Then and Now: According to our teachers, communication has really changed


Margaret Wiegand, Staff Writer

Have you ever stopped to think about what our society would be like today without all of the social media and different ways we use to communicate?

Believe it or not, there has not always been a cell phone living in everyone’s back pocket. Not only that, but the very low quality phones that were around were the ones with a curly wire attached to the wall or the remote control looking phone with an antenna sticking out of the top of it.

“Back in the day,” payphones were a useful source if a person was out in public and needed to make a phone call. But, in order to make a call on a payphone, one had to be equipped with quarters and a good memory. Imagine having to memorize everyone’s phone number! That’s right, there was no “contacts” app to hold all of those contacts and their phone numbers.

I’m almost positive that if you were to ask your parents right now about cell phones in their day, they would paint a totally different picture of communication than we are used to today.

According to Principal Cary Anderson, when he was a teenager, the only strategy for getting ahold of his friends was over the home phone or making plans with them face-to-face and sticking to that plan; there was no texting and canceling plans last minute.

One thing most of us can relate to is the handwritten note. If you tell your friends and family today that you did not pass notes to your friends during class in middle school and elementary school, you are lying.

Well, believe it or not, when math teacher Lori Booker was in school, she passed notes not only in her middle and elementary school days, but throughout high school as well.

However, she was not passing notes to be goofy with her friends as you may assume; instead, she was passing notes to make plans with her friends for after school. These notes were not just any short message, but they were written in detailed paragraphs so that the message was clearly understood and so that there wasn’t a need for several notes being passed back and forth.

Today, either due to more lenient teachers or a changing culture, depending on the class and what school one attends, we are able to shoot a text message to a friend or several friends at a time, even during class.

However, former photography teacher, Whitney Goeglein, did not have access to a cell phone when she in high school. As a result, she kept journals along with her three other good friends.

In their secret journals, they would express their feelings and gossip about the other students in the school. Little did they know that when you write with a Sharpie, it never goes away.

Unfortunately, the girls had to learn that lesson the hard way—kind of reminds me of social media: once you make a post, it never really goes away.

Today students, along with most adults, take full advantage of the luxuries their cell phones offer whether that be for educational purposes or communication, but I think that everyone can agree that there is a big difference between the communication of then and the communication of now.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Reach Margaret Wiegand at [email protected].