writing

Language barrier

My dog Angus is getting older and I’ve taken him to the vet for tests, because he doesn’t seem quite himself. Sometimes he just looks at me imploringly and I wish that he could explain what the problem is. But he can’t. We don’t speak the same language.

As humans we have more ways of communicating with each other than ever before. We can instagram, blog, facebook, message, whatsapp, snapchat, text and email.

More and more, you will find a family sitting in the same room supposedly watching TV together, but also busy communicating with other people on their various devices.

When I was young TV viewing was a family activity. We would watch Morecambe and Wise, Are you Being Served, Dad’s Army and Benny Hill as a family, with everybody chipping in with comments. Everybody was in the room, everybody’s attention was focused on the same thing.

We live in a different age now. My sons’ generation are starting to move away from communal TV viewing. They are on their computers, simultaneously playing games while talking online to friends – perhaps with a YouTube video playing on their phone or tablet at the same time. It all seems so bewilderingly fragmented to me, but to them this is perfectly normal.

I wonder if, should I live to be old, I will be living in a world where people communicate on not just one or two but five or ten devices at once. Perhaps they’ll have implants allowing them to transmit their thoughts into some virtual arena that I can’t understand because I was born in another age.

If that’s the case, I’ll be looking at them imploringly, unable to explain what the problem is.

Angus. If only I knew what he was trying to tell me.

Angus. If only I knew what he was trying to tell me.

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