There was a film in which James Stewart played the part of a photographer, who was injured and had to lie in bed. His only viewpoint was through the window of his bedroom, and the film is called Rear Window. Looking out through the window day by day, he became convinced that one of his neighbours in the flat opposite, was going to be murdered. I quote this because I too am in a situation where I see very few people, and rarely go out. My view is the front window, and from time to time, while I’m musing on what I’m going to write, I look out the window, see those passing, and draw conclusions that may or may not be accurate.
At my age, one has a tendency to draw comparisons between one’s own childhood and that of today, and the same with adulthood, and what I find in both cases is that verbal communication is not as prolific as it was in the past. I remember when my grandchild was about four years old, the family were worried because she hardly talked, and her father said this was because everything was done for, and so she had no reason to make demands.
If you read this blog will know that I am particularly worried about the life of children living today. It is only rarely that I see children walking to school and then it is either with a parent, or on their own. My elementary school was about a mile and a half from home, and walking to school, one picked up other children who were going to school, and from then on the conversation rarely stopped. I’m sure that sitting in a car, the child is probably musing, or perhaps not even that. Previously I told the story of my great grandchildren, in one family, where they don’t seem to talk to one another, but they communicate in other ways and work as a team, I found this amazing on the first occasion.
One of the reasons that people don’t talk to one another any more, is because socially we are disparate, you may be lucky enough to know the people in the house next-door, but the chances are they are the only ones you have spoken to in the whole street. In the 40s and 50s it was not like that, but then we didn’t have television, few had the telephone, and computers were space technology. Now people spend their time with an iPod or a phone attached to their ear, which implies that that they only want to speak to close friends and relatives. The drink and drive stricture has reduced those social occasions when you’re invited someone in for a drink and a chat, at the drop of a hat. Now, other than family, the social occasions are reduced, they are on a monthly basis instead of being weakly or sometimes even daily.
I just wonder where this trend will go, and what it will be like in the next 50 years. I have seen such incredible changes, starting with the end of World War II, when I was married, and ever since.