Party line was social media of its time | 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 to 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 partly 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 for 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 we are living in one long party line stretching over thousands of years.

 

More in Opinion

The times, they are a-changin’

My friends, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing in such leaps and bounds it boggles my imagination.

Thank you Murray for increasing Alzheimer’s research funding

As someone who helped care for a mother with Alzheimer’s and who now misses her every day, I understand firsthand the impact this disease has on families across America.

Tribalism led to the loss of Vietnam, Iraq wars

Knowing and understanding tribalism can offer a solution to the divisions at home and abroad.

The Fennel Creek Trail will benefit nearby communities

Contrary to the beliefs of some, the increased number of people using trails discourages criminal activities by increasing the number of eyes watching what is going on.

The sweetest revenge? Sometimes it’s just being nice

Being kind to others, especially those who have harmed or hurt us, comes as a result of seeing others as our equals.

Mental health competency delays cost state millions

Soon, some of those languishing lengthy periods behind bars might need to be released and charges against them dismissed.

State Dems may abandon caucus chaos in 2020

Last week the state Democratic Party signaled a greater ope nness to allocate delegates ba sed on the results of the prim ary rather than caucuses, whic h it’s never done before.

The four cornerstones of arguing irrationally

Don’t get caught up in the techniques people use to ignore rational arguments.

State Dems may abandon caucus chaos in time for 2020

Washington also is considering becoming more significant by moving its primary to early March.

A taste of Krain history, from its dive-bar days

I first went in the place one winter’s evening when I was 8 or 9 years old.

Supreme Court resets the playing field

The ruling on the Masterpiece Bakery v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case wasn’t a win for the right or a loss for the left; it’s a chance to do things right the second time around.

Supreme Court ruling shows sanity, moderation

The 14th Amendment equal protection clause does not negate the First Amendment religious freedom clause.