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Civility or Technology?

Essay by   •  December 12, 2010  •  Essay  •  575 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,005 Views

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Civility or Technology?

The Sales Call and Other Horrors by Stephen L. Carter is a short story of how Society today functions infamously through the telephone. Carter goes in to detail of how humans today are less civil and less dedicated to one another compared to pre-telephone days. He gives an example of how society no longer sacrifices, or invest time and effort into friendships. Carter also states how face-to-face contact is a lot more civil and productive then a phone call. Carter gives a lot of facts and evidence about his statements and the article serves as a bit of a wake-up call to our courtesy and morals. But, there are some points that I find not to be true.

Carter states that, "there is no permanence, nothing enduring, and no significant investment" in our friendships. This has to be one of the hardest ideas to understand. Now and days people are busy. They have careers and families and hobbies and everything else that takes up time. Time does not always allow someone to sit down and write a long letter reassuring their friends that they are being thought about or how their week went or how the new baby looks just like daddy. It is a lot more convenient and less time consuming to pick-up the phone and blab to your friends for an hour then to sit down and write a letter and hope that you have not forgotten to say anything. I have friends all over the United States and being able to pick-up a phone and give them a call feels a lot more significant to me because I actually hear and feel their reactions to what I am saying. The telephone keeps me in touch with all my friends and relatives around the globe. I have held quite a few friendships for many years that have been more phone communication then anything and they still are strong and reliable friendships.

Carter also mentions that, " ... our love affair with the telephone almost certainly has made us less civil". Civil defined by the New World Dictionary is the act of being polite and courteous. I am sure that before the telephone was invented their were plenty of people that were not polite nor courteous. We can check our history books for that. I do not understand how such a remarkable invention such as the telephone has made society less civil. When I am at work and I pick-up my telephone to call a store or individual I am always polite and courteous. I am aware that something more important might

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