology is excluded from the lives of millions of people worldwide. Critics say it is only available to the privileged who can afford a computer or network connection. What do you think??


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