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What was life like before all these 1′s and 0′s…

July 8, 2005
at 12:00 pm PST

I was talking to my wife the other day about sending her dad some information and she said she would send it in the body of an e-mail rather than as an attachment. “He’s not the best at opening and reading attachments, but he can do e-mail like no other,” she said. I asked her when he retired to get a sense of his overall “IT quotient” and she said it was just as his company was beginning to use internal e-mail, so well before the IT explosion and ubiquitous connectivity and anytime, anywhere access to info, info, info, info, info…

I started using e-mail when I was working in the U.S. Senate in 1994. It was just internal and generally I could only communicate with the other staff on the committee that I worked for. By the time I left the Senate in 1995, we could communicate with other Senate offices and other Senate committees which we all thought was the biggest piece of magic imaginable. Now, with blackberry’s, Treo’s, IP phones, digital cameras, blogs, personal websites, etc. -- it’s as if there is no end in sight for all those 1′s and 0′s. Some think that all this online communication makes life more impersonal…I would argue it makes it much more personal. Let me explain.

I’m not a phone person. I prefer e-mail to voicemail. I prefer a pithy e-mail to a phone conversation. I keep in touch MUCH MORE with my friends who I made post-email then those who I made pre-email. I posit that it is because it is easier to keep in touch with them because one of the methods of our relationship has always been e-mail. I can communicate with a dozen friends with one e-mail rather than making 12 phone calls -- which I very much like. E-mail doesn’t replace voicemail or voice conversations, but it is a way to keep in touch and communicate freely when a phone conversation is not necessary.

I have not made it a secret that I recently married and that I went on a great honeymoon and that my wife is the best wife ever!! (Yes, she sometimes reads my postings.) Many, most of anyone reading this do not know me, but can get a sense of my thinking through this blog. Through these 1′s and 0′s that make up these letters and numbers.

So, here’s to 1′s and 0′s and staying in touch with friends and colleagues through e-mails, through personal websites, through blogs and through all things internet. Prediction: this internet thing is a connector of people and is here to stay.

Note: I was going through a computer upgrade today at work and was without connectivity for a teeth-grinding four hours which made me think about these things.

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