Social media isn’t a brand new concept | Our Corner

The subject of telephone party lines came up at the office this week and, of course, I was one of the few old enough to remember them well.

The subject of telephone party lines came up at the office this week and, of course, I was one of the few old enough to remember them well.

Party lines involved a group of neighbors who were all on the same telephone line.

When my family lived on the farm we always had a party line. To us kids a private line was only for the rich. Kids thought party lines were great. TV wasn’t as prolific as today, so a party line offered a situation comedy by phone.

I remember hearing of adults getting mad because someone on the party line gabbed for too long. I think everyone had tricks to clear the line, like clicking the receiver repeatedly or singing Roy Rogers’ ballads with a fake German accent.

Those were the days.

It occurred to me that party lines were not much different than Facebook and Twitter are today. We often hear about the great and wonderful new world created by social media, bringing us all together in a wet, messy pool of hand-holding kumbayah.

I maintain the world of Facebook and Twitter is neither new, nor wonderful. Like most stuff done by folks – a lot of it is whacky and at times very weird.

We always want to believe our world is radically different from the past, but history teaches us people have been loony for a long, long time. Posting on Facebook, Twitter and listening in on party lines have been around in different forms as long as gossip and gabbing over the fence.

Layers of ancient writing have been found on parchment or animal skins, many with striking illustrations. These animal skins have proven to be very durable through the centuries.

At times one layer was scraped off so a younger monk could write down his post. The younger monk probably thought the old guy was a knucklehead in a funny-looking robe and his modern writing was the truth critical for the new world of 613.

It may have been slower to scribble on parchment then to post to Facebook, but the need and desire comes from the same place.

Maybe it is for the best that most Facebook posts disappear quickly into the ether. I am sure there are plenty of nutty parchments posts best undiscovered.

In a certain way it’s as if we are living in one long party line stretching over thousands of years.

More in News

Citizen group urges council to start pool planning

With the Sumner High School pool closing at the end of the 2018-2019 swim season, residents are asking the City of Bonney Lake to build a city pool to house the Panther and Spartan swim teams. A presentation on why the council should start planning a pool as quickly as possible is being held Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Teacher, student reconnect at living center after 66 years

A person can change in 66 years. At the very least, they’re going to look pretty different. So when Robert Terrell, 96, and Margaret (Peggy) Burley, 75, ran into each other at Bonney Lake’s Cedar Ridge assisted living facility last August, neither of them realized they had met before — at an elementary school, where he was a fourth-grade teacher, and she was a part of his first ever class.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

Sumner School District seeks name ideas for new elementary school

Want to name your new local school? Just fill out a short form by Jan. 26

Black Diamond hits the reset button

The new Black Diamond City Council wasted no time on settling in and testing the political waters. On their first meeting of the year, new Councilwomen Melissa Oglesbee and Erin Stout and returning Councilwomen Tamie Deady and Janie Edelman marched through a long list of agenda items, many of which reversed council policies and goals set over the last two years.

Judge reproaches Black Diamond mayor, former city council majority

In a summary judgement hearing, King County Superior Court Judge Janet Helson said she was troubled by both the actions of Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and former City Council majority Pat Pepper, Brian Weber, and Erika Morgan over the last two years concerning potential Open Public Meetings Act violations.

Man shot in Burnett; suspect turns himself in

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the victim was driven to the Burnett Store in order to report he was shot by his brother. The suspect turned himself in approximately three hours later.

Garbage, water, sewer rates increase in Enumclaw

Having made the leap into a new year, Enumclaw property owners are now seeing increases to nearly all their utility rates. Here’s a look at the 2018 increases for city services, along with the financial impact on customers.

WA infant mortality rate below U.S. rate, disparities still remain | Department of Health

Washington ranks eighth in the nation for the lowest infant deaths, yet African-American and American Indian families still experience disproportionate rates of infant mortality.

Most Read