Technology makes me less connected. Since Ive gotten email I no longer write physical letters and I no longer telephone because I could simply draft an email. However I never do send email because if I answered everyone as soon as they wrote to me Id never do anything else. When I do write, my messages have a hyper-chattey classified-ad-of-my-life quality, which then prevents me from writing anything in my journal because I refuse to repeat myself.
But since Ive gotten email Ive contacted people Id lost for years: best friend from grades 8-11, former trail-crew partner, grad school pal who dropped off the face of the earth. We update each other in a flurry of confessional messages, and then I shunt them into the address book with the rest of my friends who I dont write, call, or email. So email leaves me much less in touch with many more people.
Caller ID is another exciting new addition to the household thats returned me to the age of the calling card--I find that Im "not at home" to almsot everyone who telephones. If the ID box tells me specifically who is calling, I decide not to pick up and consider returning the call later. But if the box reads "Unavailable," as it often does, I never pick up, which means I uniformly miss calls from phone solicitors as well as from any friends or family who live out-of-state. Its telling that the word "uniform" is just an "n" away from "uninform." As we catapult into the superconnected 21st century Im faced with such a barrage of crap and with so many communications options that its easier to turn it all off and watch some more Fawlty Towers in peace.