Maybe talking on the phone was once considered strange.

We've been conditioned to think that a true relationship can develop only through face to face contact. Only when we look into someone else's eyes do we really get to know that person. A previous Boidem column tried to examine whether or not this is necessarily true.

But there's another question that deserves attention as well. Letter writing was a means by which two people, phsyically separated, could communication. Seen from an opposite perspective, however, we might say that letter writing established a barrier between two people - instead of face to face communication they became dependent on the mediation of pen and paper. Few people, however, to the best of my knowledge, ever complained that the pen and paper came between the true communication that should have taken place between those two people. I vaguely remember, in what seems like some ancient time, that people used to ask whether a personal conversation was really possible over the phone, but even raising the question today seems ridiculous.

Cathy's main interest may be meeting a man, in which case it may be distressing for her to have to converse with him via the mediation of a computer and a modem, but if what she wants is communication, who's to say that that's not the way.

Go to: on becoming an anachronism