Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Modern Communication

Time: Few years back, on a Saturday afternoon
Place: My house
Characters: the Jock, the then-Nestling/now NinjaBaker, moi

Scene: Me at the family room computer, the Jock on the couch behind me playing online games on his laptop connected to the house wireless network, the Nestling upstairs on another computer

Me: Hey, Jock; wanna go out to dinner?

Jock: Sure.

Me: Is it okay if we go really early? Like 4:30? It's the best way to beat the crowd on a Saturday.

Jock: Okay.

(a few minutes later)

Me: Can you go upstairs and ask the Nestling if that plan is okay with him?

Jock: Oh, he's fine with it.

Me: What?

Jock: I asked him in chat. He's fine with it.

Translation: even when sitting in the same house, communication by computer is preferred, more efficient, and, I must admit, quieter.

Scene II, present day, planning a trip northwards to visit my sister, the Jockette, but not quite as far north to where the NinjaBaker is spending the summer. The plan, though, is for him to come down and join us for a nice dinner out.

As a good parent (of a good kid), I want to give him a head's up on how to be appropriately attired for the occasion. I also need to know how to pack for myself. Hence the following email exchange:

To Jockette (cc NinjaBaker):

How fancy (or not) is the restaurant for Sunday dinner? As in, what level of dressed-up-ness is required? Asking for purposes of packing. (Please "Reply All" for NB's benefit)


Pants or nice shorts, and a button-down or polo shirt or nice soccer jersey is fine. I would avoid sweats or athletic shorts.

Wonderful. Then I look at the cc line:
  • NinjaBaker - good
  • NiecelingJock
  • NephlingHunk
She's also cc'd her own kids to let them know what to wear too.

Are they grown, with homes and families of their own, so that email is the best way to get them the information without interfering in their busy lives?


Are they college students far from home who also need packing cues?


They are 12 and 15, and live at home with her and their father (who are married; to each other; for 19 years next month.) Okay, so it's a big house. But srsly.


At Sat Jul 11, 09:29:00 AM, Blogger Rachel Cooper said...

we do that in our house too, if only so everyone gets the same information.

At Sat Jul 11, 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me to daughter spawn: Could you tell #2 spawn dinner is ready?
Daughter spawn: Sure.
Me: I didn't hear anything.
Daughter spawn: I text messaged him.
Good grief.

At Sat Jul 11, 10:44:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I've noticed that I mentally process things entirely differently when I hear them than when I read them. Tell me something, and there's a fairly good chance I won't remember it. But the same thing, if I read it over e-mail or text, I've got a much better chance at. That's not so bad these days, but would have been pretty awful had I been born in a pre-Guttenberg era.

At Sat Jul 11, 06:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds normal to me! We do this all the time at our house. But we're old fogys (fogies?) b/c my DH and I communicate electronically only by e-mail (not chat, text msg, Twitter, etc.). If it's a scheduling question, I refuse to even discuss it in person since I'm not at my Outlook, and DH knows to e-mail me instead. To cite but one example: my DH plays tennis on a schedule that changes every few months or so. He e-mails me his schedule to ask me to confirm which sessions he can make & which he can't. (We co-primary-parent, and I travel a lot for work, so this is a key logistical question.)

And on Fridays when he works at home (ALL the way down in the first floor family room) and I'm at work in my home office (ALL the way up on the second floor), we frequently e-mail back & forth rather than running up & down stairs. This, though we're only about 10 feet apart, with only a floor/ceiling between us.

Have fun at dinner on Sunday. I'll be thinkin' of ya. I think I've seen both NiecelingJock and NephlingHunk more recently than you -- you'll be shocked at how grown up they both are.


Kensington MD

P.S. Oh, yes, and I have a sibling with whom I communicate frequently by blog comment. But you knew that already. :)

At Sat Jul 11, 11:20:00 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

I had such an experience in our house a few months ago. Picture me sitting on the couch watching Travel Channel with the Macbook sitting on my lap, trying to get Twitter to verify my cell phone, as my new Treo 700 (new to me- ebay is awesome) buzzes with a text message from my husband who is sitting on the same couch, mere inches away. Yeah, srsly.

At Sun Jul 12, 03:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's actually the best way for me to capture my kids attention. If I talk to them, they will swear that I never said anything to them. They both read that email within about 10 minutes of my sending it...
the Jockette

At Tue Jul 21, 12:35:00 AM, Anonymous cathyf said...

A couple of years ago the extended family were all heading for a parade. We had parked and were walking down a narrow sidewalk, single file, and the 11 of us were strung out down a whole block. I realized that my mom and my brother were emailing each other on their crackberries.


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