To try and stay up with the modern world and communicate with my grandkids and friends I use the popular electronic social network, facebook. There is a box on facebook where you can write “what’s on your mind,” and this can be viewed by all of the people you have designated as a friend. I write something almost daily in this slot and it usually pertains to a birthday of some famous person or a historical event that has occurred on that day. It’s fun to research these events and birthdays and I’m happy that a few folks read it and make a comment. Other than for that, I rapidly scan the remarks on facebook to keep up with what’s going on with folks I know. It’s allowed me to stay in touch with relatives, in a way, that would have never been possible in the past. I would simply have lost contact.
I also love to sit on the porch with my spouse in the evening as the sun goes down until it gets completely dark. Our front porch lends itself to a breeze that is even made better with ceiling fans. The temperature is really fairly pleasant even in the heat of summer. We just reminisce and talk about most everything. We also enjoy conversations with others on the porch, but porch sitting and conversations are almost a thing of the past. TV, air-conditioning and a busy world have all driven everyone inside and the automobile makes it possible to escape to other more exciting sites for entertainment. A simple conversation on the porch is just not as stimulating to people today. It’s a greater thrill to watch explosions on TV or the movies.
The porch and sidewalks were the facebook of the past. The porch was the computer and communication center. Sidewalks, in small towns and neighborhoods, allowed us to stroll, with ease, to a porch nearby just as the internet, today, permits strolling from one computer to another. Somehow, facebook, iChat and texting are just not the same as face to face contact and prolonged casual conversation. I have thought of bringing my laptop to the porch where I could combine both worlds. I could sit on the porch and be on line with facebook. That’s called multi-tasking and is the norm in today’s world. That, however, would ruin the whole effect of porch sitting. Time on the porch is almost a time of reverence and worship, sort of like mediation or prayer. The tranquility of the porch would be totally disrupted with a computer or any other electronic gadget, including the iPhone.
Anyway, facebook is great but I hate to see the face to face contact of the porch be “Gone with the Wind” and take with it the tranquility of a summer evening and good conversation. . For now. I’m going to try and enjoy the best of both worlds, separately, before the porch completely vanishes into oblivion.