I SOMETIMES think the world is hurtling along too fast. Years ago, we would send letters to communicate with someone or go to a red telephone box to drop four pennies in the slot and make a call.
Even having a telephone at home wasn’t plain sailing. It was invariably located in the hall, which was hardly private and usually cold in winter, or you might even have had the misfortune to have a party line.
This was a shared telephone line with a complete stranger and, on occasions, you would interrupt each others’ conversations. Hardly ideal if you were a love-lorn teenager talking to your girlfriend.
“Did you just tell me to get off the phone?”
“That wasn't me, Angela. That was the person on the party line.”
“And you're having a party?”
These days, of course, everything is instant and no one sings Please Mr Postman anymore.
Remember the song?
Please Mr Postman look and see
If there's a letter in your bag for me
Why is it taking such a long time
For me to hear from that boy of mine.
It's in the post, is no longer a valid excuse. If he hasn't called, he doesn't want to speak to you.
Mobile phones, texts, emails, faxes, video conferencing and Skype computer connections, means that the modern man and woman never have to wait. Unless you phone a call centre.
The world used to be happy to progress at the pace of a horse and cart but now it hurtles along at the speed of sound. And it is the speed of sound that is sometimes confusing.
Reader Mrs D Wroe of Almondbury praises Sir Patrick Stewart after listening to him being interviewed on radio.
“I was struck by his clear, concise diction, to which it was a pleasure to listen,” she says.
She contrasts this with her experience when she phoned her bank.
“I was finally connected to an Irish voice. I love to hear an Irish brogue but, spoken at a great rate of knots, I had the utmost difficulty in understanding him. Twice I had to ask him to 'please slow down', which he did momentarily, and then galloped along at his previous speed.
“It seems a common trait amongst younger people, who all seem to communicate quite satisfactorily, but for we senior citizens, it is increasingly difficult to comprehend.
“Or am I just a grumpy old woman?”
Certainly not, Mrs Wroe, just a victim of the high speed society in which we live.